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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:

Gregory Hoblit

Writers:

John Katzenbach (novel), Billy Ray (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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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:

Beyond Courage, Beyond Honor. 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:

En defensa del honor See more »

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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

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

Alfonso Cuarón was once on board to direct this film. However he stepped away from the director's chair and did Y Tu Mamá También (2001) instead. See more »

Goofs

The film alludes to the massacre of US troops at Malmedy. No one at the camp should have known about until much later as the film begins December 16, 1944 and the massacre occurred the next day. The bodies of the men who were massacred however, were not found for nearly a week after the event and it was just after the first of the year when the events of the day were known to the public. POWs in a camp would have no idea that this occurred at the time that it did, See more »

Quotes

Col. Werner Visser: Strange thing about war wounds- the older you get, the less proud of them you become.
See more »

Connections

References A Few Good Men (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Mood Indigo
Written by Barney Bigard, Irving Mills and Duke Ellington (as Edward Ellington)
Performed by The The Duke Ellington Band
Courtesy of The RCA Records Label, a unit of BMG Entertainment
Under license from BMG Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
It's all Colin Farrell - you see him, hear his voice, from beginning to end
5 May 2002 | by ruby_fffSee all my reviews

For what it's worth, I appreciate the film medium interpretation of a book's story, and not try to compare or expect how detail or more poignant the book's descriptions were. Viewing a film, audio and visually taking in the collaborative efforts of a film production is not the same as someone reading a novel. Reading also depends on the environment that you're in: while traveling with people around you, or being quietly by yourself. Reading is very much one person's own interpretation - as one reads, one can conjure up the possible sight and sound in one's mind and imagination. While in a cinema viewing a movie, we are exercising our senses - visual and audio - of what's presented on the screen. The experiences are uniquely different.

In HART"S WAR, Colin Farrell who portrayed Lt. Hart is very much front and centered, while Bruce Willis' role of Col. McNamara, his (humane) attributes are more subtle and from within - his aching insides from the years of war and isolation. There is the struggle/conflict of the war veteran vs. the clean cut affluent background of young Hart. We see Willis' McNamara's treatment with Farrell's Hart more evidently, but for McNamara himself, say the quiet scene where he visited the flyer in isolation waiting for trial - more imminent of death, we simply see him giving Lt. Scott a book; when Scott opens it, it's the New Testament. It is later while Hart's talking with Scott outside the trial room just before the closing arguments, that we learned the book was Scott's own, with a picture of him and wife and child kept within the Bible's pages. So off camera, we may gathered that McNamara must have silently gone through Scott's belongings and took that New Testament to Scott, with the understanding that Scott may find solace in seeing the family picture again and as most soldiers would, felt duty above all else.or would he? And Hart, representing Scott as his defending lawyer, would he let him? Such are the subtle layers to the storyline.

Director Gregory Hoblit's previous films were no simple Hollywood plots. They all require some mind stimulating thinking: 1996's "Primal Fear," the crime and lawyers film with Richard Gere, Laura Linney, and the fascinating debut 'hell' of a performance from Edward Norton; 1998's "Fallen", one devil of an intriguing storyline where Denzel Washington, along with Embeth Davidtz, tackling the many faces (Elias Koteas included) of the elusive Lucifer (music was by Tan Dun of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"; 2000's "Frequency" was the mind-twisting time-bending drama of son and father team, Jim Caviezel and Dennis Quaid. Here in HART'S WAR again, there are no simple answers to the questions raised: moral dilemma, military honors, ravage and trying times of war and being POWs - no escape of endurance tests. It's a well produced film with fine cinematography of stark snowy scenes from Alar Kivilo (who also did "Frequency" with director Hoblit); score to this war film was complemented (unexpectedly) by British composer Rachel Portman; and performances by a talented cast. I did see "Stalag 17" and "The Great Escape" again, but my sense is "Hart's War" stands on its own, it's not really a humor filled "17" not an action packed "Escape" movie, it's more of a humane story at its core, offering an aspect of life's outlook, military or not.


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