A Time to Love and a Time to Die

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A Time to Love and a Time to Die
A Time to Love and a Time to Die FilmPoster.jpeg
Film poster
Directed by Douglas Sirk
Produced by Robert Arthur
Written by Orin Jannings
Erich Maria Remarque
Based on novel by Erich Maria Remarque
Starring John Gavin
Music by Miklós Rózsa
Cinematography Russell Metty
Edited by Ted J. Kent
Distributed by Universal
Release dates
  • July 9, 1958 (1958-07-09)
Running time 132 minutes
Country United States
Language English

A Time to Love and a Time to Die is a 1958 American CinemaScope drama film directed by Douglas Sirk and starring John Gavin.[1] It is based on the book by the German author, Erich Maria Remarque, set on the Eastern Front, and in Nazi Germany.[2]

The film was dubbed All Quiet on the Eastern Front.[3]

Plot[edit]

Ernst Graeber is a German soldier stationed on the Eastern Front during the war's last days. He and fellow soldiers Steinbrenner and Hirschland are ordered to kill Russian civilians, but Hirschland commits suicide instead.

Given his first furlough in two years, Ernst returns home to find his village bombed and parents gone. Elizabeth Kruse, daughter of his mother's doctor, tells him that her father is being held by the Gestapo as well. Constant air raids interrupt any peaceful moments Ernst and Elizabeth enjoy.

An old friend, Binding, is a wealthy Nazi now and welcomes Ernst to his home. He prepares a feast for the wedding of Ernst and Elizabeth, who are now in love. And a sympathetic professor, Pohlmann, offers his help should the newlyweds decide to flee.

Ernst is ordered back to the front. He finds Steinbrenner about to shoot civilians and kills him. Ernst frees the prisoners, but one nonetheless shoots him. He dies while reading a letter from Elizabeth telling him that she is expecting their child.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Remarque met Sirk in 1954 and the director persuaded the writer to adapt his own novel for the screen. ("I found him an extraordinarily understanding and capable man," said Remarque. "He knew what he wanted to do with my book."[2])

Universal decided to cast two relative unknowns in the lead. As studio executive Al Daff said:

We could have put two well-known personalities in it and proceeded on the basis of making a star vehicle. Or we could, as we decided to do, cast the story for believability and put into the lead roles talented, fresh performers who would not have to overcome the handicap of personality identification and could be accepted as a young Nazi officer and his sweetheart.[4]

At one stage Ann Harding was going to play a role.[5]

Filming took place in West Berlin, which Sirk had fled over 20 years before. Interiors were at CCC Studios.[6] Gavin was accompanied by his wife who he had just married and they used the movie as an opportunity to honeymoon.[7]

Universal sent a screen test of Gavin to critics in advance of the film's release.[8] Hedda Hopper saw a preview and predicted that Gavin will "take the public by storm and so will the picture, which should also put its co-star, Lilo Pulver in the top ten."[9]

Reception[edit]

The Los Angeles Times said the film wasn't as good as All Quiet on the Western Front but was "vivid, sometimes brutally shocking and, less often, emotionally moving.:[10]

Awards[edit]

Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ Crowther, Bosley. "New York Times: A Time to Love and a Time to Die". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  2. ^ a b A Town Called Hollywood: Remarque Enjoys Adapting Own Novel Into Screenplay Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 21 July 1957: E2.
  3. ^ RECALLS WORLD WAR I 'ALL QUIET': Remarque's 'Time to Love Has Few Faults, Rates as Memorable Film A TOWN CALLED HOLLYWOOD Remarque's 'Time to Love' Vivid, at Times Shocking Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 20 Apr 1958: E1.
  4. ^ HOLLYWOOD IDEAS: Newcomers Face Stardom at Universal --'South Pacific' on the Horizon Appraisal "Pacific" Launching Movie Slant By THOMAS M. PRYOR. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 11 Aug 1957: 89.
  5. ^ MOVIE DIRECTORS SET UP 2 GRANTS: Guild Offers Scholarships for Coast Students--Bells Are Ringing' Rings the Bell Paramount Eyes Musical By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to The New York Times.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 31 July 1957: 26.
  6. ^ CAMERAS CAPTURE LOVE AND DEATH IN BERLIN: Ubiquitous Fans Shooting the Works Vote of Confidence By FREDERICK BANKER. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 03 Nov 1957: 143.
  7. ^ HE NEVER LEFT HOME: Los Angeles Native John Gavin Wanted No Part of Pictures, So Producers Beat a Path to His Door Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) [Chicago, Ill] 20 July 1958: f12.
  8. ^ A Sneak Look Via Film Test of New Actor Tinee, Mae. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) [Chicago, Ill] 19 Jan 1958: e9.
  9. ^ Jose Ferrer to Produce Broadway Play in Fall Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) [Chicago, Ill] 16 Apr 1958: a6.
  10. ^ RECALLS WORLD WAR I 'ALL QUIET': Remarque's 'Time to Love Has Few Faults, Rates as Memorable Film A TOWN CALLED HOLLYWOOD Remarque's 'Time to Love' Vivid, at Times Shocking Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 20 Apr 1958: E1.
  11. ^ "The 31st Academy Awards (1959) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-21. 
  12. ^ "IMDB.com: Awards for A Time to Love and a Time to Die". imdb.com. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 

External links[edit]