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The Cross of Iron (1977)
"Cross of Iron" (original title)

 -  Action | Drama | War  -  8 March 1977 (UK)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 18,157 users  
Reviews: 145 user | 48 critic

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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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:

The Power of Peckinpah Has Never Been So Real...Or So Brilliant! 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:

The Cross of Iron  »

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Although dozens of rifles, submachine guns, and machine guns are fired during the movie, in only one instance are spent cartridge cases shown to be ejecting during firing (this occurs near the end of the film, as Sgt Steiner is firing a captured Russian submachine gun at Lieutenant Treibig). See more »

Quotes

Captain Stransky: I will show you how a true Prussian officer fights.
Sargeant Steiner: Then I will show you, where the Iron Crosses grow.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: RUSSIA THE TAMAN PENINSULA-1943 THE RETREAT See more »

Connections

Featured in The Greatest Ever War Films (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Im Feldquartier
(uncredited)
(German Military March)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Gritty Realistic WWII Drama
23 October 2001 | by (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

"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.


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