How Field Marshal Erwin Rommel became implicated in the July 20, 1944 officers' plot against Hitler. A morality tale highlighting the dilemma of the modern soldier forced to choose between obeying orders and following his conscience.
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In November 1944 Hitler moves Rommel and his Army Group B to Normandy.The task is the defense of the French coast against the long-anticipated Allied invasion.In Normandy,Rommel notices the incomplete state of the defensive fortifications,the slow pace of constructing the Atlantic Wall and the lack of preparedness of the defending units mostly comprised of poorly-trained conscripts.Appaled by this Rommel urges his troops to hasten the pace of the Atlantic Wall construction and he begs the German High Command to place more veteran battle-hardened divisions under his command.He especially wishes to have panzer divisions and SS divisions at his disposal for a powerful counter-attack against Allied landings.Hitler refuses to release the vital panzer divisions to Rommel's command and to make matters worse Rommel gets wind of a possible assassination plot against Hitler. Written by
While a lot of German generals are presented in this movie, Von Rundstedt usually did not wear the general's collar insignia, but the regular officer's double bar with a white background from the parade uniform. These were signs of his rank as honorary colonel of his old regiment. It is as peculiar as Montgomery with his two badges on his beret. The white double bar can be seen on the movie A Bridge Too Far (1977),with Wolfgang Preiss as Von Rundstedt. See more »
This movie has the German stamp of quality: Good acting, good attention to details (uniforms, military equipment), great scenery and great sense of authenticity. If you are interested in history, this movie will take you in the atmosphere of those days. And it will do that so good that you'll have the impression that you see the actual events taking place. However, it lacks the story. Yes, the events did take place as they were presented, but the subject had tremendous potential: Hitler was a crazy and was obviously leading the entire country to disaster. Edwin Rommel could have been representative to all generals around the world who were torn apart between the sworn allegiance to their country and the resistance to the lunatic currently in charge. This could have been the symbol movie for all other military in similar cases: The STASI police, who let the Berlin wall fall although in other occasions they shot everyone who fled into West Berlin. The Romanian generals who refused to shot their own population, although they were ordered to do so by Ceausescu. And all other crazy dictators like Antonio Salazar, Rafael Trujillo, Mohamad Gadaffi, Saddam Hussein, Mobutu Sese Seko, François Duvalier or Kim Jong Il, they all had honest generals in their army serving their countries. Maybe not many, but some of them had problems with their conscience in one way or another and they were forced to make difficult decisions.
Same with Rommel here. Yes, he betrays the Fuhrer, but Hitler is not Germany. Yes, he could be killed if he fails. He will probably be killed too if they're on the losing side of the war. But this maniac would rather give cyanide pills to all Germany than to surrender. What's the right thing to do? To whom does a military sworn allegiance to? To the leader or to the people? Instead of exploiting all this drama, the director of this movie chose to make this film a documentary.
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