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 »
It's May 1943 at a US Air Force base in England. The four officers and six enlisted men of the Memphis Belle - a B-17 bomber so nicknamed for the girlfriend of its stern and stoic captain, ... See full summary »
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
This film's final closing coda is a quote from Bertolt Brecht: It states: "Don't rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, The bitch that bore him is in heat again." See more »
The Russian tanks used in this movie are T34s with the 85 mm gun which were not in production at the time of the movie. T34s with the 76 mm gun would be the right choice, but there were not many left and quite a few countries still had T34/85s when the movie was made, so the wrong tank was used. See more »
A world without women. It's an old theory of mine. Men can get along without women easily. Easily. I tell you a man's true destiny is not just breeding children, all this childbirth and chocolate, but to be free. To rule and to fight. In other words: to lead a man's existence. Women are no more than a nuisance. Sometimes necessary.
See more »
Opening credits prologue: RUSSIA THE TAMAN PENINSULA-1943 THE RETREAT See more »
"Cross of Iron" was Sam Peckinpah's only war movie. It deals with a
company of German soldiers retreating through Russia at the close of
Hitler's ill-fated Russian campaign. Unusual for a war film,
the story is told from the German point of view.
Being a Peckinpah film there are explosions and blood-spurting bodies
a-plenty. The rough terrain and cramped quarters that the soldiers have
to deal with lend well to the declining German fortunes in Russia. As
in his other films, notably "The Wild Bunch", Peckinpah utilizes his
now famous slow-motion technique to illustrate the violence and show
the effects of the destruction.
James Coburn stars as the battle wise Sgt. Steiner who has survived the
war thus far by his wits. Maximillian Schell plays his aristocratic
Captain whose main goal is the pursuit of the Iron Cross, Germany's
highest decoration and who will go to any lengths to get it. James
Mason is the Company commander and David Warner is his adjutant.
Coburn is excellent in the lead who continues to do his duty in spite
of the inevitability of impending defeat. Schell is suitably ambitious
and cunning as the chief villain and Mason and Warner convey the
hopelessness of the situation while maintaining stiff upper lips.
"Cross of Iron", in it's uncut version (132 minutes) ranks as one of
the greatest of all WWII films in my opinion. One of Peckinpah's best.
47 of 55 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?