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Anzio (1968)

Lo sbarco di Anzio (original title)
PG-13 | | Drama, History, War | 24 July 1968 (USA)
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One of WWIIs bloodiest battles as the Allies smash through the German lines which have enclosed the Anzio beachhead. Four months and 30,000 casualties before the Allies finally march to Rome.

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(screenplay) (as Harry Craig), (book) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Dick Ennis (war correspondent, International Press)
...
Cpl. Jack Rabinoff
...
General Carson
...
Platoon Sgt. Abe Stimmler
...
Wally Richardson
...
Maj. Gen. Jack Lesley
...
Pvt. Movie
Joseph Walsh ...
Doyle
...
Pvt. Andy
...
Pvt. Cellini
...
Gen. Marsh
Patrick Magee ...
Gen. Starkey
...
Maj. Gen. Luke Howard
Tonio Selwart ...
Gen. Van MacKensen
Elsa Albani ...
Emilia
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Storyline

Allied forces land at Anzio unopposed but instead of moving straight inland their commanding officer decides to dig in. A battle-hardened war correspondent borrows a jeep and drives to Rome and back without meeting any German forces, but his report on this absence of the enemy is discounted. By the time it is finally decided to make a move the Germans have arrived in strength and a prolonged and bloody fight ensues. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Is this the film where a dog rescues a soldier from a barbed wire mesh? See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for war violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

24 July 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Anzio  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Rapido River was the site of a major assault by the US 36th Infantry (Texas) Division. The attack was repulsed by the Germans with many casualties (143 killed, 663 wounded and 875 missing). Although the 36th Texas Infantry division suffered heavy casualties in the Rapido River crossing, they were reinforced and became a fighting division that was used in the Southern France invasion a couple of days before D-day in Normady. 36th fought with distinction through the Rhone Valley, Black Forest, Alsace Valley and entered southern Germany with many battle honors. Elements of the 442 RCT or Nisei Japanese-American Regiment (The most decorated US Army unit in Europe) were attached to the 36th Infantry Division in Italy, Southern France, and Germany. Elements of the 36th Texas Infantry Division caught the vice-Furher Herman Goring of the Luftwaffe in Bavaria. The 36th infantry Dvision was to be shipped to the Pacific Theater, but the atomic bomb was dropped. See more »

Goofs

Maj Gen Lesley is seen on the deck of the transport putting on a parka on top of his greatcoat. Shortly afterwards, he is on the bridge and the parka has disappeared. See more »

Quotes

Dick Ennis: [talking on the radio intercom] Hello beachhead. this is Dick Ennis.I'm somewhere in the Alban Hills with the survivors. Sorry to take you away from the gaming table general, but I thought you should know you lost a couple pins off your chart. 1st and 2nd Rangers battalions have been wiped out. Did you read that? Of 767 men, there are 7 survivors left to see the result of one more royal foul-up. but this one's unique. This didn't happen because a general was too reckless. But because a general ...
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Connections

Referenced in Robert Mitchum: The Reluctant Star (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

This World Is Yours
Sung by Jack Jones
Lyrics by Doc Pomus
Edizioni Musicali "Dino"
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Stranded Whale
3 February 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

When Winston Churchill was asked to appraise the Anzio operation he said that instead of hurling a wildcat on the beach and flanking the Germans the 36,000 allied troops at Anzio were nothing more than a stranded whale.

Of course the whole Anzio landing was Churchill's own idea, but to give him some credit it was an attempt to try and break the logjam of the Italian offensive. The Allies had landed back in 1943 at Salerno and Churchill's 'soft underbelly of Europe' proved to be armor plated. Progress was measured in yards. It wasn't like the trench warfare of the first World War, but it was enormous American, British, Canadian and other assorted allies casualties.

Anzio Beach was selected for a landing up the Italian coast near Rome to both outflank the Germans and maybe take Rome. It worked, but the American commander John P. Lucas moved too cautiously having remembered the 21 Day pitched battle at Salerno in those first landings in Italy. Field Marshal Kesselring was able to bring down reinforcements from the north and contain the Allies on that beach. There in fact they stayed until they linked up with the main offensive months later, just before the American Fifth Army liberated Rome officially on June 5, 1944.

The story of the military failure of Anzio is told with fictional names as Robert Ryan, Arthur Kennedy, and Arthur Franz play Mark Clark, John Lucas, and Lucian Truscott respectively. Truscott is the guy who relieved Lucas and kept the Allies from being driven off the beach, although to be fair to Lucas his priority was a secure beachhead and he certainly succeeded.

The other story of the film Anzio is that of Ernie Pyle like war correspondent Robert Mitchum who drives all the way to an unguarded Rome and then gets caught with a bunch of American GIs and one Canadian in trying to get back to Anzio beach.

Earl Holliman, Reni Santoni, and Peter Falk play some of the soldiers with Mitchum and they do well. This is definitely not a war for glory for them, they're just trying to survive out there. Falk particularly is riveting in playing an American who was wounded and invalided out of the American army from the Pacific Theater who then moved to Canada to join their army. Why you would ask, because he's grown to like it and has a real jones for combat.

Anzio unfortunately doesn't concentrate on either story long enough to tell it in the best possible way. It had potential to be a great film, but falls short. In addition Jack Jones's singing of the theme song is jarringly out of place.

What I would like is someday for someone to tell the story of the original landings in Italy at Salerno, Messina, and Brindisi. That would make a great motion picture if done right.

When you watch Anzio you are sad for the colossal waste of human life it was, especially since the objective wasn't obtained. And a great story needs better telling.


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