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When Trumpets Fade (1998)

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A private in the latter days of WWII on the German front struggles between his will to survive and what his superiors perceive as a battlefield instinct.

Director:

John Irvin

Writer:

W.W. Vought
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4,666 ( 579)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ron Eldard ... Manning
Zak Orth ... Pvt. Warren Sanderson
Frank Whaley ... Chamberlain - Medic
Dylan Bruno ... Sgt. Talbot
Devon Gummersall ... Lonnie
Dan Futterman ... Despin
Steven Petrarca ... Baxter
Dwight Yoakam ... Lieutenant Colonel
Martin Donovan ... Capt. Pritchett
Timothy Olyphant ... Lt. Lukas
Jeffrey Donovan ... Bobby
Bobby Cannavale ... Capt. Zenek
Frank-Michael Köbe Frank-Michael Köbe ... German Sergeant (as Frank Köbe)
András Stohl András Stohl ... Wounded Soldier
Matthew Rutson Cooney Matthew Rutson Cooney ... Driver Corporal (as Matthew Ruston Cooney)
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Storyline

In WWII Western Germany, Private David Manning reluctantly leaves behind a mortally wounded fellow soldier and searches for survivors from his platoon, only to learn from commanding officer Captain Pritchett that they have all been killed in action. Despite requesting a discharge on the grounds of mental disability, Manning is promoted to sergeant and assigned to lead a new platoon of young inductees. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In the heat of battle not all soldiers can be heroes

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic war carnage and strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 June 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hurtgen See more »

Filming Locations:

Budapest, Hungary See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD) | (video)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of only two war movies in Ron Eldard's career. He would later be cast in Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down (2001). See more »

Goofs

Many of the uniforms and field gear items worn by the American soldiers are not of the type worn by the U.S. Army during World War II. They are probably Hungarian military issue, since the movie was filmed in Hungary. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator, news footage: August 1944. The outcome of the Second World War appeared to be no longer in doubt. Paris was liberated. After four years of fighting, victory against the Germans seemed assured. Since the Normandy landings, American and Allied forces had battled their way across northern Europe, and pushed the German enemy to within its own homeland.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

White Christmas
Written by Irving Berlin
Performed by Bing Crosby
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Realistic & metaphorical at once
6 February 2000 | by escolesSee all my reviews

While people keep calling this film realistic (and it probably is), I saw this film at a time when I couldn't deny its relevance to events in my own work life. More than the futility of _just_ war, it speaks to a mentality that allows a system to dictate what must be accomplished by the people under its thumb, without regard to whether it's possible or how many people it will destroy to accomplish that thing. Almost more than other war movies, it reminds me of Rod Serling's _Patterns_ (another fine movie that never made it off the small screen).

And it's also a great exploration of that dark, strange area where what's selfish in the moment can turn heroic in hindsight. I think the writer may have actually _read_ Audie Murphy's _To Hell and Back_, which dwells in some of the same strange and gritty territory.

As someone else said, it's not perfect -- but up-&-comers Orth & Eldard turn in great performances, and there's none of the usual Spielbergian sentimentality in evidence. See it, but don't expect to be uplifted.


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