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3.8 out of 5 stars66
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 17 January 2009
I too only have the Korean edition & would love to see this out on an international DVD as this story should be made known & kept alive. It's a true story of courageous Czech freedom fighters attempting to assassinate Hitler's chosen lieutenant,Reinhard Heydrich, who was a truly evil man (known as the Butcher of Prague). I visited the church that plays a large part in the film, St Cyril & Methodius, in Prague & left in tears. A very moving tale & a fitting tribute to some very brave young men. Don't miss it.
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on 20 April 2009
After my husband moaning for years that this film hadn't been released on DVD I was delighted to find this Korean version. OK, it's not top quality and there's no English sub-titles but that doesn't really matter. Most of the key German dialogue is repeated in English anyway!

I received this on Saturday and we couldn't wait to watch it in the afternoon. No matter what the imperfections in recording (our disc stuck and took a heart-stopping age to switch layers - if that's what it was doing).

As other reviews have said, this is a story brilliantly told. There's no silly sub-plot to distract and the action just races along. The fact that it is a true story is made even more vivid by the final credits. I defy anyone to watch this and not be completely caught up in it.

But please, please can this be released on a 'proper' DVD?
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on 6 May 2009
I was moved to tears when I first saw this film. And that never happens. Telling the (mostly true)story of how some brave young free Czechs (incl. Anthony Andrews (of Danger UXB fame), Timothy Bottoms, Martin Shaw etc) parachuted into occupied Czechoslovakia to assassinate the evil nazi tyrant Heydrich in 1942. Without giving the plot away, the ending was the part that moved me to tears (although, historically, in reality it didn't happen quite like that).

The film is movingly shot and you feel real compassion for the characters (bar one or two). It makes you really feel proud and grateful for the hard fought freedom we have today, due to the bravery of others who gave their everything during the war. The action scenes are really great. One of the most moving parts is the haunting synthesizer music, giving this a sad and melancholic feeling to the film.

This film is unmissable and if you can track it down, even on original VHS, it is well worth it: once watched you will never forget it. It moved me to visit Prague in 2002 to see the church where it all happened - the bullet holes are all still there: again well worth the visit (again I was moved to tears - and at Lidice too!)

Now for the DVD: believe it or not, the only available version is a naff Korean version! It looks like a pirate copy recorded off a 6th hand video tape. Annoyingly, in the scenes spoken in German, there are no English subtitles. There are no extras.

WARNER BROTHERS: WHY HAVE YOU NOT RELEASED THIS ON DVD WITH PLENTY OF EXTRAS???? From your point of view you are missing out 1000's of sales. From the viewers point of view, we are missing out on a great film.

And incidentally people, there's no point writing reviews saying 'when will/I can't wait for it to be released properly' if you don't contact Warner Bros customer services and ask them to release it on dvd. I did and they emailed to say they had taken note: they'll take more note if more people email them!
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on 31 August 2008
I have two comments, 1) on the story/film and 2) on the DVD I bought.

1)
The story is based on actual events from WWII. In a nutshell Hitler's appointed ruler of Czechoslavakia is a ruthless viscious intelligent monster who was galvanising the Czechs to work for the Nazi war effort. He did it in 2 ways the stick and the rod. Known as "the Butcher of Prague" His ruthlessness was proving effective. Something had to be done; a crack small team of Czechs are dropped back into their homeland to kill Heydrich.

It was one of the most improtant missions of WWII, in many ways. Part of the Czechs wanted to support the Nazi's and there was a risk that their Army would be brought in on the Nazi side (that coulde easily have tipped the war in favour of a Nazi victory); Czechs had a puppet government (real govt. in UK exile) supporting Nazi's; Czech factories were productive for Nazi war machine. A wedge had to be driven between all these things.

In reality there was more to the tale than could be told in a single film and its a shame because the full true story is more unbelievable. Imagine being dropped into the heart of Nazi Europe, you dont know anyone, are given a safe contact to find and when you turn up they are gone? What do you do now? Limited money, no where to stay, no job, dont know anyone, etc. and everywhere nazi soldiers and suspicious/scared people squinting at you. Several agents went thru this and similar; some sadly swapped sides.

There is more to this film than I have said and even more to the story than Ive told here (read "Seven Men at Daybreak") but I dont want to spoil it.

I love this film because of its straight forward style(I dont know anyone, male or female, who didnt find it gripping). It sticks to the story (no hamming it up hollywood style) is perfectly balanced between all elements without dwelling on one, has excellent performances from a host of superb English actors (Anthony Andrews, Martin Shaw, Joss Ackland, Nicola Paget, etc.) and Timothy Bottoms. Every actor is convincing without outplaying anyone else. This film tells an incredible story of bravery, romance, tragedy and barbarism off the scale (but its not a gory film) and it does without ever detracting from the story; the viewer feels as if they are a fly on the wall.

It is avery powerful film and will make you appreciate just how much was given to defeat Hitler. I was fascinated from my first viewing 20 years ago and recently visited Prague to see the places in the story. The Church at the end has been turned into a museum and kept just as it was from that time.

Music is a major piece of any film and this score is haunting. A perfect arrangement sinister and romantic in a subtle but powerful way. It adds perfectly to the mood without itself distracting from the story. Perfect and unusual in that it was all done on a synthesiser (given this was made in the 70's it could easily have gone horribly wrong).

This film is a lesson to every film maker today, including the big boys. No one could tell any story any better than this and it was done on a meagre budget by todays standards. You dont need a big name to make a big film, just everyone to know what they are doing and a good story, then tell it dont sell it. Marvellous film.

2)
I bought my copy on eBay from Korea (for about £10) as it wasnt available anywhere else at the time. This film is in English, but there are German speaking parts which should have English subtitles within the original film. In my DVD these subtitles have been removed; you can select English subtitles and have them on for the whole film, but thats not the same. From the Amazon description I think this maybe the same DVD.

I cant wait for a release of the original film in the original form, it is an immensely watchable movie. This film although not widely known is extremely well appreciated, as I said I dont know anyone who has a bad word about it (I first saw it on TV 20 years ago!).

Why the heck the film company doesnt release a proper version and do us all a favour and make tidy number of sales for itself is beyond me.
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on 13 April 2010
I remember seeing this film at the pictures back in the 70s when it was originally released and always looked forward to seeing it again. It was in fact shown on British TV a good few years ago and I recorded it on the old VHS video tape long since lost.

Also, being very interested in WW2, on my first visit to Prague a good few years ago my first sightseeing trip was to the St Cyril church. One thing which I believe has not been mentioned in previous reviews is that this authentic location was actually used in the film.

I would certainly buy an up to date DVD version but thanks, I would not want a dodgy Korean version!

I have given the film 4 stars as I think the panic and terror which immediately followed the assassination was handled a bit too lightly, but that's just my opinion.
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on 6 January 2010
The only disappointment with the copy I received was that it was produced for the Taiwan market and as such some scenes (spoken in German language) were subtitled in Taiwanese !!
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on 18 August 2008
I was moved to tears when I first saw this film. And that never happens. Telling the mostly true story of how some brave young free Czechs (incl. Martin Shaw, Timothy Bottoms etc) parachuted into occupied Czechoslavia to assassinate the evil nazi tyrant Heydrich in 1942. Without giving the plot away, the ending was the part that moved me to tears (although in reality it didn't happen quite like that).

The film is movingly shot and you feel real compassion for the characters (bar one or two). It makes you really feel proud and grateful for the hard fought freedom we have today, due to the bravery of others who gave their everything during the war. The action scenes are really great. One of the most moving parts is the haunting synthesizer music, giving this a sad and melancholic feeling to the film.

This film is unmissable and if you can track it down, even on original VHS, it is well worth it: once watched you will never forget it. It moved me to visit Prague in 2002 to see the church where it all happened - the bullet holes are all still there: again well worth the visit (again I was moved to tears - and at Lidice too!)

Now for the DVD: believe it or not, the only available version is a naff Korean version! It looks like a pirate copy recorded off a 6th hand video tape. Annoyingly, in the scenes spoken in German, there are no English subtitles. There are no extras.

WARNER BROTHERS: WHY HAVE YOU NOT RELEASED THIS ON DVD WITH PLENTY OF EXTRAS???? From your point of view you are missing out 1000's of sales. From the viewers point of view, we are missing out on a great film.

Please email Warner Brothers to re-release it: it will be worth it!!
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on 19 January 2013
The original film is a classic war film, well acted and closely based on the original true facts. Sadly this Spanish version has been savagely cut down in terms of scenes, which makes the storyline disjointed and incomplete. As the film is a Spanish version for which you can select the English soundtrack you lose any subtitled translation of the Germans dialogue, which again hinders comprehension. I recommend the original film but make sure you get the full length English version.
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on 29 May 2011
This review refers as much to the DVD available from Amazon as to the movie.

I am surprised that so many reviewers, who have been quite glowing (with good reason) about the movie, have complained so harshly about the fact that the only DVD now available is a version produced in Korea and that it is of such poor quality.

Yes, it is, but unless this version existed there would be no DVD available at all which would be a great pity given the movie's excellence. Because of its historic content, its superb cast, storyline and acting, I recommend that people give it a try, warts and all. Better, I think, a Korean DVD of the original movie than any attempt to re-make it Hollywood style. There are actually very few movies from the 1970s which remain so interesting and watchable.

It's true that there are no English subtitles available for the German spoken sections of the movie, but these are fairly short and hardly plot-spoiling. There is not one light moment in the movie. It is a sad and sobering account of a dark period in history, but anyone who watches this version with the English sub-titles will probably find the translation quite entertaining in its own right!
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on 5 December 2010
Ronald Harewood's script, Lewis Gilbert's superb direction and Henri Decae's faultless camera work are matched with sensitive and beautifully tuned performances from a marvellous cast and a lambent score to provide one of the most humanely moving and flawless accounts of the absolute waste of war. This is a little recognised classic which moves, informs and inspires. Few will leave it unmoved or dry eyed - and nobody will forget it. Butchered on its original release, this, almost complete version, is a masterpiece to treasure and to share. One day - soon I hope - this film and its marvellous director will receive the honour they have both so long deserved.
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