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The Ravine (1969)

La cattura (original title)
McCallum plays a WWII German special agent assigned to take out a team of Titov resistance fighters in Yugoslavia. He locates their leader in a camp within a ravine in the dead of winter. ... See full summary »


Paolo Cavara


Paolo Cavara (story), John Crawford (story) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview:
David McCallum ... Sergeant Stephen Holmann
Nicoletta Machiavelli ... Anja Kovach
Lars Bloch Lars Bloch ... Lieutenant Alexei Soloviev
Giorgio Dolfin Giorgio Dolfin ... Corporal Busch
Sergio Mioni Sergio Mioni ... German Soldier
Sergio Serafini Sergio Serafini ... Telephone Operator
Ivona Petri Ivona Petri ... Second Old woman
Tana Mascarelli Tana Mascarelli ... First Old Woman
Demeter Bitenc Demeter Bitenc ... Lietenant Eisgruber


McCallum plays a WWII German special agent assigned to take out a team of Titov resistance fighters in Yugoslavia. He locates their leader in a camp within a ravine in the dead of winter. However, the leader's code name beliest that the resistance is being led by a resourceful young woman. After McCallum captures her, a heavy blizzard strikes the ravine, forcing him to take shelter with her in her cabin. The storms seals them away from the war, and they develop an attraction for one another. Eventually, the weather clears and he must make a decision: to take her prisoner or to turn her loose. He decides on the latter. Dressed in their snow camoflage, they each depart along separate sides of the ravine... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

soldier | world war two | tragedy | See All (3) »


Drama | War


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Italy | Yugoslavia | USA


Italian | English

Release Date:

1969 (Yugoslavia) See more »

Also Known As:

Rafali u dva srca See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


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Did You Know?


Two Strangers
Composed by Riz Ortolani
Lyrics by Norman Newell
Performed by Katina Ranieri
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User Reviews

Love and War
25 September 2011 | by unbrokenmetalSee all my reviews

The year is 1943. German sergeant Hallmann, who previously was on duty in North Africa, arrives in Yugoslavia by parachute and can't believe the new mission they give him. '3000 km to capture a woman?' - 'She is not a woman', he is told, 'she's a beast. And who is the best to capture a beast? A hunter.' Hallmann needs all his experience as a hunter to find Anya, a partisan who is hiding in the deep snow of the forest. Spies have warned Anya about her new opponent, and she knows the territory better than anyone else. During the chase, they get separated from their comrades and spend a few days (and nights) behind the enemy lines, together in a hut. Once they have the chance to speak to each other instead of shooting from long distance, they find they like each other a lot. But obviously, under the circumstances of war, it is impossible to fall in love and just live a happy life.

I admire the dedication many people put into movie-making. I mean, filming in the snow must be hell. Walking through snow four feet deep is exhausting for the actors, their footprints must be wiped out for the next shot every time, the crew must be freezing all those days in the middle of nowhere (shot on original location in Yugoslavia), and if you ever tried taking photos in winter, you know how poor and treacherous the light is. Yet the effort of filming under these difficult circumstances results in remarkable films sometimes ('Il Grande Silenzio', anyone?), and also for 'La Cattura' it was worthwhile. I don't like the movie being described as love story or romance, because in the whole first half of the movie, there is not a trace of anything like that. It's a war movie most of the time, about chasing an assassin, slowly developing into something more sophisticated: enemies who find they are more than just soldiers. It takes time to trust each other (she bites his hand the first time he tries to feed her), thus it makes sense to take the time of the audience as well and proceed in small steps. Lots of dialog to push the relationship forward faster would have killed the atmosphere, so personally I'm glad it's a slow, careful movie. I hope somebody is going to restore 'La Cattura' properly and save it for posterity. What I watched was a grainy Italian language DVD (from the label Medusa) with full frame, i.e. quite a lot of the picture cut off to the right and left. It shouldn't be hard to make a better re-release sometime, and that's what the picture deserves.

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