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Time Limit (1957)

Richard Widmark , Richard Basehart , Karl Malden  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Widmark, Richard Basehart, Dolores Michaels, June Lockhart, Carl Benton Reid
  • Directors: Karl Malden
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: May 12, 2009
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001U6YIB0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,239 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

An Army colonel seeks the truth about a major accused of treason for when he was a POW in Korea.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Widmark's best. March 2, 2009
Through his company Heath Productions, this was Richard Widmarks first venture into film production. Directed by his 'real life' friend Karl Malden, Widmark's performance as Colonel Bill Edwards is everything one would expect from this talented actor.

The story is about a group of Korean POWs who were subjected to psychological torture and physical hardship in an effort to make them sign false statements that the USA was using biological warfare. After months of holding out, the senior officer suddenly capitulates and begins to try to indocrinate his men with Korean propaganda. One of the men dies mysteriously. On their repatriation to the USA, it is the job of Colonel Edwards to find out exactly what happened.

The film is set on a military base, Governor's Island,New York, though the introduction and later 'flash backs' take place at Camp Gee Gee in North Korea.

Edward's investigation includes two main characters, the senior officer Major Cargill (Richard Basehart) accused of treason, and Lieutenant Miller (Rip Torn) a main witness. There are many facets to this investigation and Widmark plays each with equal mastery. He uses gentle coaxing with witnesses at first, then when this fails and he is put under pressure from his C.O. to speed things up, he builds up the pressure to angrily try and get at the truth. There is a moving and tender scene when Edwards visits Cargill's wife (June Lockhart) to try and find out why her husband refuses to defend himself against the charge of treason.

The films serious tone during the investigations is relieved for filmgoers by scenes revealing the amicable and loyal relationships Edwards has with his team - right hand man Sgt Baker (Martin Balsam)and secretary Sgt Evans (Dolores Michaels).
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting artefact June 13, 2009
By Siriam
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A 1957 film based on whether a Korean POW should be tried for treason based on the evidence known to the US army investigator (Richard Widmark) the movie structure reveals strongly its theatre play origins but is fascinating for a number of reasons:

1. The take on what constitutes treason based on how POWs were treated by North Korea was given its time of release at the height of the Cold War a very bold story line.

2. While Richard Widmark's role proves acting the heavy and not the good guy would always be his forte the performances of Richard Basehart as the accused major and Martin Balsam as the closed minded adjutant to Widmark's Colonel prove that each were well capable of greater things though fate was ultimately kinder to Balsam in this regard in their respective careers.

3. The film is one of the two movies directed by the ever popular actor Karl Malden (Widmark as co-producer may have had a say in his choice) and one is left feeling sorry he did not take up the directors chair more often based on this first outing.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who is the hero and who the traitor? December 22, 2009
An army lawyer (Richard Widmark) is assigned the case of a major (Richard Baseheart) who refuses to defend himself against charges of collaborating with the enemy during his imprisonment in a North Korean POW camp despite a number of suspicious circumstances. The resolution will cast new light on what it means to be a hero or a traitor.

Although this film is a bit stagy due to its origin as a theater play, it succeeds by getting the fundamentals right: a fine cast, taut direction (by actor Karl Malden), and compelling drama. It's mature and nuanced view of patriotism is particularly interesting since this film was produced during the depths of the Cold War.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What is expected of POWs August 29, 2013
Richard Widmark and Richard Basehart put in great performances in this film about an Army major accused of being a collaborator while a prisoner 0f war in North Korea. The colonel in charge of investigating the incident cannot understand why the officer will not defend himself against the charges and finds out more than he cares to...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than you think July 24, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
An unusual look at the litte knon afects of being a prisoner of war. Presened at a time when these psychological effects were relatively unknown. Outstanding mvie about a difficult subject.
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By Teddy
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
This 1950s era B/W film will absolutely have you on the edge of your seat by the time it gets to the climax, which is riveting and unexpected. It does take a while to build up, however, which can be tedious at first. Produced by Richard Widmark and the only directorial effort of his good friend Karl Malden, the film is takes place on a U.S. military base and is centered on the Korean Conflict, but isn't actually a war film.

Widmark is absolutely superb in this film as the military attorney investigating the circumstances and reasons which led Basehart's character to become a traitor. Despite pressures from his superior, Widmark persists in getting to the truth of the matter with good reason as we learn at the end.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't look like the movie I actually purchased June 23, 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
I did not purchase this movie I purchased Time Limit a 1957 movie staring Richard Widmark and Richard Basehart. It was about the Korean war. This movie was awesome.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not very realistic April 10, 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Interesting but not very realistic. I believe the story is based on fact but the dramatization of it was not at all realistic. Some beautiful shots of what were perported to be Siberia and the Gobi desert.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great
Suspenseful, interesting, engaging
Published 10 days ago by Cheetah
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very moving story, makes you wonder what you would do in a similar situation.
Published 12 days ago by Gene
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great phylosphical discussion regarding dignity in time of trouble
Published 29 days ago by EITAN MEDINI
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisenly good
Rather a tour-d-force for Richard Baseheart as well as a good performance by Widmark. He is always good in these types of psychological roles.
Published 5 months ago by jeff haugan
2.0 out of 5 stars Fair War Drama
UPSIDE: this could have been a very good Korean War drama. It is based on a true story (United States v Fleming) of a US Army major who is accused of turning traitor to his... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Mike Crestwood
4.0 out of 5 stars POW investigation
Before the Manchurian Candidate was written, this movie, based on a play, documented some of the phsyical and psychological torture used against American POWs during the Korean... Read more
Published 18 months ago by likes good books, music, movies
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Thought-Provoking & Confrontive
The fact that this movie is thought-provoking for any viewer is readily seen by reading the various reviews on Netflix & Amazon. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Philos
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, but depressing, war movie
Because I'm a fan of Richard Widmark I watched this movie on TV last night. Because the subject is so depressing, I can't say that I enjoyed watching it, but the plot and acting... Read more
Published on March 15, 2012 by D. R. Schryer
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