6.1/10
1,521
22 user 7 critic

The Misfit Brigade (1987)

War story of the 27th Panzers, Hitler's heavy-duty combat regiment composed of prisoners. In 1943, this motley tank crew is sent on a suicide mission behind enemy lines to destroy a Soviet train that's carrying fuel for the Red Army.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Cpl. Joseph Porta
...
The Legionnaire
...
Capt. Erich von Barring
...
Tiny
...
Old Man
...
The General
...
Branislav 'Bane' Vidakovic ...
Cpl. Hugo Stege (as Branko Vidak)
...
Sven Hassel
Boris Komnenic ...
Bauer
Andreja Maricic ...
Müller
Klaus Pagh ...
Reinhardt
Anton Sosic ...
Freckles
Svetislav 'Bule' Goncic ...
Sgt. Siegfried (as Svetislav Goncic)
Gordana Bjelica ...
Russian officer
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Storyline

In 1943, the Nazi Germany is suffering heavy losses at the Eastern Front and an order for all-out retreat is eventually issued. The 27th Penal Panzer Regiment, consisting solely of people convicted of various real or political crimes ranging from incest to dissidence, has just returned from Stalingrad where German forces were decimated by the Soviets after a year-long bloody fight. They are a motley tank crew that consists of Sergeant Willie Beier (aka Old Man), a family man who fears for the safety of his wife and child if he disobeys the Nazis, Corporal Joseph Porta, the team's fixer and a self-proclaimed communist who always tries to keep his spirits up whether through gambling, drinking or simple tomfoolery, Corporal Hugo Stege, Porta's "partner in crime", young Sven Hassel, a character based on real Sven Hassel, the writer of the novel that the movie was based on, Wolfgang Creutzfeldt (aka Tiny), a dimwitted and often violent giant of a man and Bauer, a silent but friendly ...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tank | army | train | red army | german | See All (56) »

Taglines:

This group of last round draft picks ... wouldn't take orders ... didn't dress in uniform ... couldn't win a battle ! But they were the biggest bunch of lunatics ever to roll into war !

Genres:

Action | Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

22 February 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Wheels of Terror  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie is based on the book Wheels of Terror, written by Danish writer Sven Hassel and first published in 1959. This is Sven Hassel's second book, and takes more of a fictional slant over his first one. See more »

Goofs

Towards the end of the film, the German general (Oliver Reed) orders "Get some flak up." No German would say this. Although to the western allies "Flak" meant aerial shrapnel, to the Germans it meant the gun that fired the shrapnel. It is an acronym of FLiegeAbwehrKanone, which simply means anti-aircraft gun. See more »

Quotes

Col. Von Weisshagen: I will send you ALL to the Eastern Front!
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User Reviews

 
The Dirty Dozen goes bratwurst!
12 July 1999 | by (Copenhagen, Denmark) – See all my reviews

Well it isn´t quite Saving Private Ryan, but that is no surprise I guess. However, the fact that I watched Spielbergs masterpiece, only a few weeks before I layed my eyes on this rather unknown WW2 movie, have contributed greatly to my sense of what you have the right to expect. So bear that in mind when you read the rest of this gibberish.

"Wheels of Terror" or "The Misfit Brigade"(The most suitable title if you ask me) is based on the books by Sven Hazel about a group of "criminal elements" in a german penal regiment. The books are entertaining and highly recommendable, so I had high hopes for this movie. It kicks of in 1943 with "our" platoon returning from the battle of Stalingrad, in a tank that is as post-war as the media you are reading this through. Well I can´t avoid mentioning just a few more flaws:

The russians speak russian as they should, however the germans speak english.

Try to picture this: You are a german commander. You have two tank destroyers in a good hulldown position. In your binoculars you see some T34´s approaching your position. What seems to be the right thing to do?

A. Wait until the T34´s are within, a you can´t miss kindda range, and then destroy ´em.

B. Order your tank destroyers to move forward, in an attempt to outmanoeuver the extremely fast and turreted T34´s.

A few minutes into the battle a T34 crushes your command vehicle beneath its tracks. What is your initial reaction?

A. Disbelief.

B. Disbelief and a feeling that maybe you shouldn´t have driven your green american Jeep onto the battlefield anyhow.

Well now try to picture this: You are a general in the german army standing in a german camp in russia. Suddenly eight russian planes start strafing the area. What would you do?

A. Try to find some cover ASAP.

B. Walk over to a slow, unarmed recon-plane and complain that there is no pilot to get you the hell out of there.

If you feel deep in your heart that B,B and B are the right answers, then you will probaly regard this, as one of the most realistic war movies ever made.

Please don´t think that this is an all bad movie. The dialogue and portrayal of the soldiers in the platoon are caught spot on and stays true to the books. Especially the performance of Jay O. Sander as "Tiny", the big dum demolition "expert", is worth mentioning.

Watch this if you liked the books or are a big fan of war movies. 5/10


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