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Cross Of Iron [DVD]

Sam Peckinpah    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
Price: 14.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Cross Of Iron [DVD] + Stalingrad [DVD] [1994]
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Product details

  • Directors: Sam Peckinpah
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Optimum Home Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Jan 2007
  • Run Time: 127 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MRP3U8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,133 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



In Cross of Iron Sam Peckinpah weighs in on World War II from the German point of view. The result is as bleak, if not quite as bloody, as one expects from the director of The Wild Bunch, in part because this 1977 film was cut to ribbons by nervous studio executives. The assorted excerpts that remain don't constitute an exhilarating or even an especially thrilling battle epic. The war is grinding to a close, and veterans like James Coburn's Steiner are grimly aware that it's a lost cause. The battlefield is a death trap of sucking mud and barbed wire, and the German generals (viz., the martinet played by James Mason) seem to pose a bigger threat to the life and limbs of Steiner's men than the inexorable enemy. Not even Peckinpah's famous sensuous exuberance when shooting violence is much in evidence; the picture is a depressive, claustrophobically overcast experience. The bloody high (or low) point isn't a shooting; it's a wince-inducing de-penis-tration during oral sex. For a fun time with the men in (Nazi) uniform, try Das Boot instead. --David Chute,

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Mono ), WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Cross of Iron (1976) proves the extent to which human beings will go in order to destroy themselves. Set in 1943, with the German army facing destruction by the Russians, it focuses on a doomed platoon. And without sentiment, it shows us a set of complex relationships between officers and other ranks in which the instinct for war proves greater that the instinct for survival. Sam Peekinpah is a director who doesn't wrap the comforter of a liberal message round many of his films he made The Wild Bunch an in this battle-piece, photographed as a thunderous map of hell by John Coquillon, Peekinpah is in his element, 'In war, anything goes', is the message to the troops a message relayed in every sour grimace and belligerent gesture by the platoon's problem hero, played by James Coburn, who has a long list of medals and a longer record of insubordination and 'dumb insolence'. The colonel, played by James Mason, recognises his sort and the danger he represents for since he is good at war to satisfy, his enjoyment of it fuels the conflict. Also in the fox-hole is a Prussian officer, played by Maximilian Schell, who needs war to satisfy not so much his bent for destructiveness, but his lust for personal glory. While the enemy are raining down shells, these two are locked in a struggle of personal vindictiveness conduct that would be absurd, if they themselves were not part of a greater absurdity called war. As always with a director who seems hell-bent on having his characters' guts for raw film stock, Peekinpah, using his celebrated technique of slow-motion mayhem, delivers his gory-covered message with brutal effectiveness. If such men are necessary to fight wars, that's one more reason for not having wars.
...Cross of Iron (UK)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Right from the start, this film grabs you by the lapels and forces you to watch - the titles appear over stills of Hitler Youth errecting a Swastika flag, German soldiers suffering in the Russian winter, partisans being executed... all to the tune of a children's rhyme, interspersed with a military marching tune. An unrelenting artillary bombardment ensues, amidst the mud of Russia, where the Wehrmacht are being forced back. Steiner (Coburn) is the battle-weary veteran corporal, trying to keep himself and his squad of men alive, and at odds with his superior officers, particularly the newly-arrived Prussian aristocrat, Captain Stransky (Schell). The attention to detail will delight afficianados of the war - real T34 tanks, Germans preferring captured Russian weapons rather than their own - and the impending sense of doom as the story approaches it's bloody climax - well, this IS a Peckinpah film, after all!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cross of Iron 9 Feb 2013
Firstly ignore the reviewer who appears to have been watching something else (Max Schell not James Mason played the Iron Cross seeking officer) and ends by telling us to go and watch something else,this film as already stated by others is one of the best. A classic right up there with the finest.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An opera of bloody war. 28 Jun 2005
Sam Peckinpah's only war movie, and his interpretation of war itself. The body count in his movies were so high he hardly needed the excuse to commence death in a WWII epic. But we're all glad he did, praised by Orson Welles as "Greatest war film I ever saw". Coburn (who plays the part of Corporal Steiner) is a seasoned combat veteran, and is sick of war in the eastern front and of the arrogance of his commanding officer (played by Maximilian Schell) who can't see past his own need to win the coveted Iron Cross. A bittersweet drama portraying the true gritty realism of war along the eastern front (not unlike Das Boot). This is a typical Peckinpah movie: slow motion death sequences of enemies/allies being shot or blown to hell and scenes of sexual violence. Although I thought the ending was a little abrupt - Coburn and Schell taking on the might of the advancing Russian troops just as the movie comes to a close. All-in-all a fantastic war movie not just for Peckinpah fans but all movie lovers alike.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cross of Iron blu-ray 19 Jun 2011
For any fans of Cross of Iron this blu-ray is a MUST-BUY!!!!
The picture quality is the best it,s ever going to be,a huge jump in quality over the standard dvd,it,s not the same quality as Zulu/The Searchers,what is,but compared to the dvd,and that,s the comparison we should always make,blu-ray/dvd,the picture quality is excellent,soft but clear,the longer the film goes on the better the PQ is.
A wee disappointment was the sound,but this film was made in the mid-70,s remember.
The blu-ray has an excellent documentary about Sam Peckinpah too.
All in all,Cross of Iron blu-ray is a MUST-BUY,the guys who restored this gem of a war movie deserve every plaudit going,a marvellous restoration.
Davy Cairns,Scotland.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Essential War Movie 7 April 2007
Cross of Iron is still, nearly 30 years later one of the great (anti) war movies. Its 1943 and the Germans are being overrun on the Russian front. Peckingpah's trademark slow motion is used to good effect in the battle scenes. Yes this being Peckinpah the battle scenes are very well done.

The cast give marvellous performances:

Maximilian Schell as Captain Stranszky perhaps steals the acting honours as a cowardly Prussian seeking the Iron Cross.

Coburn pushes him close as the officer hating Steiner.

In a supporting role an ageing James Mason gives a seemingly effortless demonstration of how doing very little can amount to a superb performance.

There are occasional lighter moments, but mostly this film is relentlessly grim. Even if you don't see their deaths, you know that all the characters will die.

Strangly though this is a film I want to watch again (and look forward to watching). This is because the main characters are so well drawn (and acted) and as I said above you don't see them all die.

In a typically perverse move Peckinpah ends the film on a moment of black comedy relating to Stranszky's incompetence; Steiner can't stop laughing. A great film.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cross Of Iron - A Short Review 18 Dec 2002
Given the scale and actual chain of events in World War 2 on the Eastern Front, it was fresh to finally see a movie shot from the German army's point of view. Peckinpah's bleak vision of a doomed army awaiting defeat and retribution at the hands of a wronged and now furiously powerful enemy come late 1943 has to be one of the finest (anti) war movies I have ever seen. It is interesting to see how cleverly Peckinpah uses in the opening sequence the rousing, patriotic but chilling montage of german nursery rhyme, Nazi propaganda, ( capturing the prevalent mood of the german nation at the time, that their army was invincible ) followed by combat newsreel showing the disaster for the sixth army at Stalingrad and then the hint of the onset of likely defeat for the Thousand Year Reich that at this stage is only ten years old. Peckinpah has clearly researched his subject well, and gives us a bitter taste of the horror, widespread brutality, and downright insanity that thoroughly characterized the nature of Germany's final blitzkrieg in Europe in the greatest racial conflict in all military history.
Central to the plot are the two main characters, the well-bred but combat inexperienced Prussian military aristocrat Stransky ( played well by Max Schell ) a fellow with an invincibilty complex still believing in the unassailable superioty of the german soldier. He represents what would have been a high percentage of the officer corp in the Wehrmacht throughout World War 2. He feels he cannot return to Germany without the Iron Cross, which he intends to get by fair means or foul.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent film rel classic
Published 28 days ago by jolson
5.0 out of 5 stars Sam Peckinpah-best war film WW2
Film demonstrates class war continuance in the
ranks whilst German soldiers try to hold line against
Russian soldiers. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jayne Smartphone
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing
It is hard to grasp that it is something like 37 years since I first saw this movie and, watching the DVD, there was nothing about it to suggest that it wasn't made yesterday. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Richard V Raiment
3.0 out of 5 stars poor quality
I was somewhat disappointed overall particularly with the dialogue as I found that it was rather muffled and not at all clear.
Published 3 months ago by geoffrey imms
5.0 out of 5 stars I am very happy with the service from this seller.
Cross of Iron is a film I had not seen in years, and the seller allowed me to watch it again in all it's vivid detail.
Published 3 months ago by Mr J Kleyn
5.0 out of 5 stars James Coburn
A classic Action Film with Anti-war tones from the perspective of the common soldier in a War that was lost. The reality of men scrabbling to survive in an impossible situation.
Published 3 months ago by Michael C Robinson
2.0 out of 5 stars Low grade stuff
It's a stocking-filler movie. Lacklustre script, silly plot line, low grade direction from Sam Peckinpah and too much use made of multiple and choppy cut-scenes that make it at... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kilrymont
5.0 out of 5 stars An under-appreciated Peckinpah masterpiece
Amazingly, Sam Peckinpah's 1977 war film Cross of Iron is still not widely regarded as one of his finest works. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Film Buff
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
Bought as a Christmas present, so not viewed yet. I have heard great comments about this movie - so hope my son enjoys it.
Published 9 months ago by M. G. Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Anti War Film
Wonderful audio and video quality. Unusual in presenting German soldiers in a more realistic light rather than universally evil caricatures. Very highly recommended.
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
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