Decision Before Dawn

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Product Overview

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.System Requirements:Running Time: 119 MinFormat: DVD MOVIE


Studio Foxvideo
SKU 202308268
UPC 024543238812
UPC 14 00024543238812
Format DVD
Release Date 4/24/2007
Rating NR
Nazi Germany
World War II
Editors Note
Note A very realistic WWII action film, DECISION BEFORE DAWN was shot in 1951 on location in a war-ravaged Germany, using actual former POWs in many of the roles. In the final days of the war, the German Army is suffering but refuses to yield, so the Allied forces, led by Lt. Rennick (Richard Basehart), make the risky move of sending two POWs to infiltrate the enemy. Tiger (Hans Christian Blech) and Happy (Oskar Werner) now face bleak odds against the enormously efficient Gestapo, while Rennick has his own doubts about whether or not the men are trustworthy.
Anatole Litvak
Gary Merrill
Richard Basehart
Oskar Werner
Cast & Crew
Anatole Litvak - Director
Dorothy Spencer - Editor
Frank McCarthy - Producer
Franz Planer - Cinematographer
Franz Wasman - Original Music By
Gary Merrill - Actor
Hildegard Knef - Actor
Oskar Werner - Actor
Peter Viertel - Writer
Richard Basehart - Actor
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1951
Catalog ID 2233881
UPC 00024543238812
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 119 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Subtitles English, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks English, French Dubbed, Spanish Dubbed
Aspect Ratio
Standard  1.33:1 [4:3]
Oscar (1952) Dorothy Spencer, Nominee, Best Film Editing
Golden Globe (1952) Franz Planer, Nominee, Best Cinematography - Black and White
ReviewSource Goatdog's Movies
Review The most interesting aspect to the film is everyone's ambivalence about the turncoats. None of the Americans trusts them to follow through on their missions, and everybody despises them for being turncoats, despite the fact that they're helping the Americans win...The film manages to be suitably hard on the Nazi regime while providing one of the first sympathetic treatments of the German people, who are viewed as victims of their leaders...Oskar Werner carries the movie, spending the bulk of it alone, wandering across Germany in search of the 11th Panzer Division...Director Anatole Litvak shot the film on location in the bombed-out ruins of Germany; many of the extras were former German soldiers, and there was plenty of original WW2 equipment around to use as props - and plenty of active-duty American soldiers, too, who show up as extras.
Reviewer Michael W. Phillips Jr
ReviewRating 8
Product Attributes
Actor Basehart,Richard
Label Fox Home Entertainment
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide Top-notch WW2 espionage thriller...Outstanding work by Werner, Neff, and the supporting cast.

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