An American patrol has to cross behind enemy lines by skis in order to blow up an important railroad bridge. The task is made harder by conflicts between the platoon's veteran sergeant and ... See full summary »
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Lee Van Cleef,
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An American patrol has to cross behind enemy lines by skis in order to blow up an important railroad bridge. The task is made harder by conflicts between the platoon's veteran sergeant and its inexperienced lieutenant and by constant attacks by pursuing German troops. Written by
Roger Corman had his actors positioned for a ski run down a mountain of virgin snow. When he called for action on his bullhorn, however, the sound waves started an avalanche. No one was hurt, but Corman was frustrated by this unplanned event. There was only one thing he could do. Corman raised the bullhorn to his mouth and ordered his crew to "Stop that snow!" See more »
Another moment when the low rating for a film at IMDb doesn't make sense.
A tight, taut, tough-minded little war movie, this is Corman on a low budget at his absolute best. Most of Cormans problems in his early years derived from a lack of knowing where to cut scenes and move on, and a fatal dependence on the performances of inadequate actors. The editing here is very crisp - even the use of documentary footage is handled well, although its grain admittedly never meshes with that of the film as a whole. And while the acting remains unexceptional, it never becomes excessive in an amateurish way, and it fits with the overall gritty realism of the picture.
Corman benefits here from a surprisingly strong story and script that leaves its thematic issues open to interpretation. The issues receive temporary resolution by the end the hard way - through combat, as is most often the case in a war.
I'm not saying this is a forgotten masterpiece, but it is certainly worth a view, and at 63 minutes hardly threatens to tax one's patience.
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