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Yugoslav partisans grimly crop the hair of a village quintet of women believed to have consorted with the occupational Nazis. Four, for various reasons, have indeed - and their seducer is a lone, swaggering sergeant whom the partisans briskly emasculate. Escorted out of town by the sheepish Nazis, the forlorn ladies link up, patriotically and romantically, with a band of tough mountain guerrillas. Written by
Martin Ritt's 5 Branded Women is a fine study of what certain kinds of ladies suffered during wartime
Just watched this World War II drama directed by Martin Ritt on Netflix streaming. The title characters are played by Silvana Mangano, Jeanne Moreau, Carla Gravina, Barbara Bel Geddes, and Vera Miles. They've all been involved with the Nazi soldier played by Steve Forrest though one of them had only kissed him. As a result, they all got their hair shorn by the men who think they're the lowest of the low for sleeping with the enemy. But they start redeeming themselves when they shoot many Nazi soldiers in an attempted raid of a sheep ranch. I'll stop there and just say this was quite a compelling movie that addressed the complexities of the way men and women acted during wartime that got them certain punishments they wouldn't have otherwise during a time of peace. And the performances of the above are all greatly done especially that of Ms. Mangano as well as that of Van Heflin who plays the reluctant commanding officer who accepts these women into his unit. Among the other male supporting cast, Harry Guardino and Richard Basehart also deserve kudos for their performances. Really, all I'll say now is I highly recommend 5 Branded Women.
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