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Hornets' Nest (1970) Poster

(1970)

Trivia

Sylva Koscina replaced Sophia Loren after she withdrew from the movie.
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Sylva Koscina said of this movie, "It shows how war destroys mentally as well as physically. We are all destroyed . . . myself, Rock [Rock Hudson] and the children."
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The film is based on a true World War II incident that occurred when the German army was making its last stand in Italy.
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Many critics savaged this film upon its release because of what they deemed the uncomfortable example of children killing and being killed in a military operation.
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Apparently this was the first film in which Rock Hudson sported the mustache that would become his trademark throughout the 1970s.
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A whistling theme vocalized by children in the film also features as a track on Ennio Morricone's musical score for the movie.
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A novelization of this movie was written by Michael Avallone.
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During World War II Sylva Koscina was a child in Yugoslavia and noted that she became very emotionally involved in this film because she saw so much death and destruction caused by the war there.
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Rock Hudson is the only American in the cast. Other characters who are supposed to be Americans are actually played by Italian or Yugoslavian actors.
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This movie's title is taken from the expression "Hornet's Nest" meaning a violent or gravely contentious situation. In the film's case, this is relates to the the dangerous and difficult mission to blow up a dam protected by the Nazis. The expression is derived from the habitation for wasps or hornets, something which if disturbed can become a situation that presents itself with difficulty to the disturber.
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The name of the dam to be destroyed is Della Norte, which means "Dam of the North". The film is set, and was filmed, in northern Italy.
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The credited director in English-language prints is Phil Karlson, but Italian prints list Karlson and Franco Cirino as co-directors. Cirino was a second-unit director who worked with American directors on films made in Italy and the Mediterranean. He also occasionally worked as an actor in them.
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A year before this film was made, Sylva Koscina had appeared in another World War II movie, The Battle of Neretva (1969), aka "The Battle of Neretva", which was filmed in her home country of Yugoslavia.
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One of two World War II movies both released in 1970 that were based on a story by S.S. Schweitzer. The other was Hell Boats (1970).
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