Sgt. Sullivan puts together a group of Italian-Americans into disguise as Italian soldiers in order to infiltrate a North African camp held by the Italians. After the soldiers have knifed ... See full summary »
Rugged trail boss and reformed criminal Pike promises his honest wealthy employer Morgan that he will venture across the dessert to deliver $86,000 dollars in payroll money to a ranch in ... See full summary »
Marshal Chris Adams turns down a friend's request to help stop the depredations of a gang of Mexican bandits. When his wife is killed by bank robbers and his friend is killed capturing the ... See full summary »
Lee Van Cleef,
Sgt. Sullivan puts together a group of Italian-Americans into disguise as Italian soldiers in order to infiltrate a North African camp held by the Italians. After the soldiers have knifed the Italians in their beds, they find a hooker living at the camp. Sullivan's commandos are to hold this camp and its weaponry until an American battalion arrives, all the while these Italian-Americans pretend to be Italian soldiers, often hosting the enemy. Lt. Valli is a young, "green," by-the-book officer who constantly argues with Sgt. Sullivan, who tells his superior that he has no idea what he is doing. One man on the base, probably a touch from Argento, is an entomologist who is needlessly killed. Things go terribly wrong after that. Written by
Scott Hutchins <email@example.com>
Hopefully, they were wearing their Italian badges of rank more properly than than as yanks. Captains bars are never worn centered on the epaulet of a dress uniform. Only a General's star is ever worn centered at this location. All others are worn out on the sewed-down part. If Italians were dropped behind American lines as a "captain" was wearing his that way, they would have been suspect immediately. See more »
Who would of thought that a low budget Italian/U.S. war drama with no big stars would be one of the best films of 1968? Certainly not me. I saw "Commandos" on the budget video shelf in a closeout store. The price was right ($.99) and it said "Letterboxed Edition" on it. So I figured, it's less than the price of a rental, so why not?
What surprised me is what an exciting and thoughtful film this was. In an era of glamourized war films (The syrupy "McConnell Story" and ludricous "Sands of Iwo Jima" come to mind), a gritty film like "Commandos" is a real pleasure indeed.
It stars Lee Van Cleef, who you may remember from "A Few Dollars More" and "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly." He was sort of the Harvey Keitel of that time, an actor who took risks and made unconventional films for the time. This is one of his very best performances. How many actors other than Lee Marvin would take such a risky role? He is heroic, but not by choice.
The plot is not really important. It's your standard search and decease mission film that's been used many times before and after. What makes "Commandos" special is its' focus on two things: mind boggling action sequences and characterizations.
I would like to make everyone aware that for a budget video copy, the video transfer is excellent. The colors are vibrant, the sound is exceptional and the full CinemaScope image (2.35:1)is very revealing in its' compositions. Front Row Entertainment has made this one in a series of films that include "Zulu", the two Chinese made Bruce Lee films "Fists of Fury" and "The Chinese Connection" and the Jackie Chan epic "Drunken Master" ("Legend of Drunken Master" is the sequel)that get the full letterbox treatment. Congratulations are in order and I hope I see more in the series.
"Commandos" is one of those films that either grab you or they don't. It grabbed me. It was not destined to receive any Oscar nods, but since when does Hollywood ever honor a truly deserving film. Look at this year's winner, "Gladiator". I rest my case.
**** out of 4 stars
10 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?