The Big Lift

The Big Lift

George Seaton (1950)

PG Certificate


Our Score
The talented and tragic Montgomery Clift only completed 17 features, but each movie is of supreme interest. That's because Clift was the forerunner of today's naturalistic school of screen acting, predating Brando's film debut by a good couple of years. The Big Lift is one of five films Clift made with a German or militarist theme - a propaganda piece celebrating the airlift into postwar Berlin. It benefits from location shooting in Frankfurt and Berlin, with a supporting cast recruited from the military stationed there. Paul Douglas plays the blustering mouthpiece for American policy, and Cornell Borchers charmingly smooches with Clift in a dance club. By the way, watch Clift try to upstage Douglas in their scenes together. Douglas soon stopped Clift's Actors' Studio tricks by sharply treading on his foot.


Two American air force sergeants become involved in flying supplies to the people of Berlin in the aftermath of the Second World War, in an attempt to break Soviet forces' efforts to gain complete control of the city. One has his hatred of Germans challenged by the experience, while the other falls for a war widow. Drama, starring Montgomery Clift and Paul Douglas.

Cast & Crew

Sgt Danny MacCullough Montgomery Clift
MSgt Hank Kowalski Paul Douglas
Frederica Burkhardt Cornell Borchers
Gerda Bruni Lobel
Stieber OE Hasse
Himself Dante V Morel
Himself John R Mason
Himself Gail R Plush
Director George Seaton
see more

Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteAvailable on: DVD