The Search was Montgomery Clift’s first released film (Red River was completed first, but released later). It dealt with the timely topic, displaced persons at the end of World War II. Steve (Clift), an American soldier stationed in a German town, befriends a young Czech boy, Karel (Ivan Jandl) who had become separated from his mother after being in a concentration camp. Steve helps the boy adjust to freedom and teaches him English, while they wait for United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) workers to locate Karel’s mother.
Meanwhile Karel’s mother searches for her son. Both serendipitously cross paths with kindly UNRRA worker Mrs.Murray (the great Aline MacMahon). The film won a special Oscar for Ivan Jandl and an Oscar for Best Story. Clift was nominated for Best Actor, Fred Zinnemman for Best Director, as was the screenplay.
Special Note: This film should have won an award for best Baltimore line in film history; but you’ll have to see the film to find out the line.
Directed by Fred Zinnemann, 1948, United States, 104 min., b&w, Unrated
“As the first Hollywood movie to be shot in post-WWII Germany, the authenticity of Zinnemann's film cannot be faulted.” Time Out London
“..may prudently be said to be as fine, as moving, and as challenging as any the contemporary screen provides… Their film has the hard-focus contours of solid realities. Their cameras have looked at actual ruins, at the dry-eyed faces of children full of grief…. The Search, in our estimation, is a major revelation in our times.” Bosley Crowther NYT
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