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 <email@example.com>
Peter Falk in his 2006 auto-biography 'Just One Thing: Stories of My Life' states that he didn't like the script for this movie which he thought was hackneyed and full of cliché. Falk wanted to leave the film for these reasons. However, producer Dino De Laurentiis encouraged Falk to stay by giving him film poster name-above-the-title credit as well as choice of writer for his dialogue. Falk stayed on the picture and apparently actually wrote his own dialogue. See more »
Two different figures are given for the casualties suffered by the Rangers during the ambush - 776 and 767 (+ 7 survivors). See more »
[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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The music in this film is the tip off that something weird is afoot. I mean the cheery 1960s American sitcom style orchestrals. But there's also the singing scene in the back of the truck with Peter Falk. What the ... ? This is a weird war movie. Anyone know 'Kings Go Forth' with Sinatra and Martin? 'Anzio' is the 60s version. Or rather, 'Anzio' is one of the last war movies before filmmakers (in this case, Dino de Laurentiis) clued into Stanley Kubrick. (Better than Kubrick? See William Wyler's 'Thunderbolt'.)
With all this said, the history is right. The Americans could have entered Rome without problem. Their fear of casualties stopped them, leading to worse. The film clearly shows this.
Lastly, I have been to Anzio and walked through the American war cemetery at Nettuno. I smoked a cigarette over the gravestone of one guy - as I usually do in such places - and thanked them all for my right to be there to do it. God knows what they'd think of people today watching such silly war movies.
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