4.8/10
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10 user 5 critic

The Biggest Battle (1978)

Il grande attacco (original title)
PG | | War, Drama | 22 September 1978 (USA)
How World War II affected the lives of a German family and an American family, both of whom had sons and fathers fighting in the war.

Director:

Umberto Lenzi (as Humphrey Longan)

Writers:

Cesare Frugoni, Umberto Lenzi (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Helmut Berger ... Lt. Kurt Zimmer
Samantha Eggar ... Annelise Ackermann
Giuliano Gemma ... Capt. Martin Scott
John Huston ... Sean O'Hara
Stacy Keach ... Maj. Mannfred Roland
Ray Lovelock ... Lt. John Foster
Aldo Massasso Aldo Massasso ... Lt. William McShane
Venantino Venantini ... Michael
Guy Doleman ... Gen. Whitmore
Patrick Reynolds ... O'Hara's Aide
Evelyn Stewart ... Sybil Scott
Edwige Fenech ... Danielle
Henry Fonda ... Gen. Foster
Aldo Barberito Aldo Barberito ... SS major
Rik Battaglia ... French Partisan (as Rick Battaglia)
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Storyline

How World War II affected the lives of a German family and an American family, both of whom had sons and fathers fighting in the war.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The most awesome battle ever seen!

Genres:

War | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 September 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Biggest Battle See more »

Filming Locations:

Venice, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Italian censorship visa # 71521 delivered on 7-2-1978. See more »

Quotes

German in Danielle's room: A French whore should work with her hips and not her lips!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The American releases (both 'Battleforce' and 'The Greatest Battle') are considerably abbreviated - they are missing several subplots including most of Edwidge Fenech's scenes in which she becomes involved with the French resistance, a flashback detailing Milos Parnac the Greek actor, and what becomes of John Huston's character. The German DVD release has all of these scenes intact, but has no narration (hence Orson Welles is not credited). See more »

Connections

Edited from Battle of the Commandos (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

Disappointing WWII Drama
10 March 2018 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

The Biggest Battle (1978)

* 1/2 (out of 4)

Incredibly disappointing drama starts off in Germany during the 1936 Olympics where an American general (Henry Fonda), a German major (Stacy Keach), a Jewish actress (Samantha Eggar) and a war correspondent (John Huston) are having dinner and agreeing that Hitler will not cause a war. Flash forward to 1942 and war is happening and all sides of this dinner are now in the middle.

THE BIGGEST BATTLE is an Italian and West German co-production that was meant to rival various American movies that took on the WWII subject. Of course something like MIDWAY was an obvious inspiration. The most interesting thing about this film is that it did have a bigger budget than you'd normally see in a film like this but the problem is that the budget wasn't big enough. It's clear that writer-director Umberto Lenzi wanted to make an epic war film and even got a terrific cast together but the film falls well short of that.

There's no question that the biggest problem with this film is its screenplay. I never found any of these characters to be interesting and especially the Keach character. I found the character to be extremely bland but so was another subplot that deals with Fonda and his two sons going off to fight in the war. The "proud father" aspect just doesn't work. There's really nothing story wise that connects with the viewer and this incldues the action. There are a lot of action scenes but they just feel cheap and never contain any tension.

With all of that being said, the most amazing thing about this picture is the fact that they got such a great cast. You've got Fonda, Keach, Huston and Eggar but there's also Helmut Berger, Edwige Fenech, Ray Lovelock and various other foreign actors. You've also got Orson Welles doing the narration in some versions but the version I watched didn't feature that. The story was confusing as it was so perhaps his narration was used to make more sense out of the film?

THE BIGGEST BATTLE is a pretty poor film but the worst thing is the fact that it's really disappointing considering the cast.


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