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The film focuses on life in a World War II German penal battalion camp somewhere in Russia. The convicts include a heroic doctor unjustly convicted of avoiding military service, an officer who retreated against orders, and common criminals. It shows their life in the camp, clearing mines, living in trenches on the front line, etc.
This film has the quality of Hollywood films of the same era. There are melodramatic romance sub-plots (can the beautiful doctor's wife get her husband's conviction overturned?) (will the doctor fall in love with a lovely Russian "doctor's aide"?) and it depicts life in a penal battalion much too mildly.
There is an interesting scene of an attack by T-34 Russian tanks, but if you're looking for a realistic war movie that covers some of the same ground, see Joseph Vilsmaier's awesome "Stalingrad" from 1993.
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