Colonel Brandt: "What will we do when we have lost the war?"
Captain Keisel: "Prepare for the next one."
A 1977 film directed by Sam Peckinpah
, and his only war movie, based on the novel The Willing Flesh
by Willi Heinrich, who served during the war and was wounded five times. According to Quentin Tarantino
, it's the inspiration for Inglourious Basterds
. It is set on the Eastern Front during World War Two, specifically the retreat from the Taman Peninsula during the Russian offensive of 1943-1945. It is also notable for using a large number of accurate Soviet and German weapons and vehicles, thanks to being filmed in Yugoslavia
During the fighting, a battle-hardened Corporal (later Sergeant), Steiner (James Coburn
), clashes with Captain Stransky (Maximilian Schell), an arrogant, aristocratic Prussian and a Glory Hound
, who wants to win the Iron Cross.
It did poorly at the box office and received a mixed critical reaction, but is now considered one of the finest war movies ever made. It did, however, perform well in Germany
, possibly because it portrays the average German soldier with sympathy without any Neo-Nazi themes. Fun fact: it earned the best box office takings of any movie released there since The Sound of Music
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