Peckinpah's only war film, based on a novel by Willi Heinrich, displays his familiar preoccupation with the individual confronted by events beyond his control. Dealing with a German platoon involved in the 1943 retreat on the Russian front, the film reveals a special feeling for the universalities of war: lives in the balance, the single-suppression of emotion. Sombre and claustrophobic photography, an intelligent script, and Peckinpah's clear understanding of a working platoon of men, are all far removed from the monotonous simplicity of most big-budget war films.
Cast and crew
Julius Epstein, Walter Kelly, James Hamilton