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Decision Before Dawn

Decision Before Dawn(1951)

Also Known As: Call It Treason | Legion of the Damned |

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Brief Synopsis

WWII is entering its last phase: Germany is in ruins, but does not yield. The US army lacks crucial knowledge about the German units operating on the opposite side of the Rhine, and decides to send two German prisoners to gather information. The scheme is risky: the Gestapo retains a terribly efficient network to identify and capture spies and deserters. Moreover, it is not clear that "Tiger", who does not mind any dirty work as long as the price is right, and war-weary "Happy", who might be easily betrayed by his feelings, are dependable agents. After Tiger and another American agent are successfully infiltrated, Happy is parachuted in Bavaria. His duty: find out the whereabouts of a powerful German armored unit moving towards the western front.

Cast & Crew

Anatole Litvak Director
Richard Basehart Lt. Dick Rennick
Gary Merrill Col. Devlin
Oskar Werner Corp. Karl Maurer, also known as Happy
O. E. Hasse Oberst von Ecker
Wilfried Seyfert Heinz Scholtz
Hans Christian Blech Sgt. Rudolf Barth, also known as Tiger
Helene Thimig Paula Schneider
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Additional Details

MPAA Ratings:  Premiere Info:  Los Angeles and New York openings: 21 Dec 1951
Release Date:  1951 Production Date:  AFI; EB loaner* 1733; UCLA has 16mm print
Color/B&W:  Black and White Distributions Co:  Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Sound:  Mono (Western Electric Sound System) Production Co:  Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Duration(mins):  119-120 Country:  Germany and United States
Duration(feet):  10,754    
Duration(reels):  12    

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  • Gripping Drama

    Jack Sorrell 2012-06-20

    This excellent film, shot on location among the ruins of postwar Germany, gives a realistic view of the desperate final days of WWII. The acting and... MORE>

  • great war film

    film fan 2008-06-26

    this was an amazing film. Oskar Werner in his American film debut as a German POW who decides to fight for the right thing. I loved him in this, so young... MORE>

  • Been there... Saw that!

    William P Caloia Sr 2007-12-08

    It was very stimulating to see the Nurnberg and Wurzburg of 1951 as I was stationed in Wurzburg in 1970. I visited Nurnberg and there were two other scenes... MORE>