Cross of Iron (1977)

The Power of Peckinpah Has Never Been So Real...Or So Brilliant!

Blu-ray, 1h 59min
Rating: 7.5
Votes: 24113
Languages: English, Russian, French, German
Country: UK, West Germany
Director: Sam Peckinpah
Music: Ernest Gold

Plot outline

German commander Captain Hauptmann Stransky (Maximilian Schell) places a squad in extreme danger after Sergeant Rolf Steiner (James Coburn) refuses to lie for him.

Personal notes



German commander Captain Hauptmann Stransky (Maximilian Schell) places a squad in extreme danger after Sergeant Rolf Steiner (James Coburn) refuses to lie for him. - softsofa

In 1943, on the Russian front, decorated leader Rolf Steiner (James Coburn) is promoted to Sergeant after another successful mission. Meanwhile, upper-class and arrogant Prussian Captain Hauptmann Stransky (Maximilian Schell) is assigned as the new commander of his squad. After a bloody battle of Steiner's squad against the Russian troops led by the brave Lieutenant Meyer (Igor Galo), who dies in combat, the coward Stransky claims that he led his squad against the Russian and requests to be awarded with the Iron Cross to satisfy his personal ambition together with that of his aristocratic family. Stransky gives the names of Steiner and of the homosexual Lieutenant Triebig (Roger Fritz) as witnesses of his accomplishment, but Steiner, who has problems with the chain of command in the Army, and with the arrogance of Stransky, refuses to participate in the fraud. When Colonel Brandt (James Mason) gives the order to leave the position in the front, Stransky does not retransmit the order to Steiner's squad, and they are left alone surrounded by the enemy and have to fight to survive. - Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

1943. Stalingrad has fallen and the German Army is being pushed back on the Eastern Front. Nowhere is the situation more dire for the Germans than at the Kuban Bridgehead/Taman Peninsula. Here we see the war through the eyes of a platoon of German reconnaissance troops. Their senior N.C.O. is a grizzled, resourceful veteran, Corporal Steiner (James Coburn). He is unconventional, insubordinate, and irreverent, but the regiment's commander, Colonel Brandt (James Mason), tolerates this as he gets results. However, his company has a new commanding officer, the inexperienced Captain Hauptmann Stransky (Maximilian Schell). Stransky is a by-the-book, authoritarian aristocrat and him and Steiner are bound to clash. Also, Stransky is obsessed with winning the Iron Cross. - grantss

A squad of German soldiers fighting on the Eastern Front during World War II led by battle-hardened Sergeant Rolf Steiner (James Coburn) fight to survive Soviet attacks and dogmatic commanders in a chaotic and lethal environment in this sympathetic portrayal of another side of the war not commonly portrayed in Hollywood movies. - Keith Loh

This movie opens with a squad of seasoned German soldiers, led by disillusioned but skilled Sergeant Rolf Steiner (James Coburn), on a patrol on the Russian front in World War II. They return to base to find a new commander, traditional Prussian Captain Hauptmann Stransky (Maximilian Schell), who wants only one thing from his command, an Iron Cross to maintain his family honor. The scene is set for a graphic portrayal of the horrors of war and of the conflict between two men of differing backgrounds. - Michael Lawn