24 user 13 critic

Brass Target (1978)

PG | | Action, Drama, Mystery | 2 March 1979 (UK)
In 1945, General Patton sends Germany's confiscated gold reserves to Frankfurt, but the Army train is robbed by plotters who also hire a Swiss hitman to kill the General.


John Hough


Frederick Nolan (novel), Alvin Boretz
2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Sophia Loren ... Mara
John Cassavetes ... Maj. Joe De Lucca
George Kennedy ... Gen. George S. Patton
Robert Vaughn ... Col. Donald Rogers
Patrick McGoohan ... Col. Mike McCauley
Bruce Davison ... Col. Robert Dawson
Edward Herrmann ... Col. Walter Gilchrist
Max von Sydow ... Shelley Martin Webber
Ed Bishop ... Col. Stewart
Lee Montague ... Lucky Luciano
Alan Tilvern ... Frank Ferraro
Hal Galili ... Capt. Levy
Bernard Horsfall ... Shelley
John Junkin ... Carberry
Sigfrit Steiner ... Herr Schroeder


General Patton tries to transfer the German gold stock to Frankfurt. But someone foils his plan. The military police begin to find the guilty. Written by Kornel Osvart <kornelo@alphanet.hu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In December 1945, America's most controversial General, George S. Patton, was killed in an auto accident in Germany. 250 million dollars in gold says it was no accident. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Many of the extras were U.S. Army personnel from the 66th Military Intelligence Group who were serving in Munich, West Germany at the time of the filming. Most of the soldiers on the train at the beginning are active duty MP's who took leave to go on location in the Black Forest to make money as extras. See more »


When Major De Lucca drives into the castle, he parks his jeep parallel to the stairs. Later, when he emerges and sees Mara, the jeep is almost perpendicular to the stairs. See more »


[first lines]
Col. Donald Rogers: Relax! We're inches away.
See more »

User Reviews

Intrigue, plot twists and superb cast make this a first-rate thriller
21 April 2013 | by SimonJackSee all my reviews

World War II is over, and the Allies set about cleaning up and helping rebuild Europe. The Allies' most famous battle leader, General George S. Patton, continues to alienate the Russians and doesn't like attending to civil formalities of state. So, he gets canned by Eisenhower and is ordered back to the States. But during all this time, some $250 million in Third Reich gold had been discovered and then went missing. Patton launches his own effort to find the thieves and retrieve the gold.

This story line has all the makings of a good action-thriller, and "Brass Target" doesn't disappoint. It has a solid plot – with much conjecture and fiction built around and woven through the real details of Patton's last months. The script is very good for a cast that delivers. There's just enough intrigue to keep us guessing from one scene to the next, as culprits come to light one by one. But amidst this, the one big theme develops – with the hiring of a top assassin to eliminate Patton. There's much more to this, and part of the intrigue for the viewer is wondering what next step in his plan the assassin will lay out and expose to the audience.

George Kennedy is excellent as Patton, and Robert Vaughn turns in a first-rate performance in his role. John Cassavetes does justice as the top intelligence officer digging into the theft. Sophia Loren and Patrick McGoohan give very good performances. And the consummate cool and calculating Max von Sydow excels in the type of role he has played before.

Some comments I've seen about the film are disparaging because of the fictitious plot. But that's precisely what makes it a movie different from the account of Patton's accidental death otherwise. If people don't like fiction in film, they can avoid movies purposely built around fictitious aspects. Come to think of it, they should probably stop watching all movies. But the rest of us can sit back and really enjoy films like this.

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English | German | Russian

Release Date:

2 March 1979 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Colonels See more »

Filming Locations:

Munich, Bavaria, Germany See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$354,797, 25 December 1978

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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