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36 Hours (1964)

Approved | | Thriller, War | 19 February 1965 (USA)
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Germans kidnap an American major and try to convince him that World War II is over, so that they can get details about the Allied invasion of Europe out of him.

Director:

George Seaton

Writers:

George Seaton (screenplay), Roald Dahl (story "Beware of the Dog") | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Garner ... Major Jefferson Pike
Eva Marie Saint ... Anna Hedler
Rod Taylor ... Major Walter Gerber
Werner Peters ... Otto Schack
John Banner ... Ernst
Russell Thorson ... General Allison
Alan Napier ... Colonel Peter MacLean
Oscar Beregi Jr. ... Lt. Colonel Ostermann (as Oscar Beregi)
Ed Gilbert ... Captain Abbott
Sig Ruman ... German Guard
Celia Lovsky ... Elsa
Karl Held Karl Held ... Corporal Kenter
Martin Kosleck ... Kraatz
Marjorie Bennett ... Charwoman
Henry Rowland Henry Rowland ... German Soldier
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Storyline

In this psychological war-drama an Army Major is captured by the Germans during World War II. They attempt to brainwash him into believing the war is over and that he is safe in an Allied hospital, so that he will divulge Allied invasion plans. Written by Patrick Dominick <p-dominick@adfa.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

"Give Me Any American for 36 Hours And I'll Give You Back a Traitor" See more »

Genres:

Thriller | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | Portuguese | French

Release Date:

19 February 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Thirty Six Hours See more »

Filming Locations:

Lisbon, Portugal See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie features both Sig Ruman who played Sergeant Schultz in Stalag 17 (1953) and John Banner who played a character with the same basic name and profession in Hogan's Heroes (1965). See more »

Goofs

A sign in the fake American forces hospital reads "physiotherapy". This is the British term for what Americans call "physical therapy." Major Pike is used to the British and Americans working together closely, as shown in the opening scenes, and would not see anything suspicious about this status quo continuing in the near future. Note that the cover personas of Walter Gerber and other hospital personnel seem to be British. See more »

Quotes

Sgt. Ernst: [Taking to Pike and Anna] Oh, you think I'm not loyal to the Fuhrer? But I am. He's a great man.Whatever he tells me to do, I do. He sends messages to the home guard. He says
[speaking in Hitler's clipped diction]
Sgt. Ernst: ; 'if the enemy puts a foot on German soil - it is your duty to drive them out'. You are the enemy . I can not 'drive you out' - I have no car. So - I make you walk out
[heartily laughs]
Sgt. Ernst: Heil Hitler!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in V: The Deception (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

March: News of the Day
(uncredited)
Music by John Rochetti
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Thanks for the memory?
28 August 2006 | by benbrae76See all my reviews

This B&W movie "36 Hours" is now being repeated on digital TV quite regularly, and I never tire of watching it. The WW II storyline, written by Roald Dahl & Carl Hittleman, is an odd one. It has to be one of the most implausible, yet somehow believable tales ever to be thought up.

A US "hospital" run by Nazi Intelligence has been set up in Germany to enable secrets to be winkled out from it's "patients" (i.e. prisoners). The gimmick is that the inmates are led to believe that the war has been over for a number of years in favour of the Allies.

The new arrival a certain Maj. Jefferson Pike (James Garner) is an Overlorder (i.e. someone who is "au fait" with the plans of the forthcoming Normandy landings). After being kidnapped in Lisbon he is brought unconscious to the hospital and given necessary ageing treatment. On regaining consciousness he is told that he is suffering from amnesia, and has been a hospital patient for years, but he must now start remembering.

A disguised Wehrmacht psychiatrist Maj. Walter Gerber (an American born German, but a good guy at heart) (Rod Taylor) is given the task of unlocking the valuable knowledge. If he fails, he and his hospital are for the chop. (And the Allies will succeed in their invasion etc. etc.) Anna Hedler, his nurse, and supposedly Pike's wife, is an ex-concentration camp internee (Eve Marie Saint) who will do anything not to be sent back. End of stage one, but will the secrets come out in stage two?...watch the movie to find out.

"36 Hours", ably directed by George Seaton, is an intriguing movie that holds the attention right to the last. It's an intelligent script, complemented by intelligent acting, with suspenseful music holding it all together. Not exactly a classic, but I certainly think it will last the test of time (and on reflection...I suppose it already has done). Personally I love it.


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