7.5/10
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159 user 53 critic

Cross of Iron (1977)

R | | Drama, War | 8 March 1977 (UK)
A German commander places a squad in extreme danger after its Sergeant refuses to lie for him.

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Writers:

(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
...
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, who dies in the combat, the coward Stransky claims that he led his squad against the Russian and requests to be awarded with the Iron Cross to satisfy his personal ambition together with that of 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 ... 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:

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:

Sargeant Steiner  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

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

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the only World War II film directed by Sam Peckinpah. 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

Kern: Do you believe in God, Sergeant?
Sargeant Steiner: I believe God is a sadist, but probably doesn't even know it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Followed by Breakthrough (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
reality Check
21 April 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Hey guys, all those of you who say "Saving Private Ryan was better". Of course it was (in some ways).

But it was also filmed 21 years later, in a modern GCI reality, with this film as one of the foundation stone on which it was built.

SPR used obvious cardboard tanks and Hollywood "stars". COI used real equipment and actors who could act, not just pose.

COI did the action shots with real effects, real explosions. SPR did a lot with digital technology. Of course it's a snappier, smoother visual experience, but it has 2 decades of heritage and technology to prop it up.

In my Opinion, COI is one of the 3 best war films of all time. Apocalypse Now had a huge budget in the modern era - COI had 5 yugoslav tanks, and comes a VERY close second. {Don't ask me to pick the third, right now. I have several options, but COI and An are head and shoulders above the rest.} Steiner is a performance of a lifetime for Coburn - should've been an Oscar, IMHO.

This is one of those films I watch several times a year, as a calibration for the other stuff, and for pure fun.

Buy it, watch it, and watch it again, and again...


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