6.5/10
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12 user 19 critic

Ten Seconds to Hell (1959)

After 1945, six German ex-soldiers are hired to defuse unexploded Allied bombs in the ruins of Berlin.

Director:

Robert Aldrich

Writers:

Robert Aldrich (screenplay), Teddi Sherman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jack Palance ... Eric Koertner
Jeff Chandler ... Karl Wirtz
Martine Carol ... Margot Hofer
Robert Cornthwaite ... Franz Loeffler
Dave Willock ... Peter Tillig
Wesley Addy ... Wolfgang Sulke (as Wes Addy)
Jim Goodwin Jim Goodwin ... Hans Globke (as Jimmy Goodwin)
Virginia Baker Virginia Baker ... Frau Bauer
Richard Wattis ... Maj. Haven
Nancy Lee Nancy Lee ... Ruth Sulke
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Storyline

At the end of the Second World War six German ex-soldiers return to Berlin and set up as a bomb disposal group. The pressure of the dangerous work starts to affect them, the more so as they have agreed to pool half their pay so that if only one survives he takes it all. Casualties and friction are inevitable, and having to handle British 1000lb bombs seems particularly bad news. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

WATCH! THIS MAN SWEAT OUT THE MOST SUSPENSE-TORN SECONDS IN SCREEN HISTORT! (original poster - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA | West Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 June 1959 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Extra Edge See more »

Filming Locations:

UFA Studios, Berlin, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,100,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hammer Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Klangfilm-Eurocord)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gerhard Rabiger, a German bomb expert, was hired to instruct Jeff Chandler and Jack Palance in defusing techniques. Rabiger had defused as many as 20 bombs a day in Berlin just after the end of WWII. Even while this film was being made, bombs were still being discovered in Berlin at a rate of about two a week. See more »

Quotes

Karl Wirtz: I guess it's still my bomb.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Breathless (1960) See more »

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User Reviews

 
TEN SECONDS TO HELL (Robert Aldrich, 1959) **1/2
28 June 2006 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

I watched this in a colorized version (shudder, I know!), but I guess it's better than nothing!! This is yet another war-themed film for Aldrich but a novel one, dealing with a six-man bomb-disposal unit in Germany after the end of World War II.

As such, it's much closer in spirit to the stark (and often hysterical) ATTACK! (1956) than the sweeping blockbusters - THE DIRTY DOZEN (1967) and TOO LATE THE HRO (1970; see review above) - of the next decade. Indeed, here, Jack Palance is again given a sympathetic role - while Jeff Chandler, uncharacteristically, essays the villainous type. Interestingly, the film was made by Britain's House of Horror - Hammer Films (in association with United Artists) - with shooting taking place at Germany's celebrated UFA studios!

Plot-wise, however, the film is somewhat contrived: Palance and Chandler hate each other's guts but still lodge together and, of course, fall for their attractive - and lonely - French landlady (Martine Carol); by the end, only they have survived their dangerous line of work and the two face-off in a literally explosive climax! While no classic, it's professionally handled and has undeniable moments of power (one of the deaths is filmed in a way that we never see the man's face but, when the remaining members of the group are reconvened, we realize that Wesley Addy is missing; Chandler's story about his uncle teaching him to always look out for himself first and how the latter was the first to suffer for it).


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