Cross of Iron
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Cross of Iron 1977

In 1943, in the Russian front, the decorated leader Rolf Steiner is promoted to Sergeant after another successful mission. Meanwhile the upper-class and arrogant Prussian Captain Hauptmann...

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Imdb rating: 7.6

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CROSS OF IRON
(SAM PECKINPAH, 1977)
R
1 HOUR 59 MINUTES
I don't know. Sam Peckinpah's Cross of Iron has an original and mesmerizing style. James Coburn is sergeant Steiner, a man with a love/hate relationship with his life on the Russian-German front circa 1944. It's a very good film, that's all I know.

Douglas Sirk's A Time to Love and a Time to Die is about a german soldier coming home on a three week leave from the aforementioned Russian-German front. Only, the vacation is no picnic either. Frankly, they're bombing the shit out of Berlin, and it's not nice for anybody. The guy is looking for his parents, but finds a girl instead. Generally great stuff.

All in a Night's Work is a fun movie. Shirley MacLaine is really cute and Dean Martin is better than usual(obviously usually he sucks). Good film, just not anything too profound.

Miffo, from Sweden. Is about a young priest called Tobias(curiously looking like a greatly upgrated version of Toby Maguire) who is trying to get his life in order. Struggling for independence from his wealthy parents and high-class background, struggling with his ambitions to do good in his profession, and generally struggling in his messy personal life, he meets a girl in a wheelchair, who is of the lower uneducated classes and looking like a polish hooker, so naturally there's immediate attraction. For some odd reason the film occationally threatens to suffocate itself with stupid Hollywood cliches, but luckily director Daniel Lind Lagerl
The Dirty Dozen
(Aldrich, 1967)



By the time the battles start -- they are not immediately introduced as they are not intended for viewer entertainment - we really feel close to the characters, and because of this the battles feel so much more intense and dangerous . I found myself feeling very worried that some of the platoon leaders were going to be killed every time they were fighting because the movie had allowed me to get to know them so well, and because the sequences were so realistically created I could takes them much more seriously. Also, the movie is not afraid to kill off characters, and therefore there is a sense of real danger involved at every step. It should also be noted that the battle scenes are not used as action set pieces for entertainment. They are intense and coarse, violent and cruel. They are set up in a way that they seem very dangerous as they don't seem staged. The way they are shot and edited makes them feel extremely chaotic. I don't think I've ever seen war sequences like this from a movie of its age. There was something terrifying about them, about the way Peckinpah constructed them. When the Russian tanks roll over the German lines in one scene, I felt terror. Terror and chaos, like few movies have been able to replicate. I really felt like I was there, and the frantic cinematography and brilliant editing only heightened this sense of reality.

The most heart wrenching scene of the film was the end, and if you've seen the movie you know what I'm talking about. It's full of suspense and hope and then dread and sadness. I don't want to give it away, so all I say is all the emotion the movie was able to build up seemed to be released in that one scene. Everything the movie was about was concluded there in a tragic, poetic slow motion sequence which was beautifully shot but hard to watch at the same time. Everything about the movie can be summarized in that scene - everything about war, injustice, the human condition. It's an excellent way of bringing the film to an end, and it's also very tragic. However, it is interesting that in an odd sort of way "justice is served". While Steiner's rage is justifiable, I think it was ultimately Steiner's -- and the film's -- way of bringing some sort of meaning to everything that happened in the film and to Steiner himself, or at least it was his way of putting a face to his true enemy, which wasn't the Russians or the allies, but rather war itself... What came after that I must say was rather bizarre...I really don't understand what it was trying to say, although that's not to say I didn't like it. It gives me even more reason to watch Cross of Iron again to try to figure out what the final scene is trying to say. In any case, the last scene was incredible and depressing.

Overall, Cross of Iron turned out to be one of the best war films I've ever seen, rivaling and even toppling modern war spectacles -- including Saving Private Ryan. The decision to portray the German's side of the story, the anti-war sentiments and even the philosophies were amazing put together. The characters were wonderful in that we slowly evolved and we got to grow attached to them, and the battle sequences are incredibly gritty, intense and terrifying. The film is expertly and poetically shot and the editing was fantastic. Cross of Iron was years ahead of its time, and it's a shame it hasn't gained a larger crowd of fans because the film has so much to say about war and humanity.

10.0
Very cheap looking war movie. If Peckinpah would have had a budget to work with we would have a classic war film. Because of that it is just average.
I did it, I finally watched a movie, but, well, it just wasn't that great. It wasn't horrible by any means, but it felt more like a made for television movie than an actual movie. I didn't really add anything to the genre, nor was it wonderful at what it actually did that had been done before.



I watched it on a bad transfer too, so that may have made things worse for me. I'm still on the Scrubs binge though.
This is an ok war movie that never really comes to a specific point. The action scenes are a bit outdated, though the bigger problem is that they disrupt the dramatical flow of the story. There are some interesting conflicts and tension between the characters, but they are never deeply explored. Also not a lot is done with the German point of view this story possesses, which is a big missed opportunity as there aren't a lot of movies like this. It has a solid base, but needed more development.
pretty good anti-war movie. a good idea, the german perspective of the war was messed up with peckinpah's concentration problems and production failures. nevertheless, it was a refreshing experience to watch peck's work on otherwise dull genre like wwII movies.