WW1movie with Jon Finch, Simon Ward, Peter Cushing, Maria Perschy
Towards the end of 1918, soldiers in the Austrian army were well aware that things were not going well. In this story, an army cadet arrives to serve in Belgrade and receives orders to serve in a regiment which is accompanying a Hanoverian princess on her return to Vienna. While in Belgrade, the young man and the princess are able to meet, and they fall in love. The cadet knows that it is foolish to expect the Slavs, who have been drafted into the army, to fight very hard for an empire they would happily see dissolved, but his superior officers are oblivious to this simple fact, and as a consequence, they suffer serious military reverses. Inspired by their ancient code of military honor, the regiment's officers fight and die to preserve the regiment's battle flag, which comes into the keeping of the cadet. He is entrusted with the task of returning it to the Hapsburg royal family. Directed by Ottokar Runze in 1977 with an international cast of foremost English and German actors. Rarely seen, because it got next to none theatrical release. I was lucky to catch it on VHS (a lot of rarely seen movies were out in Belgium and Holland in the 1980ties on tape). Will some company bring it ever out on DVD ? Well, its not inspired by any comic book hero nor any video game, so chances are slim... Nowadays, that seems to be the only credentials one needs to put an older movie (or a brand new one for that matter) on DVD... "Die Standarte" is a gem for fans of Peter Cushing, Jon Finch, Simon Ward, Maria Perschy, Wolfgang Preiss, Siegfried Rauch and many others, but nobody seems to care nowadays... As long as Batman, Spiderman, Fantastic Four, Hulk and other tripe is on the shelves in the local DVD-store, nobody seems to care what older day gems maybe can be found in the same store if one looks hard enough... Of course there is a small audience for almost forgotten movies (as well in Europe as in the USA) but it seems whatever audience there is, turns out even to be too small for any company to bring out some movies on DVD... What happened to the good old days when small companies brought out anything they could get copyrights off out on VHS ? On the one hand, nowadays, some obscure movies appear on DVD (even with extra's, behind-the-scenes-footage and so on)for no particular or evident reason and on the other hand other movies (maybe even obscure, but no more obscure then others) never get any release on DVD... Maybe its time for companies to think over their policy again, release a few blockbusters (so they can make a profit) and release a few obscure titles also (just to please a select audience) and keep everybody happy...
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