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36 Hours (1965)

James Garner , Eva Marie Saint , George Seaton  |  PG |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)

List Price: $19.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: James Garner, Eva Marie Saint, Rod Taylor, Werner Peters, John Banner
  • Directors: George Seaton
  • Writers: George Seaton, Carl K. Hittleman, Luis H. Vance, Roald Dahl
  • Producers: Gordon Cornell Layne, William Perlberg
  • Format: Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Black & White
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 5, 2007
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NTPG5C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,213 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "36 Hours" on IMDb

Special Features

  • James Garner war movies trailer gallery

Editorial Reviews

WWII films of the '60s were often half caper-movie, with ornate and muscular missions behind enemy lines dreamed up by the likes of Alistair MacLean. The caper in 36 Hours (1965)--which was dreamed up by Roald Dahl--reverses the dynamics. A U.S. diplomatic courier (James Garner) with knowledge of the plans for D-Day is kidnapped, drugged, and taken to a sanatorium surrounded by forest. He wakes up in the presence of solicitous doctors and staff who seem to be fellow Americans and ever so happy to have him back after all those years in a coma. War's long over, of course; we won--and isn't it a good thing the Allies scrapped that first, wacky invasion plan they almost used? The plan maybe he still remembers?... 36 Hours is an intriguing thriller up to a point--and the moment when Garner catches on to the trick is a grabber--but George Seaton's direction is pedestrian and the production has a soundstage-y look. Rod Taylor takes acting honors as the sympathetic German psychiatrist in charge of the plot, under the suspicious eyes of SS man Werner Peters. --Richard T. Jameson

Product Description

Top-notch espionage tale with James Garner as an American agent carrying confidential war plans who is abducted by Nazis shortly before the D-Day invasion. After being drugged, Garner is convinced the war has ended and is urged to reveal secrets of the Allied invasion by psychiatrist Rod Taylor. With Eva Marie Saint and Alan Napier. 115 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English, French; theatrical trailers. NOTE: This Title Is Out Of Print; Limit One Per Customer.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Psychological Espionage Thriller August 17, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
James Garner is excellent in this WWII thriller about Major Pike, a man who is drugged and kidnapped on a mission in Lisbon, which was a hub of intrigue during the war years. He is taken to an "American hospital" in Germany, where they tell him he has amnesia, and has been hospitalized for years, in hopes of getting information on where and when the Allied invasion will take place. With some hair dye and eye drops that blur his vision, and a newspaper that is dated "May 15, 1950", Maj. Pike is disoriented, and believes the elaborate hoax, but has an uneasy feeling that all is not as it seems.

The people who pretend to be "helping him" are Eva Marie Saint as his nurse, Anna, who has a numbered tattoo from Auschwitz, and will do anything not to be sent back there, and Rod Taylor as Major Gerber, the psychiatrist. Werner Peters is the evil SS Agent Schack, whose only interest is in his own promotion. The main thrust of the plot is how Maj. Pike is to survive, and how he can keep the Nazis in the dark about D-Day. There are a few twists to the story, which for the most part holds water, though there is a slight discrepancy that to me is now obvious, but I have seen this film countless times, and do not think I noticed it until the 3rd viewing.

The taut script is based on Roald Dahl's "Beware of the Dog", and the direction by George Seaton is nicely paced with many tense moments. Dimitri Tiomkin composed the soundtrack, and the black & white cinematography by Philip Lathrop was shot on location in Portugal, Germany and Yosemite National Park. Total running time is 115 minutes.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally Available as a DVD October 8, 2006
Format:VHS Tape
In the category of War Films, this one is more of a thriller. James Garner stars as a kidnapped American officer who, while recovering in a military hospital, is led to believe that he is suffering from amnesia. The key to his recovery is to recall the details of the Allied invasion France. The twist is that Nazi's actually have him captive and have set up an elaborate charade to convince Garner that the war has been over for years in hopes of discovering the Normandy invasion plans.

Rod Taylor plays the part of a German doctor masquarading as an American doctor attempting to coax memories from Garner. Taylor's character is very sympathetic to Garner's plight and half heartedly attempts to draw the information from him. Although Taylor's character is that of a German playing the part of an American, it is difficult to see him as anything but an American. This is even more suprising as Taylor was Australian.

Eva Marie Saint plays Garner's attending nurse who is torn between assisting Garner and keeping herself out of a concentration camp.

Werner Peters reprises his oft-played role as a Nazi officer. You have seen him play virtually the same role in THE COUNTERFEIT TRAITOR, THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE, and THE SECRET WAR OF HARRY FRIGG. In 36 HOURS he is bent on rushing the carefully scipted amnesia scenario and cracking Garner in order to discover the D-Day invasion plans. In doing so he shows his true colors as a self serving and glory seeking individual. He explains this to the German doctor when he blatantly admits that any failure will be blamed on the doctor whereas success will lauded on Peters.

Actor John Banner also makes a pre-Hogan's Heroes appearance in this film.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Please note: The two stars above do not indicate my verdict on the film itself, but rather the odd transfer to DVD provided by the folks at Warner Home Video. For most of the running time this DVD looks just fine, with a good grey scale, fine contrast and a sharp image. Thankfully, white speckles are also quite absent, which is certainly not always the case when it comes to transfers of classic product from Warner.

But in almost all of the darker scenes throughout the film, the focus goes way off, especially damaging in the right half of the screen. And when it comes to the final escape sequence with Garner and Saint, this irritating double contour softness continues for half a reel or so, effectively ruining much of the suspense.

If this problem is a defect that exists on all surviving materials in the film vaults, then Warner should have had the decency to warn potential consumers with at least a sticker on the cover. But my guess is that this blurry jinx could have been corrected with some proper quality attention before the discs were made and distributed. If Warner have the guts and will, they ought to recall this DVD pronto before its domestic street date on June 5, and make a hopefully new transfer available as soon as possible.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars WW2 Psychological Thriller! March 2, 2007
This movies stars James Garner as a WW2 military officer with a knowlwdge of top secret plans. The story unfolds as he awakes in a hospital and is being treated for physical injuries and amnesia. Or is he..??? Just what type of hospital is he in and who is in charge.......the Allies or the Germans...???? Tensions rise as Garner slowly suspects the truth and plays a game of wits with the enemy. Good acting all around. Not an Academy Award winner but not a bomb either. A good addition to a WW2 film library.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars good
Can't go wrong with a James Garner movie, he is a great actor and he is so darn good looking.
Published 1 month ago by p.j.bower
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 hours
James Garner and Eve Marie Saint did a great job as did the actor who pretended to be an american to get information about
D-Day from James Gardner. Great movie!
Published 1 month ago by Mary B.
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this movie
This is a very interesting movie about deception and intelligence. There are several cliff hangers in the movie. You need to watch it to understand my review
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Love James Garner in this
Actually, I pretty much love James Garner in anything! But this story is fascinating and takes you on a ride you weren't expecting. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Lydia
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking good story. Great performances by all cast.
Great story and acting. Rod Taylor, James Garner on-screen chemistry is excellent. Eva Marie-Saint, her beauty toned down in this movie, gives a fine performance.
Published 3 months ago by Rich Murray
I choose this rating cause it was the right choice nice product , Yes I would recommend this to all my friends THE SERVICE WAS GOOD THANKS AGAIN
Published 3 months ago by show
5.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs Up
Great movie and James Garner is Great as always. Outstanding movie and plot. Loved the cat and mouse game they played.
Published 3 months ago by Dave Iceman
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 hours
Great acting and even thou we know the outcome, it is still a great movie. It's not in color but that enhances the suspense. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Bwhami
3.0 out of 5 stars 36 hours
Great movie but I was disappointed it was not a DVD but a downoad. My own fault for not reading the fine print.
Published 7 months ago by Patrick Carver
5.0 out of 5 stars Close but no cigar - at least for the 3rd Reich
I saw this movie as a teenager, loved it, but was sure I'd never be able to find it again. Imagine my joy to find it at Amazon. Read more
Published 7 months ago by lameduck
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