Seventy-five years ago today, Fred Zinnemann’s The Search was released in theaters. It’s the story of a young Auschwitz survivor and his mothe,r who search for each other across post-World War II Europe.
Starring burgeoning star Montgomery Clift, child actor Ivan Jandl, and character actors Aline MacMahon and Jarmila Novotná, Zinnemann shot many scenes in The Search amidst the actual ruins of the postwar German cities Ingolstadt, Munich, Nuremberg, and Würzburg. Clift, already a household name after Red River, earned his first of four Oscar nominations. Jandl’s performance, meanwhile, was recognized with a special juvenile Academy Award. However, the communist government of Czechoslovakia would not permit Jandl to travel to the United States to collect the Oscar, as well as a Golden Globe award that he had won. (Zinnemann accepted the Oscar on Jandl’s behalf, and the awards were delivered to Jandl in Prague.)
The Search is sweet but not saccharine, powerful but not preachy. Go see it!