The Search (1948) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Search (1948)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Although Montgomery Clift shot this film following Red River (1948), it was released six months earlier and the combined success of both immediately made him a star. The film, which was the first to be made in Europe after WWII with an American director and cast, was partially based on Europe's Children, a book of photographs by Therese Bonney documenting the orphans of the war. Shot in the American occupied zone of Germany, much of the film, the product of years of research, was based on actual incidents. It opens at the UN Relief and Rehabilitation Administration camp at which war orphans, who have been found wandering through bombed-out ruins, are given temporary housing. The severely traumatized children, many of whom are survivors of concentration camps whose parents are dead, find normal communication almost impossible. Karel Malik (Ivan Jandl), a young Czech boy, is one of these. His mother, Hanna (Jarmilia Novotna), lost contact with him when they were in Auschwitz and she now travels from one refugee camp to another in search of her son. While being transported in an ambulance, some of the children, including Karel, break out and scatter. American G.I. Ralph Stevenson Clift finds him wandering aimlessly, takes him back to his base to feed him, and begins to teach him English. ~ Michael Costello, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Richard Schweizer, Paul Jarrico, David Wechsler
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 24, 1992

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Jarmila Novotna
as Mrs. Malik
Montgomery Clift
as Ralph Stevenson
Ivan Jandi
as Karel Malik
Aline MacMahon
as Mrs. Murray
Wendell Corey
as Jerry Fisher
Mary Patton
as Mrs. Fisher
Edward G. Robinson
as Mr. Crookes
William Rogers
as Tom Fisher
Claude Gambler
as Raoul Dubois
Leopold Markowski
as Joel Makowsky
Claude Gambier
as Raoul Dubois
Ewart G. Morrison
as Mr. Crookes
Leopold Borkowski
as Joel Makowsky
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Search

Critic Reviews for The Search

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (3)

Although there's a slight suspicion that (as in Rossellini's work from this period) the plight of children is being used as a sort of emotional shorthand, the integrity and moving effect of this piece is never really in doubt.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The Search, in our estimation, is a major revelation in our times.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

A moving wartime drama about orphaned children that's directed in a simple semi-documentary style.

Full Review… | May 13, 2008
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Zinnemann and Clift received Oscar nominations and Jandl won a special juvenile Oscar for his haunting portrayal of the tragic child.

Full Review… | November 1, 2007
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Both a well-modulated immersion in the experience of stunned and stranded children and a time-capsule of the scarred land and crumbled cityscapes of Germany after the war.

Full Review… | October 18, 2007
Nick's Flick Picks

Audience Reviews for The Search


It holds a strong impact due to its devastating subject matter, with also a beautiful score and Montgomery Clift in a wonderful Oscar-nominated performance, but it starts to become more like a melodrama after its excellent first hour and the dialogue more and more artificial.

Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer


Great looking film in war torn Germany. It's about a holocaust surviving kid who's wondering around Berlin alone and befriends a G.I.(Monty). Monty takes him in teaches him English,how to drive,etc... It's Keith's wet dream.

cody franklin

Super Reviewer


★★★★ (out of four)

A wonderfully heartfelt film directed by Fred Zinnemann. It takes place just after World War II when it was shot. Many of the scenes were actually shot amongst the ruble of several German cities and features several of the children of the area.

Montgomery Clift strikes gold with his first film released. A young boy names Karel (Ivan Jandl) has lost his family and has been living in a concentration camp. He is scared and alone like all the other children. He meets an American army engineer (Clift) who takes a liking to the boy, teaching him english and caring for him.

It is a great film, possibly Zinnemann's best and Clift deserves his first Oscar nomination.


Steve Smith

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