Monday, June 14, 2010

Review – Cross of Iron

I first saw this movie during its original theatrical release in 1977. Toward the end of the movie the hero – a battle-weary Wehrmacht sergeant (James Coburn) – has one of the double-crossing bad guys at gunpoint. A guy in the front row lost it. He started bouncing up and down in his seat and yelling “Stick him! Stick him!” at the top of his lungs. Without the floor show, this movie is substantially less entertaining. The story is unusual in that it’s set on the Eastern Front in World War Two, and the Germans are the heroes. Coburn’s character won’t sign a false statement that would allow his arrogant captain (Maxmilian Schell) to get the Iron Cross he wants. As a result, the officer leaves the sergeant’s platoon to the tender mercies of the advancing Soviet forces. The picture features a lot of Sam Peckinpah’s hallmark macho posturing and slo-mo death scenes, not to mention a hearty dose of unhealthy sexuality. Otherwise it’s a run-of-the-mill war movie. Mildly amusing

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