During World War II, Johann Moritz (Anthony Quinn), a Romanian gentile peasant, whose pretty wife is lusted after by the village gendarme, is denounced as being Jewish, arrested, and sent to a concentration camp. In the camp, the camp commander mistakes him for a new recruit, a volunteer to the S.S. and he is drafted into the S.S. Ironically, after the war, he is detained by the Allied authorities for his wartime involvement with the S.S.Written by
Quinn's character is taken prisoner by the U.S. 24th Infantry Division in 1945. This couldn't have happened as the 24th was fighting in the Philippines at that time and would later be sent to Japan on occupation duties. See more »
great depicting of east European life during the war
living in Romania, i was almost stunned by the very realistic setting for the scenes and the great care paid to local details by the director. The performance of Anthony Queen is absolutely great, and the rest of the cast does a great job supporting him. The movie does take a little knowledge of the east European context in order to be fully enjoyed, but it remains otherwise a great performance with some memorable lines. the ending is maybe a bit too melodramatic, but that's actually the way people are in this part of the world I believe the screenplay is great, because it presents the horrors of the 2nd WW in a most original manner - no blood, no battlefields. Still, lives are shattered, and the smiles you get every now and then throughout the movie are quickly killed by the war realities touching the characters.
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