5.9/10
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27 user 7 critic

The Misfit Brigade (1987)

War story of the 27th Panzers, Hitler's heavy-duty combat regiment composed of prisoners. In 1943, this motley tank crew is sent on a suicide mission behind enemy lines to destroy a Soviet train that's carrying fuel for the Red Army.

Director:

Gordon Hessler

Writers:

Sven Hassel (novel), Nelson Gidding (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Davison ... Cpl. Joseph Porta
David Patrick Kelly ... The Legionnaire
D.W. Moffett ... Capt. Erich von Barring
Jay O. Sanders ... Tiny
Keith Szarabajka ... Old Man
Oliver Reed ... The General
David Carradine ... Col. Von Weisshagen
Branko Vidakovic Branko Vidakovic ... Cpl. Hugo Stege (as Branko Vidak)
Slavko Stimac ... Sven Hassel
Boris Komnenic Boris Komnenic ... Bauer
Andreja Maricic ... Müller
Klaus Pagh Klaus Pagh ... Reinhardt
Anton Sosic Anton Sosic ... Freckles
Svetislav 'Bule' Goncic Svetislav 'Bule' Goncic ... Sgt. Siegfried (as Svetislav Goncic)
Gordana Bjelica Gordana Bjelica ... Russian Officer
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Storyline

In 1943, the Nazi Germany is suffering heavy losses at the Eastern Front and an order for all-out retreat is eventually issued. The 27th Penal Panzer Regiment, consisting solely of people convicted of various real or political crimes ranging from incest to dissidence, has just returned from Stalingrad where German forces were decimated by the Soviets after a year-long bloody fight. They are a motley tank crew that consists of Sergeant Willie Beier (aka Old Man), a family man who fears for the safety of his wife and child if he disobeys the Nazis, Corporal Joseph Porta, the team's fixer and a self-proclaimed communist who always tries to keep his spirits up whether through gambling, drinking or simple tomfoolery, Corporal Hugo Stege, Porta's "partner in crime", young Sven Hassel, a character based on real Sven Hassel, the writer of the novel that the movie was based on, Wolfgang Creutzfeldt (aka Tiny), a dimwitted and often violent giant of a man and Bauer, a silent but friendly ...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This group of last round draft picks ... wouldn't take orders ... didn't dress in uniform ... couldn't win a battle ! But they were the biggest bunch of lunatics ever to roll into war !

Genres:

Action | Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is based on Danish writer Sven Hassel's 1979 war novel "Wheels of Terror". Hassel was actually part of the German Panzerkorp during the war and most of his novels are based on his experiences or stories he heard during the war, although some dispute the veracity of his work. He always puts himself in the novels, sometimes as a major participant and sometimes as a minor observer. The character of Sven Hassel also appears in this novel and is played in the movie adaptation by Slavko Stimac. See more »

Goofs

The fight between Tiny and the Legionnaire takes place in "Comrades of war" also the character of Freckles is not in the novel. See more »

Quotes

German Deserter: Where Are you going, in such a hurry?
Porta: Valhalla!
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User Reviews

 
Little known yet engaging Anti-war film
10 May 2009 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

A friend and I watched this movie back-to-back with the Italian flick "The Inglorious Bastards", as a part of our 'crazed rampaging soldiers' theme-night and it was a terrific ride throughout the two whole movies. The Italian cult classic one, directed by Enzo G. Castellari and starring Fred Williamson, is undoubtedly more outrageous and spectacular, but the main conclusion actually was that both films share practically the same plot; only seen from the two opposite war fronts. Obviously both productions are imitations of the legendary war film "The Dirty Dozen", but personally I always treasured a bigger weakness for cheap knockoffs than for the acclaimed originals. "The Misfit Brigade" is adapted from a novel from Sven Hassle; who was a former Nazi Soldier and thus a bit of a questionable and slightly controversial figure himself. Regardless of his background, "The Misfit Brigade" definitely isn't pro-Nazi and actually quite blunt and uncompromising in the expression of its political opinions. The protagonists in this movie are anti everything and that's probably why this is such a good and plausible film. And by plausible I do not necessarily mean the depicted events in the film, but the characterizations of the rejected SS-soldiers and deserters. The plot introduces the questionable members of the 27th Panzer Regiment; a gathering of overly opinionated soldiers convicted in court martial and downright expandable criminals. They spent their days driving around in their tank, drinking heavily and playing vicious pranks on each other. Mostly active near the Northern front lines and Russians borders, the 27th Regiment unmercifully kills Russians but drive their tank over German soldiers just as easily. When the vicious Colonel Von Weisshägen promises them amnesty in return the fulfillment of a special and dangerous assignment, the boys go far beyond Russian enemy lines in order to blow up a train chock-full of oil and military equipment. As much as it is a harsh and realistic war epic, "The Misfit Brigade" is also a subtle and blackly humorous parody about the people forced to fight for a cause that is not necessarily their own and, as you can guess, their number is far more plentiful than the heroic patriots. Some sequences are near-brilliant and overwhelming (like the tank fights, the screening of the discouraging propaganda film, and the encounter with the exhibitionist deserters), but other footage is dreadfully tedious and misplaced, like the scene in the brothel for example. The best element about "The Misfit Brigade" is unarguably the character drawings. The members of the 27th Panzer Regiment aren't friends or soul mates. They're cold and emotionless bastards that do not mourn when one of their colleagues is killed in action and they definitely don't philosophize about the senselessness of warfare. The Yugoslavian filming locations add a great deal of realism to the film and the scenery (those tanks and Luftwaffe attacks!) are excellent. Director Gordon Hessler – known from the early 70's Vincent Price horror movies "The Oblong Box" and "Cry of the Banshee" – does an admirable job as well and he could rely on a fantastically devoted cast, including Bruce Davison as the uncrowned leader of the bunch, David Patrick Kelly as the eloquent and provocative Legionnaire and Jay O. Sanders as the big & dumb kamikaze freak Tiny. David Carradine is sublimely nefarious as the power-hungry Colonel Von Weisshägen; complete with his glasses for one eye only to make him look extra evil. Oliver Reed receives top billing but only makes a cameo appearance during the hectic and extremely cool climax. The role, however, is perfect for him and he gives his absolute everything in only five lines of dialog. Recommended!


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Details

Country:

UK | Denmark | Yugoslavia | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 February 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Misfit Brigade See more »

Filming Locations:

Yugoslavia

Company Credits

Production Co:

Panorama Film A/S See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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