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Cross of Iron (1977)

 -  Action | Drama | War  -  8 March 1977 (UK)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 18,037 users  
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In 1943, in the Russian front, the decorated leader Rolf Steiner is promoted to Sergeant after another successful mission. Meanwhile the upper-class and arrogant Prussian Captain Hauptmann ... See full summary »

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Title: Cross of Iron (1977)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Unteroffizier Feldwebel (S / Sgt.) Rolf Steiner
...
Hauptmann (Capt.) Stransky
...
Oberst (Col.) Brandt
...
Hauptmann (Capt.) Kiesel
Klaus Löwitsch ...
Vadim Glowna ...
Gefreiter (Pvt.) Kern
Roger Fritz ...
Leutnant (Lt.) Triebig
Dieter Schidor ...
Anselm
Burkhard Driest ...
Schütze Maag
Fred Stillkrauth ...
Michael Nowka ...
Dietz
Véronique Vendell ...
Marga (as Veronique Vendell)
Arthur Brauss ...
Zoll
...
Eva
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Storyline

In 1943, in the Russian front, the decorated leader Rolf Steiner is promoted to Sergeant after another successful mission. Meanwhile the upper-class and arrogant Prussian Captain Hauptmann Stransky is assigned as the new commander of his squad. After a bloody battle of Steiner's squad against the Russian troops led by the brave Lieutenant Meyer that dies in the combat, the coward Stransky claims that he led his squad against the Russian and requests to be awarded with the Iron of Cross to satisfy his personal ambition together with his aristocratic family. Stransky gives the names of Steiner and of the homosexual Lieutenant Triebig as witnesses of his accomplishment, but Steiner, who has problems with the chain of command in the army and with the arrogance of Stransky, refuses to participate in the fraud. When Colonel Brandt gives the order to leave the position in the front, Stransky does not retransmit the order to Steiner's squad, and they are left alone surrounded by the enemy and... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Men on the front lines of Hell. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

8 March 1977 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Croix de fer  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(archive footage)| (archive footage)| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The lyrics to the famous 'Kinderlied' which is played over the montage at the beginning of the movie are, in German: Hänschen klein Geht allein In die weite Welt hinein. Stock und Hut Steht im gut, Ist gar wohlgemut. [first verse] Which, translated, means: Little John He has gone Out to see the world alone Staff and hat, Look at that, He's one happy cat. But his mommy cries a lot Now she has no Johnny got. "Fortune find, But you mind, Come back to your kind." Seven years, Joy and tears, John in many lands appears. Then he thought That he ought To go home and got - But now he's no Johnny small, No, he is now big John tall. Tall and tanned, Face and hand. Will they know this man? One, two, three Pass and see, Don't know who this man might be. Even Sis: "Who is this?" Knows not who he is. Then along comes mother dear, Barely sees his eyes so clear, Says: "My son, Welcome home, God bless you my son." [all verses] See more »

Goofs

In an already described scene, where Russian soldiers are singing Yugoslav song "Oy Kozaro", there are some more mistakes. The Russian soldiers are all wearing regular Yugoslav People's Army uniforms from the mid '70s, the trucks are model TAM (made in Slovenia for YU army between 1960-75), the registration plates on the trucks are regular registration plates of YU Army. See more »

Quotes

Captain Kiesel: They're rolling up both flanks, it's chaos.
Colonel Brandt: That need no longer concern you. You are to report at once to general headquarters. You're being evacuated.
Captain Kiesel: I can't leave the command, sir.
Colonel Brandt: While I am still in a condition to issue orders those orders will be obeyed.
Captain Kiesel: I'm prepared to disobey that order, sir.
Colonel Brandt: You've been around Steiner too long. Come, listen to me for a moment... For many of us Germans the exterminator is long overdue, but I have decided that you are worth saving.
Captain Kiesel: But I'm part of all ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the End Credits in the North American BETA/VHS & DVD versions of the movie "Cross of Iron"(1977), there is the following quote: "Don't rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world stood up and stopped the bastard, The bitch that bore him is in heat again." Bertolt Brecht See more »

Connections

Referenced in I Spit on Your Grave (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Hänschen klein
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

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User Reviews

 
If you like (anti-)war movies like All Quiet on the Western Front than this is a movie you shouldn't miss
2 March 2005 | by (Tessenderlo, Belgium) – See all my reviews

I have to admit that I had some reserves about this movie before watching it. Although my mother told me this is one of her favorite war movies ever (yes I know, it may sound a bit strange, but we have the same taste for war movies), I also saw a rather bad score on IMDb (about 6.6 at the time). Well, now that I've seen it, I can only say that this movie will be in my top 5 of war movies. This movie shows war the way it actually is: dirty, deadly, tragic,... and with plenty of losers, but no winners. In this movie you won't find any glorification of fake patriotism or dying for a good cause that only politicians in their ivory towers seem to know. No, this movie shows the war in its purest and most horrifying form.

It brings us the story of Rolf Steiner, a veteran hardened by the war, who leads his men through every battle and dangerous situation, but who also takes care that they will survive the madness. Than a Prussian officer, who volunteered to leave the quiet, battle-free world of France for the real action in Russia, joins his fighting group. The man thinks of only one thing: to get an iron cross as fast as possible, so his family can be proud and shouldn't see him as a disgrace to their military tradition. This leads to a lot of problems between the two of course and gradually the tension cumulates until it explodes...

I don't know if the story is based on true facts, but the movie certainly gives a good idea of what the war at the Eastern Front was like, especially after the Germans had suffered a major loss in Stalingrad. They had to retread, but had to take care that they didn't get overwhelmed by the Soviet troops when doing so; a lot of the man had lost faith in victory; no prisoners were taken, but were shot at the spot; optimism had made place for cynicism ... It all feels very real and believable.

And the feeling of realism can also be found in the way of filming. Some might say Peckinpah experimented too much with slow-motion, hand-held camera's,... but personally I believe it only gives an extra dimension to this movie, giving it that extra touch that makes it different from so many mediocre Hollywood productions. I really liked the way he followed the action closely, making you feel like you are part of it yourself, but what really sparked my interest was the contrast between the child's voice singing a "happy" song and the images of the horrors of the war at the beginning and the end of the movie. That really made shivers go down my spine.

If I thought about anti-war movies, I always used to name the World War I classic "All Quiet on the Western Front" (the 1930 version as well as the remake from 1979), but from now on I'll have to add one extra movie: Cross of Iron. If you are a fan of realistic (anti-)war movies, than this is a movie you shouldn't miss. I give it a 9/10.


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