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The Search

(1948 b 105')

En: 7 Ed: 8

A Czech mother and son are separated in a concentration camp, and after the war they search for each other in Berlin with help from Americans.

Homeless children arrive in Berlin on a train after the war. Mrs. Murray (Aline MacMahon) takes them to the UNRRA facility where they are fed and given beds. Interviews attempt to learn who their parents are, but one boy does not remember his name.

Karel Malik (Ivan Jandl) grew up in a musical Czech family, and at a concentration camp he was separated from his mother Hannah Malik (Jarmila Novotna).

Mrs. Murray has children trucked to a special camp, but they are afraid in the ambulances and try to escape. Karel runs away with another boy, who drowns in a river while Karel hides. Hannah Malik has been searching for her son for seven months. An English officer tells her they have him, but it is a German using his name.

Steve (Montgomery Clift) sees Karel in the ruins and gives him food. Steve chases Karel, grabs him, and takes him home. Steve and Jerry Fisher (Wendell Corey) see the number on Karel's arm. Steve opens the door to show him that he is free to come and go.

Mrs. Murray encourages Hannah, who describes Karel's cap. Mrs. Murray finds the cap and says the boy drowned. Hannah walks by the river. Steve types a letter with Karel's number to a tracing bureau. Steve tries to get Karel to say no and yes and calls him Jim.

Hannah at a park watches the children, and Mrs. Murray offers her a job. Steve teaches English to Karel. Steve shows a letter to Jerry saying that the boy should be turned over to UNRRA because his mother is probably dead. Steve wants to take him to America, but Jerry says he can't. Steve decides to stay longer and try.

Jerry's wife and son Tom arrive, and Karel talks with Tom. Steve gives Karel shoes. At dinner Steve says he has to leave in three days and can't get permission to take Karel. The boy asks Steve to help him find his mother. Karel sneaks out and runs off at night.

In the morning Karel comes to a fence and sees women going to work. Steve and Jerry drive around in the jeep and find Karel on a hill. Steve walks back with Karel, who cries. Karel wants to look for his mother, but Steve says that she is dead.

Mrs. Murray and Hannah say goodbye to Jewish children who are going to Palestine. Hannah tells Mrs. Murray that she is leaving to look for her son. Steve takes Karel to Mrs. Murray, and she realizes that Karel was there before. Karel says he ran away with another boy. At the train station Hannah looks at children arriving. Mrs. Murray goes to the station and finds that Hannah did not go. Hannah comes back and leads the new children. Mrs. Murray and Steve send Karel to join them. Hannah sees Karel, calls his name, and he goes to her.

This moving drama depicts the children made orphans by the holocaust and the efforts made to rehabilitate them after their harrowing experiences in concentration camps.

Copyright © 2006 by Sanderson Beck

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