6.5/10
835
19 user 8 critic

Night People (1954)

During the Cold War, an American soldier is abducted by Soviet agents in West Berlin, sparking a recovery effort led by Colonel Steve Van Dyke.

Director:

Nunnally Johnson

Writers:

Nunnally Johnson (screenplay), Jed Harris (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gregory Peck ... Col. Steve Van Dyke
Broderick Crawford ... Charles Leatherby
Anita Björk ... 'Hoffy' Hoffmeier
Rita Gam ... Ricky Cates
Walter Abel ... Maj. R.A. Foster, MD
Buddy Ebsen ... Sgt. Eddie McColloch
Max Showalter ... Frederick S. Hobart (as Casey Adams)
Jill Esmond ... Frau Schindler
Peter van Eyck ... Sergei 'Petey' Petrochine
Marianne Koch ... Kathy Gerhardt
Ted Avery Ted Avery ... Cpl. John J. Leatherby
Hugh McDermott ... Maj. Burns
Paul Carpenter Paul Carpenter ... Eddie Whitby
John Horsley ... Lt. Col. Stanways
Lionel Murton Lionel Murton ... Norman Lakeland
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Storyline

Post WWII yarn about a young GI abducted by the Soviets in West Berlin and hauled off to the East. His recovery gets complicated as Colonel Steve Van Dyke (Peck) tries to sort out the usefulness of informants, spies, bureaucrats, and the abductee's influential father (Crawford)! Written by Corey Hatch

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You have never really seen Gregory Peck until you see him in "Night People".


Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

14 May 1954 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Das unsichtbare Netz See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,250,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scenes where Gregory Peck and Buddy Ebsen ride up and down on the "People dumb waiter" were not shot in Berlin, but in Frankfurt. It's located in the old IG Farben building that used to be the 5th Corps Headquarters. See more »

Quotes

Frederick S. Hobart: Nothing that ever happens here is isolated. They kidnap a 19 year old boy, your son and we cant tell yet whether its a local needle or another Korea.
See more »

Crazy Credits

For the first time ever, the Cinemascope logo ("Twentieth Century-Fox presents A Cinemascope Production") is not shown until about five minutes into the film, after the opening sequence. See more »


Soundtracks

The Stars and Stripes Forever
(uncredited)
Music by John Philip Sousa
Played during the military review at the beginning
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Superior Cold War Espionage Thriller; Very Well-Acted B/W Suspense
21 June 2005 | by silverscreen888See all my reviews

Nunnally Johnson has been awarded every prize a screenwriter can be given. This film, with its many strengths, demonstrates why as well as does any of his efforts. The storyline here is both complex and adult; it is a Cold War thriller with very-strongly-developed characters, fine performances and great B/W production values throughout. Johnson wrote the script from a story by Jed Harris and directed. The story revolves around a Colonel played strongly by Gregory Peck who is in charge of US forces in Berlin who are dealing daily with the four powers governing their sectors there. Three challenges weigh on him at once. The Russian counterpart he has been trying to help defect is murdered; a young US serviceman is inexplicably kidnapped after meeting the German girl he loves, and demands are made by the Russians to get into their hands two persons in exchange for the soldier. Then the young man's industrialist father arrives to complicate matters further, making demands, while the Colonel discovers a traitor in his own circle of operatives. There are many fine performances in the well-chosen cast, headed by Peck's very strong military character, aided by Walter Abel and Buddy Ebsen; others noteworthy include Peter Van Eyck, Max Showalter, Jill Esmond, Marianne Koch, Anita Bjork and Broderick Crawford. Lovely Rita Gam plays the Colonel's secretary and steals every scene she is in. I found the military-parade pre-opening too-long; but the dialogue, characters and situations were everywhere absorbing and amazing memorable; had Johnson done nothing bu the scripts for this and "The Dirty Dozen", his place in Hollywood history would be secure. I suggest that with all its fine technical and creative aspects, when viewers talk about films "they used to make but can't or don't make any more", "Night People" is exactly the sort of powerful and adult film they have in mind.


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