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Film / The Green Devils of Monte Cassino

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The Green Devils of Monte Cassino (German: Die grünen Teufel von Monte Cassino) is a 1958 West German World War II film directed by Harald Reinl and starring Joachim Fuchsberger, Antje Geerk and Ewald Balser.

It follows German parachutists of the 1st Fallschirmjäger division as they are sent to the centuries old abbey on the rocky hill of Monte Cassino in Italy in early 1944. By that time, Monte Cassino is the main stronghold of the defense line against the Allies' advance on the way to Rome.


Provides examples of:

  • Innocent Bystanders: A big problem for the Germans is that there are civilians living in Cassino that must be evacuated from the war zone before it becomes hell on Earth. It is difficult for them to convince the monks of the abbey to leave the place at first.
  • It's Raining Men: The battle of Monte Cassino is famous for the fierce defense German parachutists opposed to the Allies, although said parachutists were employed as elite infantry troops rather than airborne operations troops.
  • Red Baron: The Fallschirmjäger's prowess in combat earns them the nickname "Green Devils".
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Fähnrich has been degraded for refusing to execute an Allied prisoner.
  • Standard Snippet: One of the parachutists plays the melody of the classic love song "Lili Marleeen" on an accordion. It was by far the most beloved song in the German forces back then.
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  • Stock Footage: Some real footage from the war was used for the combat scenes, likely for budgetary reasons.
  • Theme and Variations: The film's opening credits music includes two brief variations on the theme of Die Deutsche Wochenschau (The German Weekly Review), the newsreels released in cinemas of Nazi Germany from 1940 until the end of World War II.