German commander 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 & 1 nomination. 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:

Men on the front lines of Hell. See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the only World War II movie directed by Sam Peckinpah. See more »

Goofs

When the Russian woman bathing in the washtub stands up, bikini tan lines are visible. See more »

Quotes

Captain Kiesel: Steiner... is a myth. Men like him are our last hope... and in that sense, he is a truly dangerous man.
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Crazy Credits

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 »

Alternate Versions

Two versions were also released in Germany, running 122 and 133 min. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Inglourious Basterds (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh, Du wunderschöner Westerwald
(uncredited)
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
And I will show you where the Iron Crosses grow.
3 March 2005 | by Nick BeaudineSee all my reviews

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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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)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$67
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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