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When Trumpets Fade (1998)

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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

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

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

Taglines:

In the heat of battle not all soldiers can be heroes

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

27 June 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hurtgen  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD) | (video)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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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Connections

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

Soundtracks

Over There
Written by George M. Cohan
Performed by Elysian Singers
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User Reviews

 
Not a war epic, and all the better for it
3 October 2001 | by (King Co., WA, United States) – See all my reviews

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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