During the winter months of 1944, Allied Armies are preparing to invade Germany at the beginning of the New Year. To deter this effort, Hitler orders an all out offensive to regain French territory and capture the major port city of Antwerp. The conflict is shown from both sides of the war. A German Panzer Commander and an American intelligence officer give their views.
This film condenses a battle lasting nearly a month into 2 hours and 47 minutes. The actual battle was the Ardennes Counteroffensive stretching across Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. A lot of the terrain for filming doesn’t resemble the actual locations and some events are re-organized in their date order. There are a lot of historical inaccuracies so think of this as a Hollywood film. The Allies were caught by surprise and that lead to many casualties. I especially didn’t like the treatment of captured Allied troops by the Germans. It was thought this would demoralize the troops but instead it gave them more drive and strength. 3* (This movie is OK)
167 min, Drama directed by Ken Annakin with Henry Fonda, Robert Shaw, Robert Ryan, Dana Andrews, George Montgomery, Ty Hardin, Pier Angeli, Barbara Werle, Charles Bronson, Hans Christian Blech, Werner Peters, James MacArthur, Karl-Otto Alberty, Telly Savalas, Steve Rowland.
Note: Imdb 6.8 out of 10, 67% critic 68% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.1* out of 5* with 862 reviews.
Special Note: Filmed in Sierra de Guardarrama mountain range, Madrid, Spain. There are a lot of errors in saluting. The enlisted are supposed to hold the salute until returned. There is almost always a quick up/down in this film. Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower came out of retirement and held a press conference to address the excessive inaccuracies. There is an Overture and Intermission on the DVD.