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When Trumpets Fade [DVD]

4.3 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Ron Eldard, Frank Whaley, Zak Orth, Dylan Bruno, Martin Donovan
  • Directors: John Irvin
  • Producers: John Kemeny
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Arrow Films
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Jun. 2011
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004UA8YCW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,571 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Towards the end of World War Two, American troops based in Europe see the success of D-Day as a sign that they will soon return home. However, the Battle of Hurtgen forest claims 24,000 lives in just three months. Private David Manning is promoted for his bravery after carrying a wounded comrade to safety and reluctantly placed in charge of raw recruits. Manning's only thoughts are of escape from the carnage of war as he embarks on a final mission.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 22 Jan. 2004
Format: DVD
Releasing a war film at the same time as Saving Private Ryan probably isn't the smartest thing to do, and it is a great pity that this film was so ignored. A made-for-TV flick, it plays more like an arthouse production than it's War-is-hell counterparts.
It is set during the battle of Hurtgen Forest, a particularly bloody battle in American history. Focusing on lowly Private D. Manning, the film begins as he carries the only other man from his platoon that wasn't massacred through the misty woods. Nobody except him knows what befell the unit, and frankly nobody cares, as he is immediately, against his will, promoted to Sergeant and sent back in to the "Death Factory" with a batch of fresh recruits. For him, history seems to be repeating itself, certain that these youngsters are soon to die as well.
If Private Ryan's style of shooting evoked combat footage, this musters something of the feeling of war photography, framing the story neatly and functionally, and often fading into sepia tones like O Brother, Where Art Thou? Directed by John Irvine it bears resemblances to Hamburger Hill but certainly stands on its own two feet.
The strength of the film over others is the central character's ambiguity. Is he a reluctant fighter, some sort of lucky freak, or just a plain heartless coward? It is certain, however, that this man is no hero.
The cast is completed made up of unknowns, none of which have really got anywhere since which is unfortunate as the acting is largely strong. Where the film fails, inevitably, compared to Ryans' big-budget spectacle, is its action, shot more traditionally. But don't miss it- this is a benchmark for how TV should be made
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This very little known film took me completely by surprise and it was a very pleasant surprise indeed. Now, don't get me wrong, this film is quite nightmarish and extremely violent and I do not think there is even one single "pleasant" moment in it - but on another hand this is a rarity in recent cinema, a war film with a solid scenario, credible characters, well filmed action scenes, quite a lot of developments we can not anticipate and a really surprising, very strong ending...

Director John Irvin made earlier (in 1987) another excellent (and also little known) war film, "Hamburger Hill". In this one he did almost as well. As for "Hamburger Hill" he selected actors who are not really known (well, at least I didn't know them) and he worked them very hard indeed - in the film we can almost REALLY see the terminal exhaustion slowly breaking people who just reached the very limit of their strength... As in "Hamburger Hill", the cast is exclusively male, the language is strong and the occasional jokes fly at the lowest possible level... However the butcher bill in this film is much, much heavier than in "Hamburger Hill" as here, the enemy has not only light weapons but also artillery and tanks.

Most of this movie was turned in a natural park in Hungary and the forest is indeed a very savage place, with enough fog and undergrowth to hide entire squads waiting in ambush, and enough steep hills and muddy banked rivers to stop in its tracks any amount of armor - which is exactly what happened in 1944-45 in the Hurtgen Forest and what made this battle so bloody for both sides. With only a handful of tanks managing to slip here or there and the positions of both sides being so close (sometimes only 25 metres separated Americans from Germans!
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Format: DVD
This superb film was released in the wake of the hugely successful 'Saving Private Ryan' and was subsequently ignored and overlooked by the masses. 'Saving Private Ryan' also overshadowed the poetic and emotional 'Thin Red Line' yet this still was enjoyed by a wide audience. With this, already, flourishing market there was no room for this amazing movie. I only discovered it due to it being shown on satellite television and videoed it.
The film itself portrays a campaign which itself was overshadowed by the 'Battle of the Bulge' although it claimed the lives of thousands of Americans. The film itself avoids a hollywood style affair and also uses a mainly unknown cast yet the acting in the movie is consistently spot-on. The camera angles used also add to the films quality.
Overall this film is perhaps the hollywood blockbuster that never was combining the gritty detail of 'Saving Private Ryan' with the emotional struggles portrayed in 'The Thin Red Line'. I recommend that you buy this spectacular film and I'm sure that you will find it a great movie.
By Ed Hughes (15)
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Format: DVD
Set in the fall of 1944 and the battle between American infantry forces and German defenders at Hurtgen Forest. It is the longest single battle the U.S. Army has ever fought in its history and casualities were around 60.000 US soldiers. The battle was know for its brutality, probably more so since the battle lines hardly moved, similar to WW1 trench warfare. For all its brutality and sacrifice the Battle Of Hurtgen Forest has long been considered a forgotten battle, with the attention going to Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge, probably because there is no glory in a stalemate.

The story itself is fiction and follows pvt Manning, the sole survivor of his group as he must lead new recruits into the meat grinder and is promoted against his wishes. Many of his comrades consider him to be flawed and question why he is alive when everyone else is dead. The new recruits must learn fast or die. So even if the story is fiction it tries to capture the spirit of the battle and its message is War is Hell.

War movie buffs will like it, attention is given to detail and even though it is a television production there are a lot of extras making the scenes convincing. Special mention should go to Martin Donovan as Capt. Roy Pritchett, pvt Mannings Company Commander. An intelligent man who sees the futility of the battle but must soldier on and push his men into the meat grinder while he wants nothing more than to keep them alive. A very strong preformance.

The script is well written and has connections to older war movies that some may spot and the story progresses well.

I enjoyed it and thought it was good and it has a worthy place in my collection.
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