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

R  |   |  Action, Drama, War  |  8 March 1977 (UK)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 18,957 users  
Reviews: 148 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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(screenplay) (as Julius Epstein) , (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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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
Edit

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:

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

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

Colonel Brandt: What will we do when we have lost the war?
Captain Kiesel: Prepare for the next one.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References The Last House on the Left (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh, Du wunderschöner Westerwald
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

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User Reviews

Astounding!
2 December 2002 | by (Todmorden, England) – See all my reviews

Cross of Iron is probably the second best film made by Sam Peckinpah, rivalled only by The Wild Bunch. It is a war film shich follows a unit of German soldiers as they escape from the front line as the Russians smash through their ranks. This was perhaps the most devastating line to be fighting on during World War Two, and as expected there is a lot of death and gore, not to mention filth, sweat and treachery.

James Coburn plays a German soldier with an almost God-like air of invincibility about him. He is not a comic book creation, but a hardened soldier who terrifies everybody, including his commanding officers. Max Schell plays a commanding officer who wants an Iron Cross, despite the fact that he a coward, and will go to the most treacherous lengths to get it.

This is an upsetting and unflinching film. It pre-dates Saving Private Ryan by two decades, yet is just as detailed and frightening, just as bloody, and maybe even better.

Anyone yet to see Cross of Iron must do so as soon as possible. It is one of the great war films, and an unforgettably chilling experience.


49 of 62 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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