Silent Night (2002 film)
|Directed by||Rodney Gibbons|
|Produced by||Rory J. Aylward
Steven Jay Rubin
|Written by||Roger Aylward|
Mark Antony Krupa
|Narrated by||Michael Sinelnikoff|
|Music by||James Gelfand|
|Edited by||Vidal Béïque|
A German mother, Elisabeth Vincken (Linda Hamilton), who had already lost her eldest son in the Battle of Stalingrad and whose husband is a cook serving in the German army, and her son, Fritz, are seeking refuge in a cabin near the front lines in the Ardennes forests region of western Europe. They are invaded by three American soldiers and then soon after three German soldiers, and after much resistance the mother manages to convince the enemy soldiers to put aside their differences for one night and share a Christmas dinner. The Germans were planning to kill the Americans, but eventually they and the American soldiers share their rations to make a proper Christmas dinner. This includes homemade cookies and other goodies. Throughout the night the Americans and Germans befriend each other, despite the fact that they will eventually have to return to the war. The next morning an American MP soldier comes and is surprised by what he sees. As he learns of what has happened he turns his rifle on the American soldiers and begins talking with the Germans. Realizing the officer is really a German soldier who has infiltrated the American lines, the Americans surrender and the three German soldiers get their weapons. The German infiltrator then orders the three other soldiers to execute the Americans. Just before he is about to shoot the mother, one of the German soldiers knocks him out, saving her. The soldiers depart, with the Americans taking the German infiltrator as a prisoner of war, and also one of the Germans, who is only fifteen - neither side wants him to die in a future battle. The Germans also return to their side. All say good bye and wish each other good luck for the rest of the war. In the present day, an elder Fritz (Michael Sinelnikoff) is visited by Private Jimmy Rassi's grandson, Christopher, with Fritz handing over Rassi's dogtags.
- Linda Hamilton as Elisabeth Vincken
- Matthew Harbour as Fritz Vincken
- Romano Orzari as Pvt. Jimmy Rassi
- Alain Goulem as Sgt. Ralph Blank
- Michael Elkin as Pvt. Herbie Ridgin
- Martin Neufeld as Lt. Hans Klosterman
- Mark Antony Krupa as Sgt. Marcus Mueller
- James McGowan as Capt. Dietrich
- Casian Bopp as Pvt. Peter Heinrich
Silent Night was nominated for four Gemini Awards in 2003:
- Best Direction in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series: Rodney Gibbons
- Best Original Music Score for a Program or Mini-Series: James Gelfand
- Best Photography in a Dramatic Program or Series: Eric Cayla
- Best Sound in a Dramatic Program: Scott Donald, Richard Betanzos, Véronique Gabillaud, David Gertsman, Michael Gurman, Paul Hubert
- This story was profiled on Unsolved Mysteries, in which Fritz Vincken was seeking the information on the soldiers. The episode resulted in Vincken being reunited with Ralph Blank. 1995.
- An interview with Fritz Vincken, as part of a World War II oral history project conducted by Hawaiian high school students. February 1997.
- The obituary of Fritz Vincken, from the Honolulu Advertiser. January 2002.