A group of Russian soldiers fight to hold a strategic building in their devastated city against a ruthless German army, and in the process become deeply connected to two Russian women who have been living there.
The "336 Pionier-Bataillon" was a historical unit that also fought in Stalingrad in the "336. Infanterie-Division". The battalion arrived at Stalingrad on the 8th of November 1942. The division was disbanded in 1944. See more »
During the tank battle, the Soviets are using T-34-85 tanks. The Battle took place from 1942-1943, the T-34-85 did not see service until late 1943/early 1944. The correct model for the time would be the T-34-76. See more »
You know we don't stand a chance. Why not surrender?
Capt. Hermann Musk:
You know what would happen if we do.
Do we deserve any better?
Capt. Hermann Musk:
Otto, I'm not a Nazi.
No, you're worse. Lousy officers. You went along with it all, even though you knew who was in charge. Hermann...
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This is a film that I keep coming back to, for a variety of reasons. As a testament to the suffering of the ordinary soldier on the Eastern Front in the Second World War, it is a powerful one. There are a number of very powerful scenes in the film which help to capture the horror of war, such as the tank battle for instance. Furthermore, from what I can see the experiences documented in the film are by and large 'true' - if you read A. Beevor's book 'Stalingrad' you will know what I mean. The film is also successful in the sense that it doesn't allow character or plot to dominate it - it is simply a tale of survival, that attempts to depict the battle mainly from the ordinary (German) soldier's point of view. I've read somewhere that the original screenplay had to be toned down, which doesn't surprise me at all - if they tried to really show what the battle was like, it would have been almost impossible to make I'm sure. Even so, there are still some moments that are difficult to watch - this was made before Private Ryan but is possibly even harder-hitting in places. Just one word of caution - don't buy the dubbed 'English' version, it's pretty awful and spoils the film - try to get a copy in the original (German) version with English subtitles, it's far more powerful. You may need to buy a Region 1 DVD of the film in this case, as I did.
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