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Enemy at the Gates (2001)

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A Russian and a German sniper play a game of cat-and-mouse during the Battle of Stalingrad.
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4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jude Law ... Vassili
Ed Harris ... Major König
Rachel Weisz ... Tania Chernova
Joseph Fiennes ... Commisar Danilov
Bob Hoskins ... Nikita Khrushchev
Ron Perlman ... Koulikov
Eva Mattes ... Mother Filipov
Gabriel Thomson ... Sacha Filipov (as Gabriel Marshall-Thomson)
Matthias Habich ... General Paulus
Sophie Rois ... Ludmilla
Ivan Shvedoff ... Volodya
Mario Bandi Mario Bandi ... Anton
Hans Martin Stier Hans Martin Stier ... Red Army General
Clemens Schick ... German NCO (as Clemans Schick)
Mikhail Matveev Mikhail Matveev ... Grandfather
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Storyline

In World War II, the fall of Stalingrad will mean the collapse of the whole country. The Germans and Russians are fighting over every block, leaving only ruins behind. The Russian sniper Vassili Zaitsev stalks the Germans, taking them out one by one, thus hurting the morale of the German troops. The political officer Danilov leads him on, publishing his efforts to give his countrymen some hope. But Vassili eventually starts to feel that he can not live up to the expectations on him. He and Danilov fall in love with the same girl, Tanya, a female soldier. From Germany comes the master sniper König to put an end to the extraordinary skilled Russian sniper. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Helden wählen ihr Schicksal nie selbst, das Schicksal wählt sie! [German] See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong graphic war violence and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | France | Germany | Ireland | USA

Language:

English | German | Russian

Release Date:

16 March 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Enemigo al acecho See more »

Filming Locations:

Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$68,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,033,164 (United Kingdom), 18 March 2001, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,810,266, 18 March 2001, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$51,401,758

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$96,976,270
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

In the scene in the printing press when the characters of Vassili and Danilov have an argument, the tears in Jude Law's eyes are genuine. See more »

Goofs

When Zaitsev first meets Danilov (before the first five shootings), you can see many of the corpses breath in the cold air. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Grandfather: [whispering to boy aiming rifle] I am a stone. I do not move. Very slowly, I put snow in my mouth. Then he won't see my breath. I take my time. I let him come closer. I have only one bullet. I aim at his eye. Very gently, my finger presses on the trigger. I do not tremble. I have no fear. I'm a big boy now. Ready Vassili? Now, Vassili, fire!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits are slanted and curved See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 100 Greatest War Films (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

American March
Traditional
Performed by Bibs Ekkel and his Balalaika Band
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A fascinating film about the strategy of two great snipers…
20 September 2008 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

In "Enemy at the Gates," the future of the greatest battle of World War II, would be decided between a young Russian sniper and an aristocratic sharpshooter from Germany sent to kill him… Jude Law and Ed Harris sit for hours waiting for the right moment… It was a duel set in the siege of Stalingrad… Stalingrad was one of the biggest and bloodiest battles of World War II, and in the midst of this huge battle, these two soldiers were hunting each other down…

The film opens with the harrowing transport of thousand of Russian soldiers across the Volga River to Stalingrad… The recruits were packed onto steamers, barges, whatever they could find to ferry them across the river… All that under a deluge of shells, bombs and explosions…

By the time Vassili arrives to Stalingrad, the Nazis have a distinct edge, and Soviet morale is at an all-time low…

Leading the Russians in their seemingly futile defense is Nikita Kruschev, played by Bob Hoskins… The Germans, at that time, were overrunning the place and the Russians were in an appalling state… It was the most awful battle of the war…

Joseph Fiennes plays Danilov, an idealistic Russian officer who passionately speaks about his belief in getting the troops to turn the grave situation in Stalingrad around… He finds the perfect inspiration in Vassili…

Rachel Weisz plays a young woman who volunteers to help in the war effort… She's literally protecting the people she grew up with… When she meets Vassili, he just has a natural intelligence, a natural instinct…

Jude Law is remarkable as the young sharpshooter Vassili Zaitsev who conveyed both humanity and intensity… There's such a fierce intelligence and liveliness in his eyes… He can also be very quiet and internal… Vassili found the complexity within the silence and stillness… In fact to be a sniper is very much about a man of action through stillness… Vassili represented the ultimate hero, the symbol of someone who could instill hope and belief in victory amongst the troops, because his skills as a sniper were unparalleled…

Ed Harris played Major Konig, the German sharpshooter sent to hunt down Vassili… He knows that Vassili was picking off German officers with some regularity, and was becoming a folk hero for the Russian soldiers as well as the Russian populace... He decided to eliminate him…

The casting of Ed Harris opposite Jude Law resulted in a striking visual link between their characters… They both have these unbelievably penetrating blue eyes… And director Jean-Jacques Annaud began to see the duel through their eyes… And one of the first shots of Ed Harris was a close-up of his blue eyes…

Annaud painted the tensions very clearly and concentrated purely on the eyes of the Jude Law and Harris and, of course, on their rifles and how they were hidden and what they were doing… Basically, the core of his camera is the duel of their eyes, duel of men, duel of snipers, therefore a confrontation of people that scan the surrounding buildings, and try to decipher what they see…


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