War has no victors, only survivors. Killing destroys the killers as well as the killed; because it murders decency, self-respect and ultimately life itself. The story follows in the footsteps of a squad of young American solders from the early days of the Battle of Britain, through the fierce fighting in Italy and France, to the uneasy peace of Berlin. Written by
Steve McQueen turned down the lead role because he didn't want to get typecast in war movies. See more »
"Psst! Feind hört mit" meaning "Shh! Enemy is listening" appears in a scene on a wall. Then it changes to incorrect "Psst! Feine hört mit". Then it changes to the correct first version again. See more »
I saw this movie forty one years ago and the feelings it engendered have never left me, even if the details are dim. Back in the post world war II era and before Viet Nam created vast dissent in the US, war was presented as the patriotic undertaking of young men. It's what a man did. No movie I had ever seen showed the human cost of war in this way. I was just a teenager raised on John Wayne movies at that time.
The next movie I saw which evoked such strong feelings was "The Pawnbroker".
Recently I tried to get both movies at a local video store for my daughter who is a film student and could not. Then I started asking around at other video stores and no one had it. I live in Chicago and everything should be available. This made me wonder why had I also never seen re-runs on TV or heard these movies discussed in film programs. I believe the answer is that both these movies create feelings that are impossible for most to cope with-they are after some thirty and forty years still too difficult. They both end in despairing desolation.
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