Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Victors

We follow a group of soldiers in Europe during World War 2. Starring George Peppard, George Hamilton, Jeanne Moreau, Melina Mercouri, Peter Fonda, Romy Schneider, Albert Finney and Eli Wallach, directed by Carl Foreman.

I discovered this film by accident late one night on a French tv channel. I had missed most of the film, only getting the last half hour or so, but its bleakness made me want to watch the whole thing. Now, the dvd I have is 146 minutes, and apparently the film originaly was 175 minutes, so that's half an hour missing. A complete version would have been nice, thank you. It's actually a very interesting film, an anti war film in the style of the more famous Paths of Glory, and quite episodic: Characters disappear for a long time, then re-appear, without us knowing what has happened to them in the meantime. There are several memorable moments in the film. It shows an American deserter being executed, white American soldiers beating up black soldiers in a bar, even a soldier shooting a dog! Most memorable is maybe the scene of Wallach in the hospital, his face ruined. I don't understand why this film has fallen through the cracks, being so little known.


  1. Oh, that's intriguing! A war film with so many actresses is rather unusual. Must check it out.

  2. I like it too, its a great early 60s movie if over-obvious in showing how war corrupts people. Its episodic structure means it has been trimmed a lot over the years. It was sold at the time on its collection of European actreseses just as international cinema as taking off, and its a reminder of when actors like Peppard and Hamilton were young and interesting, there's even the young Albert Finney at the end!

  3. It's not quite the masterpiece that Paths of Glory is, but I find it to be a better film than Johnny Got His Gun. Timewise it's somewhere in the middle. The use of newsreels as an ironic comment on the story gets possibly a bit old. Yes, it's interesting to see a young George Hamilton here or William Shatner in Judgment at Nuremberg, actors that since have become more famous for being celebrities.