Stalingrad

Stalingrad

Director: Joseph Vilsmaier

Cast: Dominique Horwitz, Thomas Kretschmann, Jochen Nickel

     
 

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This German battlefield drama, released on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the climactic 1943 defeat of the Nazi forces at Stalingrad in Russia, does not paint a pretty picture either of war itself or of the Germans fighting in that war. Out of hundreds of thousands of previously victorious German soldiers who took part in this most crucial battle of WWII,… See more details below

Overview

This German battlefield drama, released on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the climactic 1943 defeat of the Nazi forces at Stalingrad in Russia, does not paint a pretty picture either of war itself or of the Germans fighting in that war. Out of hundreds of thousands of previously victorious German soldiers who took part in this most crucial battle of WWII, a mere six thousand ruined men survived. Today, the word "Stalingrad" is used by Germans to signify any particularly ruinous reversal or defeat. In the story, the lives of several German soldiers are followed as they are transformed from arrogant and victorious killers into demoralized cowards who will do anything at all in order to survive, usually without success. Due to a political climate of resurgent sympathy for the fascists at the time this film was made, is was particularly important to the filmmakers to show the soldiers as lacking any shred of military dignity or real courage. Thus, though this big budget, well-made film did well in Germany, its lack of any truly sympathetic characters made it less popular elsewhere.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
An epic treatment of World War II's most prolonged and bloodiest battle has yet to be made, but this grunt's eye view of that event is a powerful dramatic treatment on its own terms. Even before the storm troopers of the Sixth Army depart for the Russian front from a beachside idyll in Italy, there is a suggestion of trouble in the ranks when one of their number refuses to button his collar for a medals ceremony and his commanding officer in turn refuses to award him his medal. This theme, the conflict between the ground-level soldier and the officers who blindly follow orders, caring little for the morale of their men, is best illustrated in a terse exchange of dialogue. When a captain tries to tell Sergeant Rohleder (Jochen Nickel), "I'm not a Nazi," the weary, nearly frozen sergeant replies, "No. You're worse, you lousy officers. You went along, even though you knew who was in charge." In this movie's view, Stalingrad became less of a battle against the Russians and a more a battle for survival. "If you start to think, you go crazy," advises one soldier to another even before they're in desperate straits, and there are few heroes in this story, just men operating on gut instinct. The script focuses on a small company of soldiers, all of them fairly admirable, though as their number dwindles, they become divided on the limits of their duty to the Fatherland. Like Das Boot, with whom this shares a number of production personnel, this was a TV miniseries in Germany, which doesn't mean the filmmakers stint on their depictions of violence. Even if it comes up short in depicting the details of the German command's folly in fighting on through the winter, Stalingrad, like Das Boot, does transcend national rooting interests in offering a vivid depiction of the insanity of war.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/08/2013
UPC:
0759731414524
Original Release:
1992
Rating:
NR
Source:
Henstooth Video
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
2:18:00
Sales rank:
17,565

Special Features

Featurette - the making of Stalingrad; Theatrical and TV trailers

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Dominique Horwitz Fritz Reiser
Thomas Kretschmann Hans von Witzland
Jochen Nickel Manfred "Rollo" Rohleder
Dana Vávrová Irina
Martin Benrath General Hentz
Sylvester Groth Otto
Karel Hermanek Hauptmann Husk
Sebastian Rudolph Actor
Jaroslav Tomsa Opa Erwin
Petr Skarke Soldat 1
Heinz Emigholz Edgar
Oliver Broumis HGM
Cestmir Randa Soldat 3
Karel Habl Adjutant

Technical Credits
Joseph Vilsmaier Director,Cinematographer,Producer,Screenwriter
Karl Baumgartner Special Effects
Karl Baumgertner Special Effects
Milan Bor Score Composer
Jurgen Buscher Screenwriter
Mark Damon Executive Producer
Jindrich Goetz Production Designer
Johannes M.M. Heide Screenwriter
Ute Hofinger Costumes/Costume Designer
Wolfgang Hundhammer Production Designer
Hanno Huth Producer
Hannes Nikel Editor
Ruth Philipp Makeup
Günter Rohrbach Producer
Norbert Schneider Score Composer
Milan Steindler Asst. Director

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Stalingrad
1. Start [10:38]
2. To the Front [9:28]
3. First Encounter [18:46]
4. Cease Fire [13:05]
5. The Sewers [12:37]
6. Land Mines [8:55]
7. Tanks [11:30]
8. An Execution [13:21]
9. Last Plane [14:44]
10. Hidden Plunder [11:36]
11. Refugees [8:48]
12. End Credits [4:07]

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