When Trumpets Fade (1998)

TV Movie  |  R  |   |  Action, Drama, War  |  27 June 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 4,802 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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1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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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
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Did You Know?


Frank Whaley had previously played a Vietnam soldier in Born on the Fourth of July (1989). See more »


The Dragons teeth of the Siegfried line are not shown as they really were (and in numerous places still are today). 1) In the movie the line is build with four rows of teeth. In reality the line is build with five rows. 2) The teeth are in reality not made in one size as shown in the movie, but in 3 different sizes, where the first and last rows contain the biggest pillars, the middle three are middle sized, and woven in the last row you can find the smallest. 3) The rows are not placed exactly behind each other. If you would see them from above, you would see an angle in the middle. 4) The rows of pillars are also not build in one line. If you would look over a row from the side, you would see a zigzag of pillars. 5) The pillars in the movie are too close too each other. In reality, the area between two pillars is so big, you can park a car between them (as is done by the author of this comment on numerous occasions). 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.
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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

A note on criticisms
19 January 2005 | by (London) – See all my reviews

Surprised to find criticism here. This is a film for grown ups. Its about infantrymen, you know, the bulk of the troops in contact with the enemy. Watching other films you might be tempted to think that only Paratroopers and Rangers did any fighting, being made up of highly motivated men with a higher purpose on heroic missions. I note criticism that the cynical nonconformist type should not appear until Vietnam films. I would suggest that a very high proportion of those in combat in WWII also didn't want to be there - my father landed on Sword beach on D-Day and certainly would rather have been somewhere else. We can still respect their sacrifice even though they only wanted to survive, because we are grown up. We don't need a film packed full of sentimentality, directors manipulation and musical cues telling us what emotions to feel... and as to complaining about the plot, how do you defend the absolutely contrived plot of that other film I haven't named (but you can guess which one I mean). See this film. Rant over.

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