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A Midnight Clear (1992)

R | | Drama, War | 24 April 1992 (USA)
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This WW2 psychological drama plays out at Christmas. US GIs hold an isolated cabin in the Ardennes against a handful of Germans cut off from their main force. Combat-weary and short of rations, both sides are determined to survive.

Director:

Keith Gordon

Writers:

William Wharton (novel), Keith Gordon (screenplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Peter Berg ... Bud Miller
Kevin Dillon ... Cpl. Mel Avakian
Arye Gross ... Stan Shutzer
Ethan Hawke ... Sgt. Will Knott
Gary Sinise ... Vance 'Mother' Wilkins
Frank Whaley ... Paul 'Father' Mundy
John C. McGinley ... Major Griffin
Larry Joshua ... Lieutenant Ware
David Jensen David Jensen ... Sergeant Hunt
Curt Lowens ... Older German Soldier
Rachel Griffin Rachel Griffin ... Janice
Timothy S. Shoemaker Timothy S. Shoemaker ... Eddie (as Tim Shoemaker)
Kelly Gately Kelly Gately ... Young German Soldier
Bill Osborn Bill Osborn ... American Sentry
Andre Lamal ... German Soldier
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Storyline

Set in 1944 France, in the Ardennes forest region, an American Intelligence Squad locates a German platoon wishing to surrender rather than die in Germany's final war offensive. The two groups of men, isolated from the war at present, put aside their differences and share a Christmas celebration. The surrender plan includes a mock battle that turns bad when one of the soldiers is unaware of the surrender plan. Written by Anthony Hughes <husnock31@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, war violence and a scene of sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The mansion was actually a three-wall set, constructed in a remote area in the Utah hills. See more »

Quotes

Will Knott: I'm not exactly sure what country we're in. Could be Belgium, Luxembourg, France, or even Germany. I don't know what day it is. I have no watch, so I don't know what time it is. I'm not even sure of my name. The next thing you know, they'll be making me a general.
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Connections

Referenced in A Winter's War: Keith Gordon on 'A Midnight Clear' (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
Written by Edmund Hamilton Sears (uncredited) and music by Richard Storrs Willis (uncredited)
Sung by Sam Phillips
Arranged and Produced by T Bone Burnett and Sam Phillips
Sam Phillips appears courtesy of Virgin Records
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User Reviews

Why I couldn't let my father watch this
28 November 2000 | by bmcclainSee all my reviews

Once upon a time in northern France on late summer night in 1944, there was a sergeant in his mid-twenties, an armorer who normally fixed the big guns when they broke down or cleared hangfires from them. ("Lonely goddamn work, I'll have you know.")

When his turn in the rotation came up every few nights, he would man the forward-observer post duty for the artillery battalion in which he served. He and a private went forward with binoculars and a field telephone to call in fire missions if they saw anything moving. And that particular night they did: Like silent spectres out of the darkness came a handful of German infantryman who, even in the poor light and from hundreds of yards away, were staggering with exhaustion, hungry, dirty. A mess wagon came forward and set up to feed them what must have been their first hot meal in days or even weeks. Patton's advance had been pressing them eastward across France without letup.

"Sarge? Aren't you gonna call this in?"

"No. Not yet. Let's let those poor sons of bitches finish their chow first."

When the Germans had finally eaten their fill, a couple had lit cigarettes, and the mess wagon was turning around to leave, Dad finally called the battery plotter with the coordinates. He made the German soldiers and the mess wagon disappear in a rain of 155-mm howitzer shells.

At the time the movie finally made it to cable, Dad had only a few months to live. When I saw this movie, I couldn't get that story of his out of my head. Knowing how bitter and disgusted he felt about the war -- "I was a political prisoner of Franklin Delano Roosevelt" was how he put it -- I realized that this movie was too powerful for him to see.

I realize this is more a personal anecdote than a remark about the movie per se, but it says something about the tone and impact of Gordon and Wharton's story that I was finally able to understand, just a little bit, why I saw Dad sitting alone at the breakfast table in the middle of the night, chain-smoking in the darkness, for all those decades. And the horrific glimpse this film gave me sobers me to this day.

In memoriam: Amzi R. McClain (1920-1999), T/Sgt, Batt A 721st FA Btn 66th Inf Div 1943-1945


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 April 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Section 44 See more »

Filming Locations:

Utah, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$46,938, 26 April 1992

Gross USA:

$1,526,697

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,526,697
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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