Director – Sam Peckinpah – 1977 – UK, Germany – Cert. 15 – 132m
4K Blu-ray *****
A German corporal on the WW2 Russian front takes exception to an aristocratic officer’s attempts to take credit (and a medal) for a dead officer’s bravery – out in a 4K restoration on UHD Steelbook, Blu-ray & DVD from Monday, July 31st
The Taman Peninsular on the Russian Front in World War II. German army Corporal Steiner (James Coburn) leads his small reconnaissance unit in a successful attack on a German position, taking captive an underage Russian recruit rather than killing him. His war-weary senior officer Colonel Brandt (James Mason) and assistant Captain Kiesel (David Warner) are joined by enthusiastic Captain Stransky (Maximilian Schell) who was previously in France and has come to Russia determined to earn an Iron Cross to impress his aristocratic, Prussian family.
In his first encounter with Steiner, Stransky orders him to shoot the teenager captive, as they have been ordered to take no prisoners. Steiner instead hides the boy among his unit, letting him go during a Russian attack on the base, hoping the boy can return to his own forces, but alas the boy is shot by advancing soldiers on his own side.… Read the rest