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Among the numerous low-brow WWII adventures to emerge from Europe around this time, the film under review also proved one of Jack Palance's not infrequent across-the-water excursions; typically, the film comes with several titles the misleading Spanish original translates to ZERO HOUR: OPERATION ROMMEL (even if the Field Marshall does figure prominently in the narrative, his role in the failed July plot to assassinate the Fuehrer and his eventual suicide, thus bringing to mind the similar but inferior UCCIDETE ROMMEL from the same year), the Italian one (its co-producing country) to the generic THE CRY OF GIANTS and, for English-speaking consumption, it ended up with the imitative moniker given above! Anyway, the movie presents a typical 'impossible mission' scenario with the lock-jawed star as the cynical leader of a specialized outfit parachuted behind enemy lines; the group even includes a German officer(!) and, when they purposefully crash the plane, are also joined by the pilot. What is unusual but also rather silly in the long run, given its pointlessness is that each member of the squad has a specific function to perform which, however, is known only to himself so that each of them is constantly, albeit unnecessarily, looking over one another's back!; for obvious reasons, the former Nazi is especially suspected in this regard, even more so when his instructions dictate for him to return to the fold (to further complicate matters, he meets his sweetheart played by Rosanna Yanni just then, and she takes him for a traitor to their cause of fighting the Hitler dictatorship)! Eventually, it turns out that Palance and his men were intended to divert enemy attention from a strategic point to another location so that the German forces are deployed to this other section of the battle zone, thus facilitating the Allies' entry; the military-minded Colonel in command initially objects to the move given their opposition only involves five men but another officer embroiled with the Nazi hierarchy imposes his will, once the ruse is discovered, to his ultimate chagrin. The combination of expected ingredients plenty of action (where the expertise at baseball of one of them comes in handy when throwing hand-grenades during the final enemy onslaught!) and hard-boiled dialogue (most amusingly, when Palance complains about the terrible quality of the cigarette he is smoking while a bullet is being removed from his arm sans anaesthetic) and novelty aspects (the obstacles, eventually surmounted, to camaraderie already mentioned and the suspense inherent in the jigsaw-puzzle structure) make it a mildly enjoyable offering as these things go.
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