The Big Lift

( 1 )

Overview

Filmed on location, The Big Lift is a compelling reenactment of the Berlin airlift of 1948. Flexing their postwar muscles, the Russians blockade the Western sector, refusing to allow the Allies to ship supplies to the starving Berliners. From their headquarters at Templehof Airport, a group of courageous American flyers risk their lives to transport supplies by air. Paul Douglas plays a ground operations sergeant with several scores to settle (he had a hard time of it as a POW during the war), while Montgomery ...
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Overview

Filmed on location, The Big Lift is a compelling reenactment of the Berlin airlift of 1948. Flexing their postwar muscles, the Russians blockade the Western sector, refusing to allow the Allies to ship supplies to the starving Berliners. From their headquarters at Templehof Airport, a group of courageous American flyers risk their lives to transport supplies by air. Paul Douglas plays a ground operations sergeant with several scores to settle (he had a hard time of it as a POW during the war), while Montgomery Clift costars as a pilot who inaugurates a doomed love affair with German girl Cornell Borchers. The Big Lift lapsed into public domain in 1977, meaning that it's possible to catch the film any time of the year if you're willing to surf to the cable channels.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
When originally released in 1950, The Big Lift must have had significant impact upon its audience, many of whom were veterans who had first hand experience of combat with Germany and with the conditions of Berlin during the war and soon after. That sense of immediacy and the connection that it brought probably enhanced considerably the experience of Lift; without that, the picture is an average but not outstanding war-related drama, the Cold War era propaganda leanings of which are more evident from several decades on. None of that is to say that Lift is bad, mind you; parts of it are quite effective. But the film lacks cohesion, being one part semi-documentary and one part personal romance story, and the two parts don't fit together in a dramatically satisfying way. Much of the documentary style part of the film is still fascinating, from the details around flight protocol to the actual footage of Berlin at the time the film was shot. The main plot surrounding Montgomery Clift has not aged as well; there's not enough character or relationship development (although the revelation of Frederica's past is quite effective). Clift is quite good, though, as is Paul Douglas, whose anti-German soldier is surprisingly frank for the period. Even better are Cornell Borchers and O.E. Hasse, and there should also be positive mention of Bruni Loebel's pleasing work. Not a great film by any means, but worth a viewing, especially for history buffs.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/19/2002
  • UPC: 089218625397
  • Original Release: 1950
  • Rating:

  • Source: Alpha Video
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Time: 2:00:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 39,842

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Montgomery Clift Danny MacCullough
Paul Douglas Hank Kowalski
Cornell Borchers Frederica Burkhardt
O.E. Hasse Stieber
Bruni Loebel Gerda
Danny Davenport Private
Technical Credits
George Seaton Director, Screenwriter
Charles G. Clarke Cinematographer
Roger Heman Sound/Sound Designer
Alfred Newman Score Composer
William Perlberg Producer
William H. Reynolds Editor
Fred Sersen Special Effects
Robert L. Simpson Editor
Russell J. Spencer Art Director
Lyle Wheeler Art Director
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Chapter 1 [20:20]
2. Chapter 2 [18:08]
3. Chapter 3 [24:33]
4. Chapter 4 [16:23]
5. Chapter 5 [18:04]
6. Chapter 6 [21:28]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Index
   Catalog
      View Catalog
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2009

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