The horrors of war are examined from the view points of lifelong friends (Linus Roache, Vincent Perez), who end up on opposing sides in the war in Sarajevo. One is an expert marksman, who ... See full summary »
Set in 1944 France, an American Intelligence Squad locates a German Platoon wishing to surrender rather than die in Germany's final war offensive. The two groups of men, isolated from the ... See full summary »
In WWII Western Germany, Private David Manning reluctantly leaves behind a mortally wounded fellow soldier and searches for survivors from his platoon, only to learn from commanding officer Captain Pritchett that they have all been killed in action. Despite requesting a discharge on the grounds of mental disability, Manning is promoted to sergeant and assigned to lead a new platoon of young inductees. Written by
This film's closing epilogue states: "After nearly three months of heavy combat, the Allies took the Hurtgen Forest. More than 24,000 soldiers were killed and wounded in the battle. The Battle of the Bulge began only a few days later, leaving the campaign in the Hurtgen Forest largely forgotten today." See more »
There are several inaccuracies in the final combat sequence: 1) Lieutenant Manning takes his patrol out without informing his superiors - this could have resulted in him being charged with desertion in the face of the enemy; 2) medic Chamberlain is the bazooka man on this patrol. Real medics are unarmed except for perhaps a pistol, and they use these only in self defense; 3) the Browning Automatic Rifle and Thompson Submachine Gun used in these scenes emit weak popping sounds rather than the strong, solid sound of real ammunition. See more »
Narrator, news footage:
August 1944. The outcome of the Second World War appeared to be no longer in doubt. Paris was liberated. After four years of fighting, victory against the Germans seemed assured. Since the Normandy landings, American and Allied forces had battled their way across northern Europe, and pushed the German enemy to within its own homeland.
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A tense and unforgiving war epic that follows David Manning (Ron Eldard), an American soldier in World War II who tries to get a discharge for being mental unstable although his superior officer, Captain Roy Pritchett (Martin Donovan) who immediately promotes him to be the squad leader of a platoon where all the members are new and inexperienced.
The performances here are nothing short of excellent, the battle scenes are well-executed, and Thomas Burstyn's photography isn't only gloomy, it also hides some unexpected surprises from Germans to mines, that are hidden in the ground.
Director John Irvin, who is no stranger to making effective and intelligent war films ("Hamburger Hill", "The Dogs of War") and turning raw talent into top-notch, has made another classic here. What this film has in common with the previous movies is that one or some of the characters are cynical or determined to survive. However, it's a shame that this film was only made for cable instead of being given a fair chance to gain some attention at the box office.
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