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.
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.
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
Major Konig, played by Ed Harris,can be seen wearing gloves with the index finger and thumb on its right hand removed. This was quite common for snipers in cold conditions as it helped prevent frostbite in the hand, while allowing them to make delicate changes to their weapon and ensuring a smooth trigger squeeze. See more »
Every pistol shown in the film seems to be correct, being either Tokarev TT-33's or 1895 Nagant revolvers, except for one. During the initial "human wave" charge, after the Soviet conscripts turn to retreat back to their lines and are cut down by friendly fire, there is one camera shot which shows two NKVD officers firing semiautomatic pistols. The nearest one is only partially visible, but appears to be a Makarov PM, rather than a Tokarev TT-33. The Makarov pistol was not designed until just after the war. 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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A fascinating film about the strategy of two great snipers
In "Enemy at the Gates," the future of the greatest battle of World War II, would be decided between a young Russian sniper and an aristocratic sharpshooter from Germany sent to kill him Jude Law and Ed Harris sit for hours waiting for the right moment It was a duel set in the siege of Stalingrad Stalingrad was one of the biggest and bloodiest battles of World War II, and in the midst of this huge battle, these two soldiers were hunting each other down
The film opens with the harrowing transport of thousand of Russian soldiers across the Volga River to Stalingrad The recruits were packed onto steamers, barges, whatever they could find to ferry them across the river All that under a deluge of shells, bombs and explosions
By the time Vassili arrives to Stalingrad, the Nazis have a distinct edge, and Soviet morale is at an all-time low
Leading the Russians in their seemingly futile defense is Nikita Kruschev, played by Bob Hoskins The Germans, at that time, were overrunning the place and the Russians were in an appalling state It was the most awful battle of the war
Joseph Fiennes plays Danilov, an idealistic Russian officer who passionately speaks about his belief in getting the troops to turn the grave situation in Stalingrad around He finds the perfect inspiration in Vassili
Rachel Weisz plays a young woman who volunteers to help in the war effort She's literally protecting the people she grew up with When she meets Vassili, he just has a natural intelligence, a natural instinct
Jude Law is remarkable as the young sharpshooter Vassili Zaitsev who conveyed both humanity and intensity There's such a fierce intelligence and liveliness in his eyes He can also be very quiet and internal Vassili found the complexity within the silence and stillness In fact to be a sniper is very much about a man of action through stillness Vassili represented the ultimate hero, the symbol of someone who could instill hope and belief in victory amongst the troops, because his skills as a sniper were unparalleled
Ed Harris played Major Konig, the German sharpshooter sent to hunt down Vassili He knows that Vassili was picking off German officers with some regularity, and was becoming a folk hero for the Russian soldiers as well as the Russian populace... He decided to eliminate him
The casting of Ed Harris opposite Jude Law resulted in a striking visual link between their characters They both have these unbelievably penetrating blue eyes And director Jean-Jacques Annaud began to see the duel through their eyes And one of the first shots of Ed Harris was a close-up of his blue eyes
Annaud painted the tensions very clearly and concentrated purely on the eyes of the Jude Law and Harris and, of course, on their rifles and how they were hidden and what they were doing Basically, the core of his camera is the duel of their eyes, duel of men, duel of snipers, therefore a confrontation of people that scan the surrounding buildings, and try to decipher what they see
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