36 Hours


1h 55m 1965
36 Hours

Brief Synopsis

Nazis kidnap a key American intelligence officer and try to convince him that World War II is over.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
War
Spy
Release Date
Jan 1965
Premiere Information
Minneapolis opening: 27 Jan 1965
Production Company
Cherokee Productions; Perlberg-Seaton Productions
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Beware of the Dog" by Roald Dahl in Harper's (Oct 1944).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 55m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

In 1944, while dealing with a Lisbon double agent, Maj. Jefferson Pike of U. S. Intelligence is abducted by Germans, drugged, and flown to Bavaria. He has been fully briefed on D-Day invasion operations in Normandy, and the Germans mean to pry this information from him through an elaborate trick. Pike awakens in what appears to be an American military hospital in occupied Germany: the staff speak English, newspapers are dated 1950, and the war is apparently over. Maj. Walter Gerber, seemingly an American psychiatrist but actually a Nazi, tells Pike he is an amnesia victim but can be cured by recalling the events before, during, and after D-Day. (Gerber has only 36 hours to secure this information; thereafter, it will be forced out of Pike through torture.) Pike discusses Normandy, but through a giveaway detail, he discovers the Nazi scheme. He confronts Gerber and Otto Schack, a Gestapo agent, and tries to persuade them that he has been giving false information. He is dispatched for further questioning, however, accompanied by Anna Hedler, a German nurse pretending to be his wife. Schack doubts that Normandy is the landing site, and the three men play a cat-and-mouse game utilizing this skepticism. The failure of the initial deception having put Gerber out of favor with the Gestapo, he entrusts valuable papers on his amnesia experiments to Pike, helps him and Anna escape to the Swiss frontier, and then commits suicide. The Normandy landings begin and the enraged Schack pursues Pike and Anna to the border; but he is shot down by an anti-Nazi guard who has arranged for the escapees' safe crossing. Once in Switzerland, Pike prepares to depart for London, knowing that he and Anna will meet at the end of the war.

Photo Collections

36 Hours - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are some photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of 36 Hours (1965), starring James Garner, Rod Taylor, and Eva Marie Saint.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
War
Spy
Release Date
Jan 1965
Premiere Information
Minneapolis opening: 27 Jan 1965
Production Company
Cherokee Productions; Perlberg-Seaton Productions
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Beware of the Dog" by Roald Dahl in Harper's (Oct 1944).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 55m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Articles

36 Hours


Rugged leading man James Garner stars as Major Jefferson Pike in 36 Hours (1964), a tense World War II espionage thriller. During an American intelligence assignment in Lisbon, Pike is drugged and captured by the Germans on the verge of D-Day. In an elaborately executed ruse, the enemies attempt to trick him into revealing the details of the Allies' impending attack plan. The outcome of the war rests squarely on Pike's shoulders in an edge-of-your-seat race against time. Rod Taylor co-stars as the psychiatrist assigned to extract the information from Garner, and Eva Marie Saint plays the complicated Anna, a concentration camp survivor forced to play a part in the Germans' scheme.

Film and television star Garner had a personal stake in the success of 36 Hours since his company, Cherokee Productions, co-produced the picture. Together with William Perlberg and George Seaton (who also directed) Cherokee pulled together a team that also included composer/conductor Dimitri Tiomkin and MGM's Bill Tuttle who did the makeup. Location shooting in Portugal, Germany and Yosemite National Park lent the film an air of visual authenticity. The only real difficulty Garner encountered was in securing the rights to use German newsreel footage, but he prevailed in bringing a touch of historic realism into the film.

George Seaton's screenplay for the film was based on a Roald Dahl short story called "Beware of the Dog." Dahl may seem a surprising source for such a serious adult drama since the late author is best known for his wealth of popular children's stories. Among his work are books such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches and James and the Giant Peach, all of which were also made into successful movies. No stranger to the details of World War II, the British-born Dahl had been a pilot in the Royal Air Force when fighting broke out. After he was injured in duty, he was transferred to Washington D.C. in 1942 where he worked as an Air attache and began his career as a writer recounting his experiences of war.

For James Garner and Cherokee Productions, 36 Hours was a solid success. Garner continued to work steadily through the years gaining popularity in the 1970s television series "The Rockford Files," for which he won an Emmy. His film roles also included parts in Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969), Victor/Victoria (1982) and his Oscar-nominated performance in Murphy's Romance (1985). Eva Marie Saint and Rod Taylor also continued to work in television and films, though both are probably best remembered for their memorable previous contributions to two Alfred Hitchcock classics - Saint opposite Cary Grant in North by Northwest (1959) and Taylor opposite Tippi Hedren in The Birds (1963). Director George Seaton had a huge hit of his own in 1970 with his screen version of Airport, for which his script was nominated for an Academy Award.

Producer: William Perlberg
Director: George Seaton
Screenplay: Roald Dahl (story), Carl K. Hittleman (story), George Seaton, Luis H. Vance (story)
Art Direction: Edward C. Carfagno, George W. Davis
Cinematography: Philip H. Lathrop
Costume Design: Edith Head
Film Editing: Adrienne Fazan
Original Music: Dimitri Tiomkin
Cast: James Garner (Major Jefferson Pike), Eva Marie Saint (Anna Hedler), Rod Taylor (Major Walter Gerber), Werner Peters (Otto Schack), John Banner (Ernst), Alan Napier (Colonel Peter MacLean), Sig Ruman (German guard), Martin Kosleck (Kraatz).
BW-115m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning.

by Andrea Foshee

36 Hours

36 Hours

Rugged leading man James Garner stars as Major Jefferson Pike in 36 Hours (1964), a tense World War II espionage thriller. During an American intelligence assignment in Lisbon, Pike is drugged and captured by the Germans on the verge of D-Day. In an elaborately executed ruse, the enemies attempt to trick him into revealing the details of the Allies' impending attack plan. The outcome of the war rests squarely on Pike's shoulders in an edge-of-your-seat race against time. Rod Taylor co-stars as the psychiatrist assigned to extract the information from Garner, and Eva Marie Saint plays the complicated Anna, a concentration camp survivor forced to play a part in the Germans' scheme. Film and television star Garner had a personal stake in the success of 36 Hours since his company, Cherokee Productions, co-produced the picture. Together with William Perlberg and George Seaton (who also directed) Cherokee pulled together a team that also included composer/conductor Dimitri Tiomkin and MGM's Bill Tuttle who did the makeup. Location shooting in Portugal, Germany and Yosemite National Park lent the film an air of visual authenticity. The only real difficulty Garner encountered was in securing the rights to use German newsreel footage, but he prevailed in bringing a touch of historic realism into the film. George Seaton's screenplay for the film was based on a Roald Dahl short story called "Beware of the Dog." Dahl may seem a surprising source for such a serious adult drama since the late author is best known for his wealth of popular children's stories. Among his work are books such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches and James and the Giant Peach, all of which were also made into successful movies. No stranger to the details of World War II, the British-born Dahl had been a pilot in the Royal Air Force when fighting broke out. After he was injured in duty, he was transferred to Washington D.C. in 1942 where he worked as an Air attache and began his career as a writer recounting his experiences of war. For James Garner and Cherokee Productions, 36 Hours was a solid success. Garner continued to work steadily through the years gaining popularity in the 1970s television series "The Rockford Files," for which he won an Emmy. His film roles also included parts in Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969), Victor/Victoria (1982) and his Oscar-nominated performance in Murphy's Romance (1985). Eva Marie Saint and Rod Taylor also continued to work in television and films, though both are probably best remembered for their memorable previous contributions to two Alfred Hitchcock classics - Saint opposite Cary Grant in North by Northwest (1959) and Taylor opposite Tippi Hedren in The Birds (1963). Director George Seaton had a huge hit of his own in 1970 with his screen version of Airport, for which his script was nominated for an Academy Award. Producer: William Perlberg Director: George Seaton Screenplay: Roald Dahl (story), Carl K. Hittleman (story), George Seaton, Luis H. Vance (story) Art Direction: Edward C. Carfagno, George W. Davis Cinematography: Philip H. Lathrop Costume Design: Edith Head Film Editing: Adrienne Fazan Original Music: Dimitri Tiomkin Cast: James Garner (Major Jefferson Pike), Eva Marie Saint (Anna Hedler), Rod Taylor (Major Walter Gerber), Werner Peters (Otto Schack), John Banner (Ernst), Alan Napier (Colonel Peter MacLean), Sig Ruman (German guard), Martin Kosleck (Kraatz). BW-115m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning. by Andrea Foshee

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Location scenes filmed in Yosemite National Park, in Lisbon, and elsewhere in Portugal.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1964

Broadcast over TNT (colorized version) January 10, 1990.

Scope

Released in United States 1964