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Escape from East Berlin (1962)

Approved | | Drama, History, Thriller | November 1962 (USA)
In 1962, a group of East Berliners escapes to West Berlin through a tunnel dug from the basement of a house located near the Berlin Wall.

Director:

Robert Siodmak

Writers:

Gabrielle Upton (story), Peter Berneis (story) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Murray ... Kurt Schröder
Christine Kaufmann ... Erika Jurgens
Werner Klemperer ... Walter Brunner
Ingrid van Bergen ... Ingeborg Schröder
Carl Schell ... Major Eckhardt
Edith Schultze-Westrum ... Mother Schröder
Bruno Fritz Bruno Fritz ... Uncle Albrecht
Maria Tober Maria Tober ... Marga
Horst Janson ... Günther Jurgens
Kai Fischer ... Heidi Eckhardt
Alfred Balthoff Alfred Balthoff ... Klussendorf - a Neighbor
Anita Kupsch ... Bambi
Kurt Waitzmann Kurt Waitzmann ... Prof. Thomas Jurgens
Helma Seitz ... Frau Jürgens
Ronald Dehne Ronald Dehne ... Helmut Schröder
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Storyline

In January of 1962, 29 East Berliners escaped to West Berlin via a tunnel they had dug beneath the Berlin Wall, led by Erwin Becker, a chauffeur in the car pool of the East Germany Parliament, who served as technical adviser on this film. The film opens with Karl Schroeder (Don Murray), chauffeur to an East German Major, seeing a friend killed as he tried to drive his truck through the wall, He is persuaded by the friend's sister, Erika Jurgens (Christine Kaufmann), and his own family to engineer an attempt to make an escape to the Western sector of the city by digging a tunnel under the wall which is close to their home. Their efforts to evade the suspicions of the East German police, their fear of betrayal by inquisitive neighbors and the exhaustion of the digging are only a few of the difficulties faced by the group. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Headline Hot! Filmed Where It Happened! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

West Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

November 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Escape from East Berlin See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The role of Kurt Schroder was originally intended for Horst Buchholz. See more »

Quotes

Uncle Albrecht: Off to band practice. We are marching in the celebration parade. I don't know what we're celebrating, but we are marching.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Tunnel (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

Another brick off the wall
7 September 2008 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Robert Siodmak had nothing to prove when he made "Escape from East Berlin".Maybe his film ,although inspired by real facts ,looks more like fiction,but he knew what he was talking about: Driven away from his land by Goebbels after "Brennendes Geheimnis " in 1933, he took refuge in France where he made at least two classics ("Mollenard" and "Piège" ),then in America where he reached peaks of films noirs ("cry of the city" "spiral staircase" "criss cross" ....).When he returned to Germany ,he depicted his country after the war ("die Ratten" ) without indulgence.Another movie made in France ("L'Affaire Nina B") dealt with Nazi criminals .

Siomak's genius as a film noir past master can still be felt in "escape...." ,notably in the first scenes where the characters seem to be buried alive in walls of stone and barbed wire.A short prologue with a voice over tells us so: "these men and women have done nothing and they are prisoners..."Don Murray looks too American but it's not a big problem.Since 1989,the Wall of shame has fortunately become a thing of the past.Siomak's movie was one of the first thrusts.


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