Now With More Than 3000 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 2500 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to MAKSQUIBS@yahoo.com . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

CROSS OF IRON (1977)

Sam Peckinpah’s blunt, often powerful Russian Front/Nazi Retreat film is something of an apolitical cheat with Herr Hitler either unmentioned or heartily loathed by his own army. The sole ideologically-minded soldier, a despised internal spy, winds up with his pecker bitten off. For the rest, violence & near certain death interrupted by personal grudges (rooted in lingering class differences) & the flawed grace of being an honorable warrior during relentless shelling & enemy attacks. Working again with lenser John Coquillon, Peckinpah finds a look & rhythm that lets him intersperse his signature slo-mo action editing with explosions to punctuate dream-like horror on & off the battlefield, and hallucinations at a convalescent hospital. James Coburn, with an indifferent on-and-off German accent, gives a commanding perf as the indispensable insubordinate Sargent with a motley platoon of warring eccentrics under him. James Mason, playing yet another German officer (back to Rommel in ‘53; on to his Nazi enabler in next year’s BOYS FROM BRAZIL/’78) and David Warner hit their marks perfectly in the C.O. office, but Maximilian Schell is a little too ‘Snidely Whiplash” then he needs to be as the vicious, cowardly officer who’ll undercut anyone to get his Iron Cross. Peckinpah, going thru a series of post-GETAWAY/’72 flops at the time, overspent and hacks the ending. Best to celebrate what did get done; a considerable achievement and his last piece of sustained filmmaking.

ATTENTION MUST BE PAID: With an undeserved rep made after his EXODUS theme became a Pop hit, Ernest Gold became house composer for Stanley Kramer. These two were made for each other, but his over-emphatic score here is nearly as much of an impediment as the botched ending.

No comments: