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(Review originally written at 25 March 2006)

This was an extremely lacking WW II movie. The story is told poorly and most of the time is just mainly confusing. The movie also lacks in tension and the main characters in the story are handled in a boring and bad way.

The cast of this movie is truly impressive. George Kennedy, John Cassavetes, Sophia Loren, Robert Vaughn, Max von Sydow, Patrick McGoohan, Bruce Davison. All are great actors but the material they had been given to work with in this movie was just plain awful. None of the actors really get the opportunity to shine, due to the very poor directing and some weak, ridicules dialog. All of the characters in the movie are just totally uninteresting to follow. Sophia Loren's character is just pointless and works only distracting and causes the movie its pace to be even more lacking in speed. George Kennedy also really wasn't convincing as Gen. George S. Patton Jr. Robert Vaughn plays a villainous American colonel, who also happens to be a very active homosexual in the movie. This just feels totally pointless and was not needed at all for the story. Basically the only really interesting and good character is the hit-man played by the always dependable Max von Sydow. Cheering for the bad guy in a movie like this one, that's never a good sign. It was also sort of fun to see a young Bruce Davison, before he received real fame in the late '90's/00's.

The story itself really isn't that bad and was good enough to make this movie just as good and entertaining as movies like "Where Eagles Dare", "The Guns of Navarone" and "The Eagle Has Landed". However the story is told extremely muddled in the movie, which makes it hard to understand at times what is the main plot line of the movie. At first you think that the movie is about getting the stolen German gold stock back. However as the movie progresses it becomes obvious that the movie is about an assassination on General Patton instead and the movie turns into a whole different movie entirely, almost more in the same style as "The Day of the Jackal", which was made 5 years earlier. Needless to say that not all of the elements that happen in the story feel connected to each other.

The movie is also truly lacking in tension. The movie is slow paced and could had really used some action sequences. Instead, the movie is a slow and boring one to watch. Also because the story is so confusing and distorted, you never really connect to anything that happens in the movie. The characters feel really distant and the events in the movie are far from interesting or exciting and the movie also totally lacks in style and atmosphere.

So why should you watch this movie in the first place? I can think of no reason. It by no means is one of the worst movies ever made but it also most certainly isn't the best in its genre. It's a very poorly made movie, with weak directing and storytelling that feels like an huge waste of a great cast and a story that had quite some potential and deserved a better treatment. It's already an almost totally forgotten movie and it should better just stay that way as well.

4/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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