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619 Ratings

A Time to Love and a Time To Die

Directed by Douglas Sirk
United States, 1958
Drama, Romance, War


Based on a novel by Erich Maria Remarque after the success of All Quiet on the Western Front‘s film adaptation, Sirk’s penultimate Hollywood picture follows a German soldier on furlough who finds fleeting love amid the rubble-strewn remains of his hometown. A haunting, existential romance.

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A Time to Love and a Time To Die Directed by Douglas Sirk

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1959 | Nominee: Best Sound

Golden Globes (USA)

1959 | Winner: Most Promising Newcomer - Male

1959 | Nominee: Best Film Promoting International Understanding

Critics reviews

The simplicity of image and more reflective mood Sirk could come to is also evident in A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1958), in which those strong, immediately striking moments are not absent but one is more likely to remember the beautifully and at times quietly played intimate love scenes between Ernst (John Gavin) and Elizabeth (Lilo Pulver).
April 09, 2018
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The florid beauty almost overwhelms the story, and that seems to be the point. Sirk insists that self-discovery and emotional fulfillment may be born in these hostile conditions, if only apprehended in fleeting moments, for we know that the inevitable full bloom of spring has a moribund irony in this film.
April 30, 2017
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This blackness is Douglas Sirk’s theme in A Time to Love and a Time to Die. I find the film remarkable because it gives me the feeling that Ernest and his Lisbeth, this couple with the smooth Premengerian faces, by closing their eyes with passionate simplicity in Berlin under the bombs, ultimately delve deeper into themselves than any other character in a film to date.
April 01, 1959

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