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The Victors [DVD] [1963]

Vince Edwards , Albert Finney , Carl Foreman    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
Price: 5.80 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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The Victors [DVD] [1963] + Yesterday's Enemy [DVD] [2010] + Red Beret [DVD] [1954]
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Product details

  • Actors: Vince Edwards, Albert Finney, George Hamilton, Melina Mercouri, Jeanne Moreau
  • Directors: Carl Foreman
  • Writers: Carl Foreman, Alexander Baron
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: 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: 12
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Ent. UK
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Jun 2011
  • Run Time: 147 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003AVP6AA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,243 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Carl Foreman directs this anti-war tale that follows the fortunes of a platoon of American soldiers as they fight their way from Italy to Germany during WWII. Landing first in Sicily, Corporal Chase (George Peppard) and his squad soon come face to face with the human cost of war as they make their advance through Italy. As their contacts with the local population become more personal and complex, the men are increasingly exposed to the full horrors of war raging around them, and soon find themselves faced with a range of life-changing dilemmas.

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2.4 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Mono ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Black & White, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: An epic and unusual anti-war drama about WWII, writer-director Carl Foreman's heavily ironic saga is loosely based on the novel The Human Kind by Alexander Baron. It follows the adventures of an American infantry platoon based in Sicily that participates in the invasion of France, marches into Germany, and remains there for the Allied post-war occupation. Interspersed during the nearly three-hour film are vignettes of silly newsreel scenes from the home front. These are contrasted with disturbing incidents from the war. George Peppard plays Corporal Chase, who has an affair with a woman who wants him to desert to help her run a black market business. He visits the wounded Sergeant Craig (Eli Wallach) in the hospital and finds that most of his face has been blown away. Sgt. Trower (George Hamilton) takes up with a woman who turns out to be a prostitute The plot is highly episodic, with characters coming and going. Originally released at 175 minutes, the picture was withdrawn from distribution and edited down to 156 minutes to place greater emphasis on onscreen action. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: BAFTA Awards, Golden Globes, ...The Victors

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
The Victors is truly one of the great anti-war movies - and yet sadly overlooked in many quarters. There are no heroes in this film, just ordinary, scruffy, tired and dirty soldiers trying to come to terms with finding themselves in a series of unenviable and frightening situations; or perhaps they are heroes in the sense that many of the characters try to retain some dignity and morality in the insanity of war.

There are some genuinely shocking scenarios, such as the sequence where an American soldier, found guilty of desertion, is led to his death by firing squad in the snow-covered landscape of Christmas 1944 (based on a true event), with soundtrack accompaniment of Frank Sinatra singing 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas'. This is just one more element in the gradual breaking down of the film's protagonists.

I'll knock one star off for the missing half-hour that another reviewer so rightly points out and I do understand his frustration. It's just that I don't think potential viewers should be put off watching the film because of missing footage - it's no fault of the director, actors or writer. I understand the studio cut the film within weeks of its original release and I'm wondering if no salvageable full-length versions exist. Given the choice, I'd rather see 146 minutes of the original 175 minutes than no film at all.

Great art work on the box cover incidentally.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Victors 11 Dec 2010
By David Rowland TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I remember the Victors when it was first shown in the cinema in 1963 and I recently purchased the DVD to see how I would react to it now and after watching the film it still has considerable impact if not quite the same as when I watched it the first time around. At its heart the Victors is a deeply anti-war film showing what war does to human beings and in particular to a group of young American GIs and the people they come into contact with in the second world war between 1942 and 1945. It shows that there is no glory in war only killing, brutality, futility, degredation, exploitation and waste. It starts in London in 1942 with two increasingly terrified newly arrived GIs played by George Peppard and George Hamilton standing guard during the blitz as bombers come nearer and nearer and unload their bombs close to where they are standing and how after that how they gradually become hardened to war because of what they see and experience in Sicily and western Europe after D-Day.

Some of the techniques used like an army deserter being executed against a soundtrack of cheerful Christmas carols and two of the victorious soldiers, an American GI and a Russian soldier killing each other simultaneously after they had won the war symbolising the cold war that was to come are a bit obvious but nevertheless the film is a fine, memorable and powerful work by Carl Foremen and there is much to commend in it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Uneven anti-war epic 19 Mar 2011
By The CinemaScope Cat TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The film follows a small platoon of American soldiers during WWII and its aftermath from 1942 to 1946 as they work their way through England, France, Italy and Germany. The film is fragmented, a series of episodes complete unto themselves, not surprising since the film is based on a collection of short stories though the book's soldiers have been changed from British to American. Directed by Carl Foreman, the film is a highly uneven, rather unsubtle, ponderous anti-war tract. Example: The execution of a deserter in the snow as Frank Sinatra croons Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas on the soundtrack. Slogging in at 2 1/2 hours, the original cut was closer to the 3 hour mark. In this case, be thankful for the cutting shears. Not that it isn't worth watching because there are some affecting as well as strong moments among the heavy handedness like the Sergeant (Eli Wallach) and a French widow (Jeanne Moreau) in a bombed out country house, an episode featuring Peter Fonda and a stray mutt and a sequence about two German sisters (Elke Sommer, Senta Berger) living off Russians and Americans in the Berlin Zone. Foreman intercuts his stories with actual WWII newsreels. The large cast includes Albert Finney, George Peppard, Romy Schneider, Melina Mercouri, George Hamilton, Vince Edwards, Maurice Ronet and Michael Callan.

The Sony DVD from Great Britain is, for the most part, a nice clean anamorphic wide screen (2.35) transfer. However, there is an annoying vertical line in the print for a few minutes during the Wallach and Moreau segment.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This DVD release has not been re-cut 29 Mar 2011
By CJM
Format:DVD
The Victors was cut from 175 minutes to 154 minutes during the first weeks of it's release. The shortened running time of the DVD is a consequence of the transfer to the PAL broadcast system adopted in Europe, Australia, and elsewhere, which results in the movie being displayed at 25 frames Per Second, rather than the original Cinema rate of 24 Frames Per Second. This standard applies to all movies transferred to VHS or DVD, or broadcast on television, in those regions. The result is an apparent loss of approximately two and a half minutes per hour.

North America and Japan use a system called NTSC, which broadcasts at 29.976 Frames Per Second. In these regions, instead of 'speeding up' the movie, broadcasters use a technique of duplicating frames to achieve the necessary frame rate during transmission. Because this is done using half frames the 'padding' is barely noticeable, and the movie retains it's original running time. DVD players from these regions do the 'padding' during playback, so the disk is capable of being played at the enhanced frame rate or the original frame rate.

The historical reason for these discrepancies lies in the need for broadcasters and manufacturers to tune their equipment to the mains frequencies of the different regions (50Hz in Europe, 60 Hz in North America). The microprocessor age has seen the widespread introduction of consumer equipment adaptable to multiple standards, so Blu-Ray transfers automatically preserve the original frame rates.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a heart rending war movie with a dramatic ending
i have not seen this movie for years but my recollections of it are vivid a great cast tremendous story line and a real insght into the suffering wrought by war great value
Published 1 month ago by michael hinman
5.0 out of 5 stars A Terrific War Movie
An excellent cast consisting of many Hollywood actors who are household names. The style of the movie is similar to a documentary in certain parts. Read more
Published 2 months ago by J. Pang
4.0 out of 5 stars War film with a difference
An old WWII film that deserves a higher profile. Good human interest and lots of action both on and off the battle field.
Published 2 months ago by Whitby Wife
2.0 out of 5 stars Good film, poor video
Sony.uk has not made a big effort! Video 720x416, audio 48000Hz, poor quality image. Let us hope for a Criterion Blu disk.
Published 2 months ago by Hellix
5.0 out of 5 stars The Victor's Classic Scene
The execution of Private Slovak to Sinatra's "Have yourself a merry little Christmas" is one of the classic scenes in movies. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ronald Hansen
5.0 out of 5 stars None Jingoistic War Film
A very thoughtful war movie with a fine cast. The climax remains valid while the film disturbs as it entertains. A movie not to make you gung ho. Which must be a good thing.
Published 6 months ago by Paul Barrett
3.0 out of 5 stars Keep snipping away...
Several reviewers have noted that this film opened in late 1963 at a length of 175 minutes, but had been cut by the time it went on general release. Read more
Published 6 months ago by gustavus
5.0 out of 5 stars "All 'war film' are, by definition, 'anti-war films'" and this is no...
And 'The Victors' is the most anti-war film of all.

One scene after another, often unlinked to previous and subsequent scenes by anything other than one or two of the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jim Bob
4.0 out of 5 stars One to remember
I watched this film once when I was a teenager. I am now 60 and it stayed with me all these years. A film that staggers by its clear anti-war message; it's realism, and its sense... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mr. David Titley
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
I missed this when it hit tghe cinemas - university exams, I think. it FINALLY became availabel on DVD. It is a classic
Published 12 months ago by Bob of Canberra
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