Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters and endeavor to build a village in order to protect themselves and about 1,000 Jewish non-combatants.
A Navy navigator is shot down over enemy territory and is ruthlessly pursued by a secret police enforcer and the opposing troops. Meanwhile his commanding officer goes against orders in an attempt to rescue him.
In World War II, the fall of Stalingrad will mean the collapse of the whole country. The Germans and Russians are fighting over every block, leaving only ruins behind. The Russian sniper Vassili Zaitsev stalks the Germans, taking them out one by one, thus hurting the morale of the German troops. The political officer Danilov leads him on, publishing his efforts to give his countrymen some hope. But Vassili eventually start to feel that he can not live up to the expectations on him. He and Danilov fall in love with the same girl, Tanya, a female soldier. From Germany comes the master sniper König to put an end to the extraordinary skilled Russian sniper. Written by
Most of the characters in the film are based on real people. Nikita Khrushchev was indeed a political commissar in the Red Army who popularized and promoted sniper Zaitsev. See more »
In several of the scenes Jude Law's character is shown pulling hard on the trigger (or the rifle moves before the sound of the shot), this would have made shooting very inaccurate. People who shoot squeeze gentle on the trigger when firing, to minimize the movement of the hand and arm. See more »
[whispering to boy aiming rifle]
I am a stone. I do not move. Very slowly, I put snow in my mouth. Then he won't see my breath. I take my time. I let him come closer. I have only one bullet. I aim at his eye. Very gently, my finger presses on the trigger. I do not tremble. I have no fear. I'm a big boy now. Ready Vassili? Now, Vassili, fire!
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This film has about as much relationship to the actual history of the Battle of Stalingrad as the "Sound of Music" has to the real von Trapp family. About the only accurate portrayal is that yes, there really was a Vasilii Zaitsev who really was one of the hero snipers of Stalingrad.
Of all the errors the one I find most egregious is the complete omission of one of the true heroes of Stalingrad: Vasilii Ivanovich Chuikov, the general who took command of Stalingrad in Sept 1942. The man who declared "We will hold the city or die here; there is no land beyond the Volga!" Gen. Chuikov, whose tactics and use of "storm groups" and snipers held the desperately beleaguered city through not only house to house battles but floor to floor in the same building. To omit Chuikov from a film on Stalingrad is like omitting Patton from a film on the Allied advance across France.
This is not simply Hollywood license; this is a distortion of history. It speaks to the contempt that the film's producers hold for the American viewing public that they had to use Khruschev because his name might be recognized rather than present historical fact.
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