Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
This ideologically correct war film, a sort of Soviet Bloc response to The Longest Day, was an officially sponsored co-production involving seven nations: the USSR, Bulgaria, Hungary, the German Democratic Republic, Poland, Rumania, and Czechoslovakia. The brief depiction of Leonid Brezhnev by Yevgeny Matveyev in this 5-hour, 54-minute epic film made it a command performance for Soviet schoolchildren. In connection with the release of this film, 30 years after the war, Brezhnev was awarded the highest Soviet World War II military honor, the "Order of Victory." Among the previous recipients were Eisenhower, Montgomery, and Marshall Zhukov. It is thought that this film was made especially to justify the giving of this award, following the build-up which began with the publication of Brezhnev's three slim volumes of memoirs, including his activities as a political commissar in Malaya Zemlya (between the Black Sea and the Azov Sea) during World War II.
war, leader, politician