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When Trumpets Fade (1998)

TV Movie  |  R  |   |  Action, Drama, War  |  27 June 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 4,744 users  
Reviews: 81 user | 8 critic

A private in the latter days of WWII on the German front struggles between his will to survive and what his superiors perceive as a battlefield instinct.



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Title: When Trumpets Fade (TV Movie 1998)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Medic Chamberlain
Sgt. Talbot
Lt. Colonel
Captain Pritchett
Lt. Lukas
Captain Zenek
Frank-Michael Köbe ...
German Sergeant (as Frank Köbe)
András Stohl ...
Wounded Soldier
Matthew Rutson Cooney ...
Driver Cpl. (as Matthew Ruston Cooney)


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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In the heat of battle not all soldiers can be heroes


Action | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic war carnage and strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 June 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hurtgen  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD) | (video)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The phrase "Nobody Dies" is a reference to the book and film "A Walk in the Sun (1945)", where "Nobody Dies" is the platoon motto. Both book and film deal with similar effects of war as "When Trumpets Fade". See more »


Many of the uniforms and field gear items worn by the American soldiers are not of the type worn by the U.S. Army during World War II. They are probably Hungarian military issue, since the movie was filmed in Hungary. See more »


[first lines]
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.
See more »


Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! (2005) See more »


White Christmas
Written by Irving Berlin
Performed by Bing Crosby
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User Reviews

for all you armchair generals
25 December 2004 | by (Canada BC) – See all my reviews

Men who are under fire don't fight for queen and country they fight for the guy standing beside them, their buddies and friends. When one realizes this and only when one realizes this. Can one truly understand the nature of war and this particular film. This statement is true wither it be drafted or volunteered troops. No one knows how he or she will act under fire until they are. Less than one percent of the population even knows what a bullet sounds like as it bees past your head thumps into a sand bag or thwacks into flesh, the sounds alone are horrifying. The replacements in this film acted exactly how new replacements do. Openly scared, unaware of the dangers of combat and filled with antiquated training from out of touch boot camps. (It hasn't changed even today) How can you call someone who runs away a coward unless you were there? If that's so, lets just call the entire American retreat from North Korea or the British retreat at Dunkirk all cowards. I think not!! This film was riveting in my opinion all the characters were believable and acted in a believable manner. Parts of the battlefield still exist today the dragons teeth are still in place in some areas and some of the bunkers are still intact. Every year or so human remains are still found in a farmer's field or in a excavation. A tribute to the battles ferocity .As for the leadership in the film it was in fact as exactly as it happened. The American military experimented for the first and last time with promoting untrained officers and NCOs and putting them in combat command and control positions. They realized their error when about 20 thousand or so troops were killed. The fight or flight reaction in one of the scenes was true to life and a totally believable reality. I enjoyed this film and think it stands high on the scale of true to life combat films. No one knows our real hero's in war. Only a select few of the survivors were recognized most died with no witnesses. They certainly didn't charge into the breech yelling God Save the Queen! Most were trying to stop someone from killing their friends or saving a wounded buddy. Just ask Smokey Smith. Who is he you ask? He is just a few clicks away, if you wish to know. Try a search engine and see a real hero not an athlete.

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