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Ten Seconds to Hell (1959)

Approved | | Action, Drama, Romance | 30 May 1959 (Italy)
After 1945, six German ex-soldiers are hired to defuse unexploded Allied bombs in the ruins of Berlin.

Director:

Robert Aldrich

Writers:

Robert Aldrich (screenplay), Teddi Sherman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jack Palance ... Eric Koertner
Jeff Chandler ... Karl Wirtz
Martine Carol ... Margot Hofer
Robert Cornthwaite ... Franz Loeffler
Dave Willock ... Peter Tillig
Wesley Addy ... Wolfgang Sulke (as Wes Addy)
Jim Goodwin ... Hans Globke (as Jimmy Goodwin)
Virginia Baker Virginia Baker ... Frau Bauer
Richard Wattis ... Maj. Haven
Nancy Lee Nancy Lee ... Ruth Sulke
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Storyline

At the end of the Second World War six German ex-soldiers return to Berlin and set up as a bomb disposal group. The pressure of the dangerous work starts to affect them, the more so as they have agreed to pool half their pay so that if only one survives he takes it all. Casualties and friction are inevitable, and having to handle British 1000lb bombs seems particularly bad news. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

WATCH! THIS WOMAN WANT AND HUNGER FOR ONE OF THEM TO COME BACK! (original poster-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack Palance and director Robert Aldrich had worked together with distinction on two previous occasions - "Attack!" and "The Big Knife" - but fell out most acrimoniously during the making of this film. Aldrich later remarked wryly that it was probably unwise for any director to work more than twice with an actor as volatile as Palance, but nonetheless sought him out yet again a few years later when Palance was offered the role of Archer Maggot in "The Dirty Dozen". It seemed there might be a reconciliation at last, but Palance dropped out at the last minute (because of illness, some sources have claimed) and the part was taken over by Telly Savalas. See more »

Quotes

Karl Wirtz: I guess it's still my bomb.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Breathless (1960) See more »

User Reviews

 
How Can You Go Wrong With Robert Aldrich, Hammer Films, Jeff Chandler and Jack Palance?
18 August 2008 | by wgieSee all my reviews

The answer to that question is, "You can't!" I saw this film when it first came out in 1959, and I recently had the opportunity to see it again after 49 long years on Turner Classic Movies. I think the thing that makes this film so memorable to me is that the two leading actors Jeff Chandler and Jack Palance were given the opportunity to "break the mold" so to speak. Chandler who always played "the good guy" and "Palance" who always played "the bad guy" got the opportunity to switch roles. Earlier in their careers Chandler played a Roman Soldier (good guy) opposite Palance's Attila (bad guy) in "Sign of the Pagan". Chandler appears to be having a ball with the role of Karl Wirtz. His speech about how his Uncle Oscar taught him how to "look out for number ono" is reminiscent of the Burt Lancaster (Joe Erin) speech about the man who raised him (Ace Hannah) and how he double crossed him as well in "Vera Cruz". Interstingly enough, both films "Ten Seconds To Hell" and "Vera Cruz" were both directed by Robert Aldrich. The film's plot is about a German Bomb Disposal Unit working for the British after WWII which make a pact that the survivors will split the spoils of their labor after the job is finished. The texture and mood of the black and white film adds to the suspense of the film. One of both Chandler and Palance's best films.


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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 May 1959 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Extra Edge See more »

Filming Locations:

UFA Studios, Berlin, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,100,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Klangfilm-Eurocord)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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