In 1864, due to frequent Apache raids from Mexico into the U.S., a Union officer decides to illegally cross the border and destroy the Apache, using a mixed army of Union troops, Confederate POWs, civilian mercenaries, and scouts.
In 1943, in the Russian front, the decorated leader Rolf Steiner is promoted to Sergeant after another successful mission. Meanwhile the upper-class and arrogant Prussian Captain Hauptmann Stransky is assigned as the new commander of his squad. After a bloody battle of Steiner's squad against the Russian troops led by the brave Lieutenant Meyer, who dies in the combat, the coward Stransky claims that he led his squad against the Russian and requests to be awarded with the Iron Cross to satisfy his personal ambition together with that of his aristocratic family. Stransky gives the names of Steiner and of the homosexual Lieutenant Triebig as witnesses of his accomplishment, but Steiner, who has problems with the chain of command in the army and with the arrogance of Stransky, refuses to participate in the fraud. When Colonel Brandt gives the order to leave the position in the front, Stransky does not retransmit the order to Steiner's squad, and they are left alone surrounded by the ...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
James Mason played a senior German officer who is faced with the scandal of an officer taking credit for the heroic deeds of a dead man. He faced the same scenario in The Blue Max (1966). See more »
Although dozens of rifles, submachine guns, and machine guns are fired during the movie, in only one instance are spent cartridge cases shown to be ejecting during firing (this occurs near the end of the film, as Sgt Steiner is firing a captured Russian submachine gun at Lieutenant Treibig). See more »
In the End Credits in the North American BETA/VHS & DVD versions of the movie "Cross of Iron"(1977), there is the following quote: "Don't rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world stood up and stopped the bastard, The bitch that bore him is in heat again." Bertolt Brecht See more »
This is one of those movies that I needed to watch a second time and do a little research on. Once again, "Bloody" Sam didn't let me down. This is definitely a different war film from its time and now. Peckinpah's directed this in a great fashion that hasn't been seen I have not seen his films since "The Wild Bunch". I was lucky enough to have found the 133 minute version in a rental store. I hope one day to see this version on DVD in widescreen. James Coburn is once again in a great role as Steiner. He is also supported by the great James Mason, Maximillian Schell in his best role since "Judgment at Nuremberg", and David Warner. The film had some fine editing and slow motion shots, good underscore, and a solid script. It is a tragedy that Peckinpah went so over budget that they had to end the movie half way through the script. I hope one day that somebody will remake this in the eyes of Peckinpah, and be able to film the entire film.
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