I first saw Decision Before Dawn on TV in the mid-sixties on Saturday Night at the Movies, seemingly banal filler that offered a surprisingly good row of early fifties movies such as The Big Carnival (previously reviewed by me), The Desert Fox, and others that were gritty, blunt, and full of Cinéma vérité. This one always stuck with me, and I recently saw it again on YouTube.
What sticks? The realistic setting of this 1951 film in a battered Germany during the Second World War holding off the inevitable, and the strong performance of Oskar Werner as Corporal Mauer, a POW who is convinced by the Americans to go back into Germany on a mission that could supposedly end the war (don’t they all?). (more…)