6.3/10
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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:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Col. William A. McNamara
... Lt. Thomas W. Hart
... Lt. Lincoln A. Scott
... Staff Sgt. Vic W. Bedford
... Col. Werner Visser
... Capt. Peter A. Ross
... Lt. Lamar T. Archer
... Pfc. Dennis A. Gerber
... Capt. R.G. Sisk
... Cpl. Joe S. Cromin
... Sgt. Carl S. Webb
... Pvt. Bert D. 'Moose' Codman
... Maj. Joe Clary
... Pvt. Daniel E. Abrams
... 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 Luftwafe vetran 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:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Hart's War Official WebSite

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

15 February 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

En defensa del honor  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,907,413, 17 February 2002, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$19,076,815, 19 May 2002

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,209,403, 31 December 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the movie's credited writers, Billy Ray, reports that he never read the novel, "Hart's War," which is the basis for the movie. In The Dialogue: An Interview with Screenwriter Billy Ray (2007), he calls this revelation a "painful admission." But, he explains, by the time he came on the project, the screenplay had been through so many drafts that what was in the book itself did not matter much for his job of getting the screenplay to work. Ray says that one of the movie's producers, David Foster "constantly" sent him excerpts from the novel, advising him to include those particular things in the movie. But he implies that he felt no need to include something simply because it came from the novel. He then makes a point of saying he "admires" the novel's author, John Katzenbach and his father, Nicholas Katzenbach, whose time as a World War II prisoner of war was the basis of the novel. Ray explains further that he worked from the existing drafts and from the large amount of World War II research he did for the project, especially relying on the writing of Stephen Ambrose. 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

Staff Sgt. Vic W. Bedford: Take that you bastard!
Lt. Lincoln A. Scott: Careful Bedford. That's a nigger you're rooting for. Tail's painted red, that means he's 99th, right out of Tuskegee, boy.
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Soundtracks

Der Fuehrer's Face
Written by Oliver Wallace
Arranged by Paul Englishby
Produced by Gary Gold
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Willis at his Scowling Best-- sort of...
10 July 2002 | by See all my reviews

This film has its moments. But, to buy into it, you have to suspend any knowledge about WW2, Nazi POW stockades or likely situations. The action focuses on Willis as the brooding leading officer in a POW camp, Colin Farrell is the law student pressed into becoming a defender for a Black Pilot wrongly accused of murder. What transpires is a Machiavellian game with the Commandant, well played by Rumanian Actor, Marcel Iures, with plots and subplots, motifs and counterplots. But, it really does not go anywhere. There are some nice twists at the end but the ending before the final credits I found to be cheesy and unsatisfying (I've always found it irritating to switch to an ending narrative when there was none to introduce the story). Viewers who like Willis will not be disappointed and Colin Farrell is sure to delight the ladies with his Irish good looks, dark "little boy" eyes and expressions. Cole Hauser, back from getting eaten by an alien in Pitch Black, makes a wonderful sleazy villain but the rest of the cast seems to walk through their parts. Also, Look for Joe Spano from NYPD in a bit part in the opening, but don't expect a lot from the rest of the show.


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