The Big Lift

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User Ratings: 385

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Movie Info

During the 1948 Berlin Airlift, as British and American forces break a Russian blockade of the divided German city, a pair of American soldiers fall in love with local women against a backdrop of increasing Cold War tensions. Ground control specialist Hank Kowalski (Paul Douglas) finds happiness with the idealistic Gerda (Bruni Löbel), but, when pilot Danny MacCullough (Montgomery Clift) falls for the beautiful, mysterious Frederica (Cornell Borchers), his friends question her motives.

Cast & Crew

Montgomery Clift
Sgt. 1st Class Danny MacCullough
Paul Douglas
MSgt. Henry "Hank" Kowalski
Cornell Borchers
Frederica Burkhardt
Walter Gross
Zigarettenschnorrer
George Seaton
Screenwriter
Charles G. Clarke
Director of Photography
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Critic Reviews for The Big Lift

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Audience Reviews for The Big Lift

  • Dec 05, 2018
    An interesting experiment in a fictional motion picture in that it incorporates large bits of historical reality, in this case the ravaged city of Berlin following the fall of the Nazi regime. Very nearly a documentary in that aspect. As well, except for the lead performances (Douglas and Clift are excellent) everyone onscreen are not actors, but the real people doing their real lives. I was slow to embrace this, but now I don't think I'll ever forget it.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 06, 2011
    Ordinary postwar story with Douglas and Clift good as always. The real standout is Bruni Loebel who turns in a charming performance as Gerda.
    jay n Super Reviewer
  • Dec 25, 2010
    The romantic plot is weak, but this semi-documentary is an important piece of filmography since history is preserved. In simple terms, it shows Americans processing WWII experiences and emotions toward the German peoples. What is remarkable about this film is that all shots were on location within all sectors of war-ravaged Berlin and the military personnel are genuine.
    Stefanie C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 2010
    Maybe I need to brush up on my WWII history, but this movie was a bit confusing. Clift is good in the movie, but the story could be better. Overall a so-so war movie.
    Aj V Super Reviewer

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