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The Last Valley (1971)

People in a small German village in the last valley to remain untouched by the devastating Thirty Years' War try to exist in peace with a group of soldiers occupying the valley.

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Writers:

, (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
The Captain
...
...
Erica
...
Gruber
Per Oscarsson ...
Father Sebastian
...
Hoffman
Madeleine Hinde ...
Inge (as Madeline Hinde)
...
Pirelli
Miguel Alejandro ...
Julio
...
Andreas
...
Korski
...
Graf
...
Hansen
George Innes ...
Vornez
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ralph Arliss ...
Claus
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Storyline

People in a small German village in the last valley to remain untouched by the devastating Thirty Years' War try to exist in peace with a group of soldiers occupying the valley. Written by <psh@otto.bf.rmit.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From An Age of Conflict...A Film For The Ages See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

28 January 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

James Clavell's The Last Valley  »

Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Eastmancolor and Technicolor)| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Edward Underdown replaced Martin Miller as the gnarled peasant after the latter died at the start of principal photography. See more »

Goofs

The long shot of the die shows them close to each other, with the cup some distance away casting a small shadow; in the close shot, the die are separated and the shadow of the cup is longer and falls between the die. See more »

Quotes

The Captain: Don't talk to me of God. We killed God at Magdeburg.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Midnight Hard (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

Doom Patrol
16 July 2001 | by (fredericksburg va) – See all my reviews

This is a movie made during a time when writers, novelists, like Clavell and Crichton, were allowed to make their own films. What you have are literate, probing plots and stories, sometimes failed by low budgets or

lack of experience. With LAST VALLEY, there's an otherworldly quality to Clavell's work, steepled in strict historical fact; Clavell postulates a fantasy valley where humans live hidden from the brutality and horror of war; they are genetic angels, of a sort, but those in control are wise to the ways of a world ruled by knife. A band of soldiers, lacking a country or

home to call their home, caught in the hurricane of this war, stumble into a seeming Elysian Fields and begin to infect it with pragmatic survival and certain doom. The ways of human beings as a mass descend on the slight-populated community.

People criticize the film as dark, equating realism. Fact is, Clavell shows a contrast between the world Michael Caine, as the Captain, knows and is scarred by, and the hidden land in which beautiful women and children are protected, fed and safe. Caine's Captain has been a wanton butcher in the war, the murderer of women and children. Yet he only understands the quality of this paradise after he has nearly destroyed it.

The most telling sequences are those in which these men from outside the hidden land, knowing the damage they are causing to this one place where beautiful women can live unraped and men as equals, are forced to leave. The women in love with them wish to accompany them into the horror the men know. Caine, in particular, leaves his lover under a false sense of security, believing she will be safe. His heart-breaking understanding of this woman's loyalty to him, bred in her by a hidden land where love can be expressed devoid of force and tragedy, comes only in the end; his last touch with this lover is with a glove made of armor, outfitted for the killing he will do once he leaves the valley and rejoins the war.

There is probably the great performance of Caine's career up on screen in this film. Outside of GET CARTER, you'll never see Caine inhabit a role more fully. Even if the scope of the story gets away from Clavell at the end, and could have benefitted from the expanded format of SHOGUN say, this is a big-time view of a great actor in Caine and a literate script from Clavell that will, without doubt, remain fixed in the mind.


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