Cross of Iron (1977) Movie Review

Cross of Iron reviewThis movie popped up in my streaming recommendations and I did a little research before watching it. It was generally well reviewed across the board so I gave it a go.

The movie stars James Coburn and James Mason. It is set during WW2 on the frontlines of the German invasion of the Soviet Union.

Bottom line, this movie was a mess. I can see what they were going for but in my opinion they were not able to achieve it. It did have its moments and was not unwatchable but it was very cringe at times.

Maximilian Schell, who played Captain Stransky, was a bright spot in an otherwise dull endeavor. Schell had won an Oscar 16 years prior for the film Judgement at Nuremberg.

It was released in 1977, sandwiched between two of the greatest war movies (and movies in general) of all time. These are Patton (1970) and Apocalypse Now (1979). In fact, it’s hard for my mind to fathom that this movie and Apocalypse Now were actually being filmed at the same time. (A.P. famously was a long shoot with production beginning in 1976. From Wikipedia: “The film was due to be released on Coppola’s 38th birthday, April 7, 1977. Shooting began on┬áMarch 20, 1976.”). Apocalypse is light years ahead of Cross of Iron in just about every aspect: the psychology of war, cinematography, acting, tone, music score, direction, storyline, just about everything.

Cross of Iron felt contrived, bloated and slightly ridiculous. I would not watch it again and would not suggest it to anyone I consider a friend. I give this movie 50% on the Potato Meter and certify it as a dud of a spud.

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