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The Road to the Wall (1962)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Short
A brief summary on Comumunism, its origins with Marx, passing through two world wars which leads all the way to the Berlin Wall. Oscar nominated documentary narrated by James Cagney.


Don Makiewicz


James Cagney
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »




Credited cast:
James Cagney ... Narrator (voice)


A brief summary on Comumunism, its origins with Marx, passing through two world wars which leads all the way to the Berlin Wall. Oscar nominated documentary narrated by James Cagney.

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independent film | See All (1) »


Documentary | Short


Not Rated






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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The man described in the film around the 3:50 mark as "Berndt Ludens" who was shot after swimming across the Spree river on August 13 is not as described. The man pictured was Gunther Litfin, an East German who worked in West Berlin and who was planning to move permanently into the western sectors of the city when the Wall came up. His escape attempt occurred on August 26, 1961, and he did not complete the swim. He was halted in the center of the river by transportation officers on a bridge. When he raised his hands in surrender, they fired on him and killed him. He was the second person to die in an escape attempt and the first to die by gunfire (the first death was a woman who fell from a window while trying to climb down a building on the east-west border on August 22).

There was a man named Bernd Lunser who died on October 4 of that year in an escape attempt, but the circumstances of that death do not match up with what is presented (Lunser died falling from a roof at the border while he was struggling with a Vopo trying to drag him back to East Germany). See more »

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User Reviews

An historical piece on the Communism rise around the world
6 September 2013 | by Rodrigo_AmaroSee all my reviews

"The Road to the Wall" explores Communism progression through the years, from Marx ideals up until the Berlin Wall's foundation in the previous year this documentary was made. What it presents to us today is old news but still interesting to see: heavily supported by a spectacular footage, the documentary (narrated by James Cagney) produced by U.S. Armed Forces presents the expansion of Communism around the world, occupying countries to spread its alleged message of solidarity and union but also murdering everyone opposed to it and even former members, a bloody road paved all the way up to a wall, here used as a metaphor for an end while Capitalism is a system of multiple choices and above all, of freedom. But the part that interests us the young man who was killed while trying to cross the border to reach the Soviet side - the narrator doesn't understand it, neither do we. What kind of regime wouldn't allow new supporters to join in?

Yes, it served to take out any illusion people may have had about Socialism and stuff but let's face it, the other system isn't all that embraceable as it is portrayed towards the ending. By spreading freedom "they" (backers of this film) meant financing countless coup d'etats in South and Central America when Communism was having a large acceptance by new politics, and they finance it so they can defend their own interests elsewhere rather than really care about a country repressed by violence. But this film doesn't show that. And if democracy was so important, why not invade Russia or the European nations under Khruschev's regime? Yeah, that's what I thought. Anyone with knowledge of history know those facts. Dig deeper if you don't know about it.

Ignore my minor rant and watch this film because of its historical importance about darker times. They expose a lot of truth but hide their own mistakes. It was a good history lesson, tiring at parts, only affected by some strange inclusion of re-enactments made by voice overs instead of using captions, whenever some Russian authority was speaking. 8/10

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