When I picked this film up I was looking for the flick whit the most tasteless covers. For my total surprise I found out that Die Grosse Treibjagd was actually a really good movie.
The film tells a story about two mercenaries Marco Anderson (Danton) and Steinman (Möhner), who have fought together for a long time and became friends during their travels. Eventually Marco is being hired by the owner of a small mine, who is being pressured to quite by his rival. Marco takes the job only to find out that his bosses rivals have hired his friend into their ranks.
I more than liked the slow pace of action that this movie presented. Even though there is shooting and fistfights in this movie (it's an action movie after all), the action has still been kept on minimum. There is one bigger conflict in the end of the film, but other than that there really isn't much of that fast paced action, what other movies are full of.
The story of the movie is also rather loyal to the mercenary theme. Both Marco and his friend are not being portrayed as an mindless killers, but as an rather humane antiheroes. The films two mercenaries also avoids unnecessary violence and only kill when they have to. In the end of the movie Steinman could easily kill Marco, but he don't do it because there's no reason for it. Marco has already won and there's no point to cause more harm when the battle is over. Their motivation is also purely the money, not an inner agenda. During the course of the story Marco does take some heat about the murder of an little girl, but it still don't make him forget his undermost motive for the task. There are way too many movies about hit mens and mercenaries, which eventually turn into a dull revenge story after a someone innocent is being killed. But luckily Die Grosse Treibjagd isn't one of those films.
What comes to the acting it was surprisingly good. I especially liked Dantons performance which was nicely stiff, but at the same time wasn't overly rock faced. The rest of the cast also makes a good job. The films theme is peaceful and it fits perfectly into the film.
Overall Die Grosse Treibjagd is a good film an it's a shame that it's not know more widely. An excellent gem to everybody, who likes the old 60's movies.
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