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Partisans attacked the ship, with lots of people and the Jews held by the Germans. After the release and attack, there is yet another partisan attack on the convoy of Germans. Partisans few more times attacked Germans without warning, which will infuriate the Germans, and lead to tragic losses the partisans and the innocent population, to the punitive expeditions and major offensives on the partisans, which will lead to the total failure of the this partisan unit. Written by
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Opening credits prologue: This is the story of a group of Yugoslavs who called themselves "PARTIZANS". Simple men and women who joined together in occupied Europe, to challenge and hold back Hitler's Wermacht, the best equipped and most relentless military machine the world has ever known.
As with the Italians, the Yugoslav film industry made quite a few WWII movies, always detailing the struggles of the "Partisans". Like THE BATTLE OF NERETVA, this tells of a major German offensive to erradicate the enemy and their struggles against the invaders.
It's 1941, and the Partisans are on their own. Marko (Rod Taylor), fresh from an education in America, returns to his homeland and discovers how brutal the Nazis really are. Instead of returning to the States, he stays in Yugoslavia and organizes a resistance movement. On the other side, we have Captain Kohler (Adam West, of all people) who discovers that his childhood sweetheart, Anna (Brioni Farrell aka Xenia Gratsos) is among the Jews he's transporting to the POW camp. Marko's men attack the boat, and Anna helps Kohler escape. She's taken by the partisans, though, and soon finds herself in love with Marko. The rest of the movie involves partisan encounters with Kohler's troops, culminating at a huge river battle a few months later.
This movie boasts a pretty decent international cast. Rod Taylor is pretty good -- but way too old -- as the vengeful Marko. Adam West makes a pretty good adversary, although his German accent fluctuates and is just as bad as Brando's in THE YOUNG LIONS. Peter Carsten (BATTLE OF THE EAGLES) has a large role as a tough, ruthless German Panzer officer. Branko Plesa, also of BATTLE OF THE EAGLES, appears a few times as a German General. Bata Zivojinovic plays Marko's old friend, who leads the partisans but really has little meat to his character. Brioni Farrell is great and beautiful, too.
The combat scenes are all very well done. They involve tanks (more modern, though, but any tank is a good tank), era-accurate fighter planes, extras and a lot of big explosions. The cinematography is wonderful and gives the movie a very bleak look. The musical score often doesn't fit the movie, but I liked it anyway.
Overall, not too high above average, but one of the best Partisan films I've seen so far. Worth renting, even buying, for an entertaining 100 minutes. The video from White Knight looks incredibly good, just as good as any MGM release of an older movie, especially considering that it was released in the early 1980s. 6/10 overall.
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