45 user 15 critic

Anzio (1968)

Lo sbarco di Anzio (original title)
PG-13 | | Drama, History, War | 24 July 1968 (USA)
One of WWII's bloodiest battles as the Allies smash through the German lines which have enclosed the Anzio beachhead. Four months and 30,000 casualties before the Allies finally march to Rome.


H.A.L. Craig (screenplay) (as Harry Craig), Wynford Vaughan-Thomas (book) | 3 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Mitchum ... Dick Ennis (war correspondent, International Press)
Peter Falk ... Cpl. Jack Rabinoff
Robert Ryan ... General Carson
Earl Holliman ... Platoon Sgt. Abe Stimmler
Mark Damon ... Wally Richardson
Arthur Kennedy ... Maj. Gen. Jack Lesley
Reni Santoni ... Pvt. Movie
Joseph Walsh ... Doyle
Thomas Hunter ... Pvt. Andy
Giancarlo Giannini ... Pvt. Cellini
Anthony Steel ... Gen. Marsh
Patrick Magee ... Gen. Starkey
Arthur Franz ... Maj. Gen. Luke Howard
Tonio Selwart Tonio Selwart ... Gen. Van MacKensen
Elsa Albani ... Emilia


Allied forces land at Anzio unopposed but instead of moving inland and north to Rome their commanding officer decides to dig in. A battle-hardened war correspondent borrows a jeep and driver and drives to Rome and back encountering no significant German forces. The report on the absence of the enemy is discounted as the general is concerned about having the strength to hold Anzio and support the offensive. By the time it is finally decided to make a move the Germans have arrived in strength. A US Ranger assault on Cisterna is ambushed with most of the forces killed or captured. A small group of survivors, including the war correspondent, struggle to make their way back to Anzio and report on the German defenses. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Where the end of World War II began. See more »


Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for war violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The "Black Devils" was the nickname of the 1st Special Service Force, The Devil's Brigade (also called The Black Devil's and The Black Devils Brigade), a joint American-Canadian commando unit organized in 1942 . See more »


All the tanks used on both sides were post war US models in different paint schemes - possibly M-47's as used in the film Battle of the Bulge made 4 years earlier. On the tanks masquerading as German 'panzers', you can clearly see the original Browning .50 cal heavy machine guns (without ammo boxes) on the turret, instead of replacing them with WW2 German MG34 or MG42 machines guns. See more »


Dick Ennis: [attending to Rabinoff who went into sudden convulsions] Look, fellows, I think he can use the air more then the company, okay? Anything anybody can do?
Cpl. Jack Rabinoff: No, unless you have a band-aid.
Dick Ennis: Very funny.
Cpl. Jack Rabinoff: Oh, it's murder. The stomach, you see? A Japanese grenade ripped my insides. Got medal in there. Under tension it contracts and all hell breaks loose. I must have been tense.
Dick Ennis: Good thinking. You belong in a hospital, not in a war.
Cpl. Jack Rabinoff: Yeah, that's what they said when they sent me home.
Dick Ennis: You mean you got out, then ...
See more »


Referenced in Robert Mitchum: The Reluctant Star (1991) See more »


This World Is Yours
Sung by Jack Jones
Lyrics by Doc Pomus
Edizioni Musicali "Dino"
See more »

User Reviews

What if George Patton had been in charge?
17 September 2014 | by SimonJackSee all my reviews

I agree with the bulk of reviewers about the plot for this film and quality of the production. My above average rating is based on the action in the film, and its historical reference to the failed assault plan with the Anzio landing in WW II. Others have commented as well on the level of acting by the main figures. The movie is based on a book, but I can't understand why Hollywood changed the names of the generals to fictitious ones. Sure, that whole fiasco was an embarrassment to the U.S. and our military leadership. But let's see and hear the truth, look at our mistakes, and learn from them – not cover them up or play them down. I wonder why there has not been another movie made about the Allied landing, Operation Shingle, and the Battle of Anzio, to lay out the whole story.

In hindsight, it's easy to pick the right choices for actions and plans to succeed in any matter. But, in the case of Anzio, the generals, high command and even the public learned of the error early on. The Allies stopped to build a beachhead. Most know the story. Major General John Lucas was wary of getting pinned down as had happened at Salerno. He didn't want to lose as many lives. But the plan for this landing was to advance and take the Alban Hills above the beaches – and then to proceed to Rome if possible. Instead, he moved a few miles inland – and dug in short of the hills.

What is befuddling is that common military sense seems to have gone out the window. First, Lucas didn't pursue the orders to take the hills. Second, when the Allies encountered no resistance at all in the landing, why didn't he push forward until they encountered resistance? That's a basic rule about finding where your enemy is and what is his strength. Third – the importance of the hills was obvious because they commanded overview of the entire beach area. That would be the place to dig in to protect the beach.

As the movie shows, a jeep actually reached the outskirts of Rome with no resistance – and reported back. But Lucas still chose to dig in and wait. So, this paranoid, fearful general gave up the element of surprise that the landing had been, and instead entrenched and allowed the Germans to move in and surround the area with heavy artillery and armored power. The result was a five month battle that was among the bloodiest of WWII, with 30,000 casualties. Equally bad, it gave German Field Marshal Albert Kesselring time to later pull his troops from the southern barrier and regroup all his forces north of Rome to continue to hold the Allies at bay with costly encounters.

One wonders if this operation under General George Patton wouldn't have turned out much different. Wouldn't Patton have seized the moment, cut off Kesselring's defensive line in the south, freed Rome, and prevented a German regrouping north of Rome? He could have done that in a few days. So could Lucas have done, if only he hadn't been so timid and paranoid. And, that would likely have had the Allies pushing toward Paris by the time of the D-Day landings at Normandy five months later on June 6, 1944. Instead, the worry about too many casualties led to many more and further ensured the dragging on of the war.

Apparently the U.S. military leadership has not learned an important lesson from the Anzio fiasco. We have had other instances since WW II of weak generals who fail to take initiatives with much more costly results. This isn't to pick on generals. But when we consider that just a few guys at the top make decisions that affect the lives of thousands of men under their commands, perhaps we need to find a better way to pick our battle leaders and weed out or bypass those who can't make bold and clear command decisions.

This film, "Anzio," is about the unopposed landing at Anzio, and the Allies decision to dig in. It's not about the bloody battle that results. It gives us a little taste of action with some Ranger forces. But it's enough to raise questions in the viewer's mind about the poor leadership and failed opportunities, and the consequences they had at Anzio and in the war. For that, this film has some value as well.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 45 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.



Italy | USA


English | Italian | German

Release Date:

24 July 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Anzio See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed