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Decision Before Dawn Details


With the Third Reich disintegrating, several members of the German army are defecting to the Americans and offering their services as spies. US officer Gary Merrill trusts none of these last-minute "converts", but German prisoner Oskar Werner seems to be sincere. Werner insists that by helping the Americans, he is saving Germany from destruction. Merrill sends Werner behind enemy lines for counter-espionage with an American officer (Richard Basehart), who still isn't convinced that the German expatriate means what he says. At several critical junctures, it seems as though Werner had been lying about his mission, but at the last moment he saves Basehart's life at the cost of his own...but was this act of bravery intentional? A thoughtful World War II drama, Decision Before Dawn was filmed on location in Europe. Watch for a young and sickly-looking Klaus Kinski as an overeager defector. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Dorothy Spencer Best Editing 1951 Nominee
Directors Guild of America Anatole Litvak Best Director 1951 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Anatole Litvak Best Picture 1951 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Franz Planer Best Cinematography - Black and White 1951 Nominee


Richard Basehart
as Lt. Rennick
Gary Merrill
as Col. Devlin
Oskar Werner
as Happy
Hildegarde Neff
as Hilde
Dominique Blanchar
as Monique
O.E. Hasse
as Oberst Von Ecker
Hans-Christian Blech
as Tiger
Helene Thimig
as Fraulein Schneider
George Tyne
as Sgt. Griffin
Walter Ladengast
as Deserter
Peter Luhr
as V. Schirmeck
Klaus Kinski
as Whining Soldier
Harold Benedict
as Lieutenant Gevers
Arno Assmann
as Ernst
Otto Friebel
as Clerk
Erich Ebert
as Freddy
Werner Fuetterer
as von Bulow
Harald Wolff
as Hartmann
Karl Malden
Erik Jelde


Anatole Litvak
Anatole Litvak
Peter Viertel
Franz Planer
Franz Waxman
Composer (Music Score)
Dorothy Spencer
Ludwig Reiber
Art Director