The destiny of three soldiers during World War II. The German officer Christian Diestl approves less and less of the war. Jewish-American Noah Ackerman deals with antisemitism at home and ... See full summary »
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The destiny of three soldiers during World War II. The German officer Christian Diestl approves less and less of the war. Jewish-American Noah Ackerman deals with antisemitism at home and in the army while entertainer Michael Whiteacre transforms from playboy to hero. Written by
The unit Ackerman and Whitearce serve in appears to be the 39th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division, judging by the sleeve patches and the location of the barracks. See more »
Early in the movie Marlon Brando's character is riding in some sort of staff car. The car is right hand drive; the Germans did not use right hand drive. See more »
[two Nazi officers, escaping on a motorcycle in the middle of the endless desert]
Don't fall asleep, damn you. Talk! Talk to me!
Lt. Christian Diestl:
Uh, I wish I was back in Austria! I wish I was back in the snow... in the winter... in the mountains...
Not like that! Talk about something else!
Lt. Christian Diestl:
Can I talk about what I did with your wife the last time I was in Berlin?
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The destiny of three soldiers during World War II. The German officer Christian Diestl approves less and less of the war. Jewish-American Noah Ackerman deals with antisemitism at home and in the army while entertainer Michael Whitacre transforms from playboy to hero.
There is not much to say about this film other than the following three things: One, it is a great war epic. War films can be told in shorter forms and longer forms, but I feel like this length (just under three hours) is a fair amount of time to develop characters and show how they have adapted to their changing surroundings (particularly Diestl and Whitacre).
Two, it is forgotten. At least, largely forgotten. I am sure film historians and critics know it well, but I have a strong knowledge of film history and criticism, and it is not one I had come across until now (2013). With all the other better-known war films out there i have to wonder how this got lost in the mix...
And three, although it was criticized for having a sympathetic Nazi, that should be where the film gets its most praise. Whether we like it or not, not everyone in Germany or who served in the German army was evil to the core. Most were regular citizens who were caught up in the situation. Had America tried to take over Canada or Mexico, they would have had just as many soldiers willingly going along for the ride -- the leaders and policies are to blame, and to show that these were questioned is this film's strongest statement.
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