Action, Drama, War
UK, West Germany
Julius J. Epstein, Walter Kelley
James Coburn, Maximilian Schell, James Mason, David Warner, Klaus Löwitsch, Vadim Glowna, Roger Fritz, Dieter Schidor, Burkhard Driest, Fred Stillkrauth, Michael Nowka, Véronique Vendell, Arthur Brauss, Senta Berger
In 1943, in the Russian front, the decorated leader Rolf Steiner is promoted to Sergeant after another successful mission. Meanwhile the upper-class and arrogant Prussian Captain Hauptmann Stransky is assigned as the new commander of his squad. After a bloody battle of Steiner's squad against the Russian troops led by the brave Lieutenant Meyer that dies in the combat, the coward Stransky claims that he led his squad against the Russian and requests to be awarded with the Iron of Cross to satisfy his personal ambition together with his aristocratic family. Stransky gives the names of Steiner and of the homosexual Lieutenant Triebig as witnesses of his accomplishment, but Steiner, who has problems with the chain of command in the army and with the arrogance of Stransky, refuses to participate in the fraud. When Colonel Brandt gives the order to leave the position in the front, Stransky does not retransmit the order to Steiner's squad, and they are left alone surrounded by the enemy and having to fight to survive. ------- A squad of German soldiers fighting on the Eastern Front during WWII led by a battle-hardened sergeant fight to survive Soviet attacks and dogmatic commanders in a chaotic and lethal environment in this sympathetic portrayal of another side of the war not commonly portrayed in Hollywood film. ------- The film opens with a squad of seasoned German soldiers, led by a disillusioned but skilled sergeant, on a patrol on the Russian front in WWII. They return to base to find a new commander, a traditional Prussian officer who wants only one thing from his command - An Iron Cross to maintain his family honor. The scene is set for a graphic portrayal of the horrors of war and of the conflict between two men of differing backgrounds.
127 minutes (at 25 frames per second)
XviD - resolution: 608x336