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Eva Marie Saint,
Can a war veteran survive when there is no war? Hardly so. And it is all the more difficult when there are two war heroes! Posted on each side of the Czech-West German border, US colonel Jack Knowles and his Soviet counterpart Colonel Valachev, have been champing at the bit since Gorbachev launched his Glasnost policy. Fortunately for them, a serious border incident (the killing of a defector) will allow them to resume war. A private war first, but a war that will involve a serious troop confrontation. Bad for Gorbachev, good for the two sworn enemies who had been craving for action... Written by
German actor Jürgen Prochnow was cast as the Eastern European Soviet commander Colonel Valachev in this 1988-set cold war movie after having starred as the German U-boat commander Captain-Lieutenant Henrich Lehmann-Willenbrock in the successful Oscar nominated West German 1981 World War II movie Das Boot (1981) which had been made and first released about nine years earlier. See more »
John Frankenheimer is an amazing director who has never been given the credit that he deserves. The Manchurian Candidate, Birdman Of Alcatraz, Seven Days In May and Black Sunday are among the great films that he has directed. This film deserves to be listed with them as well because it is a brilliant parable of what happens when two heroes only trained to fight in war have to live in a peacetime situation. Roy Schieder gives an awesome performance as a war weary colonel who just can't function in a peacetime setting. That very great character actor Harry Dean Stanton has a great scene where he chews him out. I think that the most chilling part of the film however is the one where Stanton quotes Albert Einstein when he was asked what kinds of weapons would be used in World War III and he replied that he did not know but that the fourth war would be fought with stones.
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