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Cross of Iron (1977)

R | | Drama, War | 20 May 1977 (USA)
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3:44 | Trailer
German commander Captain Hauptmann Stransky (Maximilian Schell) places a squad in extreme danger after Sergeant Rolf Steiner (James Coburn) refuses to lie for him.

Director:

Sam Peckinpah

Writers:

Julius J. Epstein (screenplay) (as Julius Epstein), Walter Kelley (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Coburn ... Unteroffizier Feldwebel (S / Sgt.) Rolf Steiner
Maximilian Schell ... Hauptmann (Capt.) Stransky
James Mason ... Oberst (Col.) Brandt
David Warner ... Hauptmann (Capt.) Kiesel
Klaus Löwitsch ... Unteroffizier (Cpl.) Krüger
Vadim Glowna ... Gefreiter (Pvt.) Kern
Roger Fritz Roger Fritz ... Leutnant (Lt.) Triebig
Dieter Schidor Dieter Schidor ... Anselm
Burkhard Driest ... Schütze Maag
Fred Stillkrauth Fred Stillkrauth ... Unteroffizier (Cpl.) Schnurrbart ('Private Mustache') (as Fred Stillkraut)
Michael Nowka ... Dietz
Véronique Vendell ... Marga (as Veronique Vendell)
Arthur Brauss ... Zoll
Senta Berger ... Eva
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Storyline

In 1943, on the Russian front, decorated leader Rolf Steiner (James Coburn) is promoted to Sergeant after another successful mission. Meanwhile, upper-class and arrogant Prussian Captain Hauptmann Stransky (Maximilian Schell) 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 (Igor Galo), who dies in 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 (Roger Fritz) 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 (James Mason) gives the order to leave the position in the front, Stransky does not retransmit the order ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

On the Eastern Front in 1943 the German soldiers no longer had any ideals. They were not fighting for the stinking Party - but for their stinking lives! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | West Germany

Language:

English | Russian | French | German

Release Date:

20 May 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sargeant Steiner See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color (archive footage)| Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)| Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sergeant Rolf Steiner (James Coburn) carries a Russian PPSh-41 sub-machine gun originally chambered for 7.62x25 Tokarev, a round the Germans did not (officially) use, but the 41 was easily rebarrelled for a 9 millimeter parabellum round, which the Germans did use, and the weapon was, in fact, adopted by the Germans as the MP717(r). While the drum magazine worked with 9mm ammo, the Russian curved stick magazine did not. If the Germans chose to use stick magazines with this gun, they had to modify the magazine housing to accept German issue MP38/40 magazines. However, doing this would prevent the use of the drum magazines. So Steiner's weapon, therefore, may be in the original caliber, or may have been rebarrelled for 9mm parabellum, but had not been modified for German stick magazines. See more »

Goofs

Oberst Brandt is wearing the Krim shield on his right arm. It is worn on the left arm only. See more »

Quotes

Captain Stransky: Who is this?
Sargeant Steiner: Corporal Schnurrbart, sir.
Captain Stransky: And the other one?
Sargeant Steiner: That is a Russian prisoner, sir.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: RUSSIA THE TAMAN PENINSULA-1943 THE RETREAT See more »

Alternate Versions

The U.S. distributor cut the film to 119 minutes for domestic release. The international release was the uncut 132 minute version that is the most common version available today. See more »


Soundtracks

Im Feldquartier
(uncredited)
(German Military March)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Best War Film there is
6 July 2001 | by JBLOSSSee all my reviews

I still rate this as the best and most honest war film I've seen. It ignores the Hollywood schmaltz that spoiled Saving Private Ryan and manages to portray the soldiers as human beings and particularly for German soldiers this is an exception. The battle scenes are expansive and very bloody as we follow the German platoon trying to get back to its own lines. The soldiers are heroes in an unheroic war and the film captures the chaos, cynicism and heroism of the German retreat. Well worth checking out.


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