Synopsis by Michael Betzold
An epic and unusual anti-war drama about WWII, writer-director Carl Foreman's heavily ironic saga is loosely based on the novel The Human Kind by Alexander Baron. It follows the adventures of an American infantry platoon based in Sicily that participates in the invasion of France, marches into Germany, and remains there for the Allied post-war occupation. Interspersed during the nearly three-hour film are vignettes of silly newsreel scenes from the home front. These are contrasted with disturbing incidents from the war. George Peppard plays Corporal Chase, who has an affair with a woman who wants him to desert to help her run a black market business. He visits the wounded Sergeant Craig (Eli Wallach) in the hospital and finds that most of his face has been blown away. Sgt. Trower (George Hamilton) takes up with a woman who turns out to be a prostitute The plot is highly episodic, with characters coming and going. Originally released at 175 minutes, the picture was withdrawn from distribution and edited down to 156 minutes to place greater emphasis on onscreen action.
soldier, war, platoon, France, Germany, anti-war