6.4/10
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14 user 5 critic

Night Crossing (1982)

True tale about two men planing to escape from communist East Germany in a hot air balloon, but only if they can take their families with them.

Director:

Delbert Mann

Writer:

John McGreevey
Reviews
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Hurt ... Peter Strelzyk
Jane Alexander ... Doris Strelzyk
Doug McKeon ... Frank Strelzyk
Keith McKeon Keith McKeon ... Fitscher Strelzyk
Beau Bridges ... Günter Wetzel
Glynnis O'Connor ... Petra Wetzel
Geoffrey Liesik Geoffrey Liesik ... 'Little' Peter Wetzel
Michael Liesik Michael Liesik ... Andreas Wetzel
Ian Bannen ... Josef Keller
Anne Stallybrass Anne Stallybrass ... Magda Keller
Matthew Taylor Matthew Taylor ... Lukas Keller
Klaus Löwitsch ... Schmolk
Günter Meisner ... Major Koerner
Sky du Mont ... Ziegler (as Sky Dumont)
Jan Niklas ... Lt. Fehler
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Storyline

In 1978, in East Germany, two families, the Strelzyks and the Wetzels, make plans to escape the Communist East and flee to the West. Peter Strelzyk comes up with a daring idea to construct a homemade air balloon big enough to carry the two families across the East-West militarized border. The border between East and West Germany is heavily militarized, complete with watch towers, guard dogs, barbed-wire, alarms, sensors, search lights, and patrols. Rumors have it that some areas of the militarized border are mined. The only chance of crossing the border is by air. The Strelzyks and the Wetzels commence their risky venture by purchasing lots of taffeta fabric and sewing it together with a sewing machine in the attic. Peter Strelzyk builds an experimental homemade hot air balloon burner. In 1979 when the balloon is ready Peter and his son test it, but the Wetzel family becomes hesitant. The Strelzyks decide to go alone, but bad weather causes the balloon to crash inside the Communist ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The East German border: 836 miles of barbed wire walls, automated machine guns, armed guards, and deadly land mines. On September 15, 1979 two families tried to cross it.


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

UK | USA | West Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 February 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Balloon Movie See more »

Filming Locations:

Landsberg, Bavaria, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,547,912, 7 February 1982

Gross USA:

$8,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo | Stereo (RCA Photophone Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This movie was considered, at the time, the most serious movie ever made by Walt Disney Pictures. See more »

Quotes

Peter Strelzyk: I know the S.S.D. was on its way. We still haven't got the material. Yesterday five yards, today nothing.
Doris Strelzyk: Could you make the balloon smaller?
Peter Strelzyk: Yes we could. But, it wouldn't carry eight people.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This really happened!
29 May 2011 | by clearpropSee all my reviews

I use this at school with my aviation class in our hot air ballooning unit. Students are now so far removed from the time of "The Iron Curtain" that they find it hard to believe this is a true story. Fortunately there are plenty of newspaper clips online to prove it. The balloon in the movie is very close to what they actually built.

This movie is well done, after the first 10 minutes the class sits very quiet and gets caught up in the suspense and action. Don't know if I would recommend it for young children because of some of the violence. But great for middle school and above, and a special treat for those of us who remember the day the wall came down.


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