7.2/10
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78 user 29 critic

A Midnight Clear (1992)

R | | Drama, War | 24 April 1992 (USA)
Trailer
1:04 | Trailer

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This WW2 psychological drama plays out at Christmas. US GIs hold an isolated cabin in the Ardennes against a handful of Germans cut off from their main force. Combat-weary and short of rations, both sides are determined to survive.

Director:

Keith Gordon

Writers:

William Wharton (novel), Keith Gordon (screenplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Peter Berg ... Bud Miller
Kevin Dillon ... Cpl. Mel Avakian
Arye Gross ... Stan Shutzer
Ethan Hawke ... Sgt. Will Knott
Gary Sinise ... Vance 'Mother' Wilkins
Frank Whaley ... Paul 'Father' Mundy
John C. McGinley ... Major Griffin
Larry Joshua ... Lieutenant Ware
David Jensen David Jensen ... Sergeant Hunt
Curt Lowens ... Older German Soldier
Rachel Griffin Rachel Griffin ... Janice
Timothy S. Shoemaker Timothy S. Shoemaker ... Eddie (as Tim Shoemaker)
Kelly Gately Kelly Gately ... Young German Soldier
Bill Osborn Bill Osborn ... American Sentry
Andre Lamal ... German Soldier
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Storyline

Set in 1944 France, in the Ardennes forest region, an American Intelligence Squad locates a German platoon wishing to surrender rather than die in Germany's final war offensive. The two groups of men, isolated from the war at present, put aside their differences and share a Christmas celebration. The surrender plan includes a mock battle that turns bad when one of the soldiers is unaware of the surrender plan. Written by Anthony Hughes <husnock31@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, war violence and a scene of sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 April 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Section 44 See more »

Filming Locations:

Utah, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,526,697
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The film-makers scouted then Yugoslavia as the filming location before settling on Utah, as snow in Yugoslavia had been notoriously unstable the last few years before filming , and there was no money to make massive amounts of snow in the budget. See more »

Quotes

Bud Miller: [nervous about impersonating an officer] What if it's some kinda "Capture the Commander" scheme the Krauts have worked out?
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Soundtracks

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
Written by Edmund Hamilton Sears (uncredited) and music by Richard Storrs Willis (uncredited)
Sung by Sam Phillips
Arranged and Produced by T Bone Burnett and Sam Phillips
Sam Phillips appears courtesy of Virgin Records
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User Reviews

 
"I'm scared all the time."
11 July 2012 | by lost-in-limboSee all my reviews

It's a war film, but an atypical and sober one at that. Probably war drama fits better. As there's a whole lot more to it than just action. On that count it has its moments, but really it's about the characters (if something of a coming of age) and the realisation that their enemy is just as reluctant and afraid as them. The script is meditatively thoughtful and the performances by a capable cast (Ethan Hawke, Kevin Dillon, Peter Berg, Gary Sinise, Frank Whaley, Arye Gross and John C. McGinley's pig-headed Major Griffin) are genuinely layered. This helps draw you in, feeling the joy but also the tragic nature that waits. It absorbingly paints the foolishness of war, where in a serenely ironic manner it all pans out. It follows a small young American reconnaissance platoon nearing the end of WW2 in Eastern Europe, which was put together due to them having the highest I.Q. in the army. Thinking that they would get better results, however on their mission they come across a patrol of German soldiers hiding from their inevitable fate and a special, if strange bond is formed between the two parties. Written and directed by Keith Gordon (who I'll always remember him as Arnie Cunningham from John Carpenter's 80s horror flick "Christine"), he does an effective job tailoring the welcoming humanity and the painstaking horrors of war through the visuals, dialogues, atmospheric surroundings and performances. The narrative moves back and forth early on dealing with past events that brought these American soldiers together, before settling on the straight-and-narrow. The material is rather offbeat and mellow, especially when it came to the interactions between the two groups. What seems unfathomable, becomes reality and then even playful (snowball fights?!). There's something simply haunting and forlorn about this presentation and you could probably attributed it to the beautifully moody, if glassy music score. It just stays with you. Like the final shot of the film, where the camera pans onto Hawke's face of despair and this is one powerfully heartfelt moment. "A Midnight Clear" is quite low-key and unpredictable in all, but hard to forget.

"I'm through playing soldier."


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