Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Night of the Generals (1967)

Director: Anatole Litvak

Starring: Peter O'Toole, Omar Sharif, Tom Courtenay, Charles Gray, Donald Pleasence, Christopher Plummer

More info: IMDb

Taglline: A unique manhunt across the capitals of Europe... across three decades up to today!

Plot: The murder of a prostitute in Nazi occupied Warsaw draws Wehrmacht Major Grau into an investigation where the evidence points to one of three high ranking Generals. The trail leads Grau from Warsaw to Paris and straight into the 1944 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, of which two of the Generals are deeply involved. Grau's case goes unfinished and it is not until 1965 when the true killer is brought to justice.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Yeah, maybe in another 20 years.

Ever since seeing THE DIRTY DOZEN (1967) as a kid in the 70s I was hooked on WWII movies. I think I was a teenager when I saw TNotG. My opinion still holds. It's a pretty damn good thriller and, despite the moments of lag (the last half hour before the climax starts to drain you) and the annoyingly amateurish score by Maurice Jarre (one of the most over-rated film composers of all time - I dig some of this guy's work, a lot actually, but much of what he wrote was trite and silly), it holds up well and it's worth watching just for the cast alone. It's nice to see a film dealing with Germans during WWII that doesn't get into ideology. This is about a murderer, high ranking officials in the German Army and an investigator. It's a nice change of pace from the usual WWII fare.

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