Germans kidnap an American major and try to convince him that World War II is over, so that they can get details about the Allied invasion of Europe out of him.


George Seaton


George Seaton (screen play by), Roald Dahl (based on "Beware of the Dog" by) | 2 more credits »





Cast overview, first billed only:
James Garner ... Major Jefferson Pike
Eva Marie Saint ... Anna Hedler
Rod Taylor ... Major Walter Gerber
Werner Peters ... Otto Schack
John Banner ... Ernst
Russell Thorson ... General Allison
Alan Napier ... Colonel Peter MacLean
Oscar Beregi Jr. ... Lt. Colonel Ostermann (as Oscar Beregi)
Ed Gilbert ... Captain Abbott
Sig Ruman ... German Guard
Celia Lovsky ... Elsa
Karl Held Karl Held ... Corporal Kenter
Martin Kosleck ... Kraatz
Marjorie Bennett ... Charwoman
Henry Rowland ... German Soldier


In this psychological war-drama an Army Major is captured by the Germans during World War II. They attempt to brainwash him into believing the war is over and that he is safe in an Allied hospital, so that he will divulge Allied invasion plans. Written by Patrick Dominick <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


"Give Me Any American for 36 Hours And I'll Give You Back a Traitor" See more »


Thriller | War


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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The writing credits not only claim Roald Dahl's short story, "Beware Of The Dog", as the source of the plot but also an original film story by Luis H. Vance and Carl K. Hittleman. It has been suggested that MGM bought the Vance-Hittleman plot whilst unaware of the Dahl story, also unknown to the writers and director George Seaton. However, when the script was coincidentally offered to Dahl's wife, Patricia Neal, she spotted the resemblance straight away and brought it to her husband's attention. (She turned down the female lead, which went to Eva Marie Saint.) MGM was required to pay a large sum for the film rights of Dahl's very brief story to avoid a lawsuit. See more »


As with many World War II films made in the 1950s and 1960s, the makers were careless with women's clothes and hairstyles. The women in the Lisbon restaurant were wearing 1950s dresses, and Eva Marie Saint's hairstyle is definitely 1960s. See more »


Maj. Jefferson F. Pike: I know this is a strange question for a man to ask his wife, but... what's your name?
Anna Hedler, Nurse: Anna... Anna Hedler Pike.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »


Featured in MGM 40th Anniversary (1964) See more »


March: News of the Day
Music by John Rochetti
See more »

User Reviews

Excellent off the beaten path WWII melodrama
8 July 2001 | by docnoc66See all my reviews

Great, offbeat WWII thriller from The Spy Who Came in From the Cold Genre. If you've ever wondered where the Sgt. Schultz character developed from Hogan's Heroes - watch and be surprised! Tight Script and excellent performances from Saint, Taylor, and Garner. Filmed in B & W to enhance the intensity.

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English | German | Portuguese | French

Release Date:

19 February 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Thirty Six Hours See more »

Filming Locations:

Lisbon, Portugal See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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