The Search (1948) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Search1948

The Search (1948)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Search Photos

Movie Info

Although Montgomery Clift shot this film following Red River (1948), it was released six months earlier and the combined success of both immediately made him a star. The film, which was the first to be made in Europe after WWII with an American director and cast, was partially based on Europe's Children, a book of photographs by Therese Bonney documenting the orphans of the war. Shot in the American occupied zone of Germany, much of the film, the product of years of research, was based on actual incidents. It opens at the UN Relief and Rehabilitation Administration camp at which war orphans, who have been found wandering through bombed-out ruins, are given temporary housing. The severely traumatized children, many of whom are survivors of concentration camps whose parents are dead, find normal communication almost impossible. Karel Malik (Ivan Jandl), a young Czech boy, is one of these. His mother, Hanna (Jarmilia Novotna), lost contact with him when they were in Auschwitz and she now travels from one refugee camp to another in search of her son. While being transported in an ambulance, some of the children, including Karel, break out and scatter. American G.I. Ralph Stevenson Clift finds him wandering aimlessly, takes him back to his base to feed him, and begins to teach him English. ~ Michael Costello, Rovi

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Jarmila Novotna
as Mrs. Malik
Montgomery Clift
as Ralph Stevenson
Ivan Jandi
as Karel Malik
Aline MacMahon
as Mrs. Murray
Wendell Corey
as Jerry Fisher
Mary Patton
as Mrs. Fisher
Will Rogers Jr.
as Tom Fisher
Edward G. Robinson
as Mr. Crookes
William Rogers
as Tom Fisher
Leopold Markowski
as Joel Makowsky
Claude Gambler
as Raoul Dubois
Claude Gambier
as Raoul Dubois
Ewart G. Morrison
as Mr. Crookes
Leopold Borkowski
as Joel Makowsky
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Critic Reviews for The Search

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (2)

Although there's a slight suspicion that (as in Rossellini's work from this period) the plight of children is being used as a sort of emotional shorthand, the integrity and moving effect of this piece is never really in doubt.

February 9, 2006 | Full Review…

The Search, in our estimation, is a major revelation in our times.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

A moving wartime drama about orphaned children that's directed in a simple semi-documentary style.

May 13, 2008 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Zinnemann and Clift received Oscar nominations and Jandl won a special juvenile Oscar for his haunting portrayal of the tragic child.

November 1, 2007 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Both a well-modulated immersion in the experience of stunned and stranded children and a time-capsule of the scarred land and crumbled cityscapes of Germany after the war.

October 18, 2007 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Featuring the striking debut of Montgomery Clift, The Search, a quasi-documentary story of a sympathetic American soldier who rescues a Czech boy-refugee in post WWII Germany, also established Fred Zinnemann's reputation as a an A director.

April 11, 2007 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Search


It holds a strong impact due to its devastating subject matter, with also a beautiful score and Montgomery Clift in a wonderful Oscar-nominated performance, but it starts to become more like a melodrama after its excellent first hour and the dialogue more and more artificial.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Great looking film in war torn Germany. It's about a holocaust surviving kid who's wondering around Berlin alone and befriends a G.I.(Monty). Monty takes him in teaches him English,how to drive,etc... It's Keith's wet dream.

cody franklin
cody franklin

Super Reviewer

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