The Cross of Lorraine (1943)

Genres - Action, Adventure, War  |   Sub-Genres - POW Drama, War Drama  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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The time is World War II. A group of disillusioned French soldiers are approached by Nazi troops and promised safe passage to their homeland. The Frenchmen willingly surrender, only to discover that their next destination is a German concentration camp located near a Gallic village. The anticipated escape attempt results in an uprising from the French villagers--hence the film's title, which refers to the emblem of the Free-French underground. Cross of Lorraine compensates for its Hollywood's-eye view of France (no more realistic than the Paris of the Ernst Lubitsch musicals) with some remarkably graphic sequences showing the extent of German brutality. The melting-pot cast includes Frenchman Jean-Pierre Aumont as a patriot, Hungarian Peter Lorre as a hateful Nazi, American Gene Kelly as a cynical victim of German torture, and Canadian Hume Cronyn as the traditionally rodent-like informer.

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Keywords

concentration-camp, war, attack, barracks, battle [war], bread, brutality, captive, captor, conflict, conquest, courage, death, doctor/nurse, escape, fire, France, Germany, informer, Judaism, maniac, Nazism, officer, overcome, priest, prison, regime, resistance, retreat [sanctuary], shoot-out, soldier, starvation, surrender, tactics, torture, village, worker