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 »
New York publisher Dex Dellum sends his fiancée and star photographer Katy Mazur to Swaziland to shoot the taita falcon. There she meets 'highman' (altitude stuntman) Grant Orion, who ... See full summary »
Four Brits tunnel out of a German POW camp. One is killed, two are recaptured and one escapes. Scottish Corporal Nicholas McBride, the lone escapee is a slacker and reluctant soldier, but ... See full summary »
Set during World War 2. After the Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, Russia attacked Finland in November 1939. Finnish reservists leave their homes and go to war. The film ... See full summary »
A Rabbi in the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland in 1942 fights to maintain his stance of peace and acceptance of his fellow man despite the growing turmoil and atrocities created by the Nazis. ... See full summary »
Joan Micklin Silver
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
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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Due to the fact that the two films came out close together, it is tempting to compare When Trumpets Fade to Saving Private Ryan. This would be a mistake. Unlike Private Ryan, Trumpets is not an epic set to a background of a crucial point in history, like D-Day, nor are the central characters members of an elite unit who are given a "heroic" assignment. Instead, the main character, Manning (Eldard), starts off as a private reluctant to risk his life, but who finds himself promoted and burdened with increasing responsibilities he does not want as his unit suffers horrendous attrition attempting to fight its way into Germany in late 1944. Manning's dilemma both contrasts and parallels that of his company commander, Captain Pritchett (Donovan), who has to balance achieving the objectives he has been assigned and keeping as many of his men alive as he can, and succeeding at neither. The greatest contrast with Private Ryan, however, comes in the form of the replacement troops, all green recruits with no combat experience - a far cry from Captain Miller's seasoned Rangers. Rounding it off is Dwight Yoakam as the nameless battalion commander who is unapologetic about driving his men to the slaughter, but whose face betrays the fact that, as with Captain Pritchett, their deaths weigh heavily upon him. When Trumpets Fade successfully showcases combat at its most gruesome and frustrating as Captain Pritchett's company batters itself to pieces against its target with nothing to show for the effort and bravery of the men except an ever-increasing pile of American corpses. But we get two good looks at the face of a German squad leader, portrayed by Frank-Michael Köbe, and in it we can see the despondency of a man who knows that he is fighting only to postpone the inevitable defeat of his country. A gritty, realistic, and depressing, but nonetheless excellent film.
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