6.3/10
49,658
203 user 114 critic

Hart's War (2002)

A law student becomes a lieutenant during World War II, is captured and asked to defend a black prisoner of war falsely accused of murder.

Director:

Gregory Hoblit

Writers:

John Katzenbach (novel), Billy Ray (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Willis ... Col. William A. McNamara
Colin Farrell ... Lt. Thomas W. Hart
Terrence Howard ... Lt. Lincoln A. Scott
Cole Hauser ... Staff Sgt. Vic W. Bedford
Marcel Iures ... Col. Werner Visser
Linus Roache ... Capt. Peter A. Ross
Vicellous Shannon ... Lt. Lamar T. Archer
Maury Sterling ... Pfc. Dennis A. Gerber
Sam Jaeger ... Capt. R.G. Sisk
Scott Michael Campbell ... Cpl. Joe S. Cromin
Rory Cochrane ... Sgt. Carl S. Webb
Sebastian Tillinger ... Pvt. Bert D. 'Moose' Codman
Rick Ravanello ... Maj. Joe Clary
Adrian Grenier ... Pvt. Daniel E. Abrams
Michael Weston ... Pfc. W. Roy Potts
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Storyline

Fourth-generation Army Col. William McNamara is imprisoned in a brutal German POW camp. Still, as the senior-ranking American officer, he commands his fellow inmates, keeping a sense of honor alive in a place where honor is easy to destroy, all under the dangerous eye of the Luftwaffe veteran Col. Wilhelm Visser. Never giving up the fight to win the war, McNamara is silently planning, waiting for his moment to strike back at the enemy. A murder in the camp gives him the chance to set a risky plan in motion. With a court martial to keep Visser and the Germans distracted, McNamara orchestrates a cunning scheme to escape and destroy a nearby munitions plant, enlisting the unwitting help of young Lt. Tommy Hart. Together with his men, McNamara uses a hero's resolve to carry out his mission, ultimately forced to weigh the value of his life against the good of his country. Written by Press kit

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Heroes Are Measured By What They Do. See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Hart's War Official WebSite

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

15 February 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hart's War See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,771,753, 17 February 2002

Gross USA:

$19,077,641

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$32,287,044
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Edward Norton and Tobey Maguire were both in talks for the lead role, but both eventually dropped out. See more »

Goofs

There is no way that Col.McNamara could allocate which hut men went into. The Germans controlled this. Also there is no way he could just turn up at the Camp Kommandant's office unannounced and talk to him. See more »

Quotes

Col. Werner Visser: You know sometimes I think your Lieutenant Scott might have been better off in Alabama. Lynchings are over
[snaps fingers]
Col. Werner Visser: in minutes. The kind of justice he's suffering here is far crueler.
See more »

Connections

References The Great Escape (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Horizon
Written by Sidney Bechet
Performed by Sidney Bechet and His Jazzmen
Courtesy of Blue Note Records
Under license from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Not bad
11 August 2003 | by w2amarketingSee all my reviews

This film is absorbing because you are kept guessing until the very end. Hart, the lead character, isn't exactly an angel; and the Nazi Kommandant conjures up a measure of sympathy, with other motives of characters such as Col. MacNamara (Willis) truly unclear until the end.

Thus, it's enough to keep you watching, although I wish I'd read the book first. Also, it's not an "action" film in the Schwarzenegger sense, but it is fast-paced and holds your attention, as the plot keeps twisting and turning.

Contrary to what others thought, I found HART'S WAR to be reasonably historically accurate. It's frequently pointed out that by late 1944 / early 1945, the Germans were reeling, desperate and disorganized, while HART'S WAR portrays them firmly in control. This is a fair criticism, but I would respond as follows:

1. HART'S WAR coincides with the Ardennes offensive (Battle of the Bulge), which was the last major German offensive of the war and which came perilously close to succeeding. Puffed up from that near-victory, not knowing (as we know today) that this was the last gasp of a dying reich and not a turning point towards victory, and now holding hundreds if not thousands of Allied POW's to boot, it's no surprise that the Germans are still confident of victory.

2. Also, HART'S WAR takes place in a short period of time (I would guess 2-3 weeks between Hart's capture and the end of the trial, which itself is only a week). The story does not drag into the spring of '45, at which point the Germans knew they were losing.

3. The Nazi Kommandant epitomizes this German confidence, yet because he was educated in the US, he has at least a measure of sympathy for his American prisoners and treats them with an equal measure of military courtesy, with a few exceptions. Other Kommandants during this time may not have been as "humane," but, because of his background, Visser's lack of brutality (again, with exceptions) is understandable.

Bruce Willis is clearly a supporting actor in this film, but I felt he had a strong and important role and was, arguably, the CENTRAL character while Colin Farrell is the LEADING character. However, Willis gets top billing for one simple reason -- TO SELL TICKETS. It worked for me, at least.


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