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Bitka na Neretvi (1969)

World war two drama about the 1943 battle around the Neretva River between Axis forces and Yugoslav partisan units.

Director:

Veljko Bulajic

Writers:

Stevan Bulajic (story), Ratko Djurovic (story) | 5 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yul Brynner ... Vlado
Hardy Krüger ... Kranzer
Franco Nero ... Riva
Sylva Koscina ... Danica
Orson Welles ... Senator
Curd Jürgens ... Lohring
Anthony Dawson ... Morelli
Milena Dravic ... Nada
Sergey Bondarchuk ... Martin (as Sergej Bondarcuk)
Ljubisa Samardzic ... Novak
Velimir 'Bata' Zivojinovic ... Stole (as Bata Zivojinovic)
Boris Dvornik Boris Dvornik ... Stipe
Oleg Vidov ... Nikola
Pavle Vuisic Pavle Vuisic ... Sofer
Howard Ross Howard Ross ... Mario (as Renato Rossini)
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Storyline

Battle on Neretva known as the ''fourth offensive'' the most humane battle in World War II led by Yugoslav partisans. In January 1943 German army, afraid of Allied invasion of Balkans, launched great offensive against Yugoslav Partisans in Western Bosnia.They encircle the mountain and begin the mop up operation. Out gunned and outnumbered the partisans must not only take care of themselves but try to protect thousands of refugees too. Providing a heroic resistance, multiple superior enemy partisans advancing towards the only remaining bridge over the Neretva river, through which they intend to transfer himself and wounded at free territory. Therefore, all the shock decision of the Supreme Headquarters to demolish the bridge, but it is just as foolish ruse to weaken the enemy forces on the other side of the river. Movie Battle of Neretva is usually the most famous work by the Yugoslav film industry has produced. Written by krule88

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An Epic Chronicle Of Raw Courage And Stubborn Savagery! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Troma

Country:

Yugoslavia | Italy | West Germany | USA

Release Date:

7 October 1969 (Yugoslavia) See more »

Also Known As:

The Battle of the River Neretva See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the time of its production, this was the most expensive film ever made in Eastern Europe (outside the Soviet Union). See more »

Goofs

[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »

Crazy Credits

At the Neretva in occupied Europe, we fought one of the most celebrated and the most heroic battles for the wounded. Here was decided the fate of the Revolution. Here was victorious the brotherhood and unity of our peoples. Tito See more »

Alternate Versions

The Serbian DVD version is 160 minutes long and is a significantly different cut from any other DVD or video releases. There is no opening map and narration. The musical score is the original Vladimir Kraus-Rajteric score which kicks in very rarely. The scenes are rearranged so that Welles makes his speech to the troops near the beginning and the air attack hits Bihac simultaneously with the land battle. Almost every dialog scene is lengthened and cut slower than the English version, but there are some parts of the action scenes cut a lot tighter. For instance, this is missing the scene where Riva falls out of the truck during the Italian retreat. It is also missing the scene in the Orthodox church prior the Welles addressing the Chetniks. However, it does feature several new scenes, most notably a scene where Vasco raids a house in Prosor only to then shoot and wound his own commander, and then a second battle between the Partisans and the Italians. In this scene, Riva refuses to fire at his own men and Novak almost shoots him only for Martin to intervene. General Morelli is captured and then promptly commits suicide with a pistol. There is also a new scene where the partisans surprise attack a group of Chetniks guarding the Neretva bridge. There are several more violent shots missing from other prints - such as the Ustashans hanging an old woman and laughing when they march through Bihac. There are several more deaths during the end battle with the Chetniks such as a partisan being shot in the back when reaching for a grenade. Then at the end of the battle there is a scene where a partisan named 'Stipe' goes crazy and guns down a number of Chetnik prisoners, only to have his rank stripped from him. Curiously almost all the nationalities speak their own language; with Riva speaking Italian even with his Yugoslavian captors and Morelli speaking in German when addressing General Lohring. The only actors dubbed appear to be Yul Brynner and Orson Welles. See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinema Komunisto (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Battle of Neretva: a peek into a lost classic
25 June 2007 | by pertti.jarlaSee all my reviews

It is sad that the most widely distributed version of this Yugoslavian war epic "Bitka na Neretvi" is the 102 minute version edited and dubbed in USA by Commonwealth United Films. This version, known as "The Battle of Neretva" has been shortened by a full hour. It looks a bit like a long trailer, offering samples of what is obviously a big scale, melodramatic giant of a film, like "The Longest Day". At times the re-editing looks like it has been made with an axe, some dialogue being cut from the middle of a sentence.

I have just seen, however, a longer Commonwealth version: 127 minutes, 25 minutes longer. This is a far superior version, professionally edited into a coherent, well flowing narrative. It seems that the 102 minute "stub" has been edited from this. I can only imagine how much deeper the characterization would be with the 40 minutes still missing from the original. The Italian and German versions are longer than this 127 minute version, and they have been released on DVD. Still, for anyone preferring an English translation, this could be the best version around. Sadly it only seems to be available on VHS.


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