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Plot: During World War II, a Basque shepherd is approached by the underground, who wants him to lead a scientist and his family across the Pyrenees while being pursued by a sadistic German. Runtime: 98 min Release Date: 26 Feb 1979
Excellently violent - one to remember - chip chip chop chop (by geolab-1)
I saw this film years ago and am very disappointed to find that it is not available on VHS or DVD. Strange that any film my Malcolm should be unavailable as so much other dross is.This film is very violent with some humour attached. Not the most cerebral piece of work but neither is 'The Hills Have Eyes' or 'Nightmere on Elm Street' but they are cult movies.If this was released again, I am sure it would get an appreciable following for those with 'Bad Taste' and 'Brain Damage' - even Peter Jackson started with over the top violence & humour!Try and get a <more>
copy and see for yourself - don't be put off by these other 'critics'.Mark
Yes many dislike it but this film in the performance of McDowell manages to capture everything that was terrifying about the Nazi regime, there is an authentic atmosphere of dread and oppression, more so than any other film about WW2 made, how it was in occupied territories.The stand out scene is the one where he interrogates the Michel Lonsdale resistance man, and chops off his fingers while cooking dinner, we don't see it the camera pans away, but it still is terrifying! More so than any Texas chainsaw film! Yes they really did things like this the SS! Watch it now!
Magnificent Second World War Epic (by jlthornb51)
Director J. Lee Thompson does a remarkably tremendous job in bringing this epic war adventure to the screen. However, this is much more than an adventure. It is an unrelentingly powerful story of Nazi sadism and cruelty at its most raw. After all these years since its release, it still haunts those who initially witnessed its unholy imagery of SS savagery and Gestapo monstrousness. Beautifully filmed, with exciting sequences of action and overwhelming suspense, it features a cast of exceptional actors doing some of the best work of their careers. Of course, the most noteworthy and notorious <more>
performance is given by Malcom McDowel as the Nazi officer who is the epitome of pure evil and bloodthirsty perversion. He is nothing less than superb in the most intense role he has ever played. He personifies the Nazi mindset and lust for violence as no other actor ever has. It is truly one of the most memorably disturbing characters ever written for the screen and McDowel is stunning.
I saw this many years ago. Micael Longsdale deserved an Academy Award for the scene in a kitchen with the Nazis. Being tortured without showing the graphic details only the outcome made me feel sick to my stomach. Sometimes what you imagine is far more scary than what you see. The rest of the film was memorable by the fact that Mason didn't seem to grasp the need to be saved. I personally would have left him in the mountains for being annoying. It seems the premise was good even if the script was not that good. The film flopped at the box office for some reason. In the day we weren't <more>
given trailers that tell the whole story so it must have been word of mouth that doomed the film. Mason and Quinn should have been a sellout, but perhaps more was wanted from the audiences in 1979.
Anthony Quinn as a Basque shepherd helping old James Mason and his family across the wildest Pyrenees in winter. (by clanciai)
The film was shot entirely in the Pyrenees except for the inside studio scenes, and it is mainly worth seeing for the spectacular landscapes caught on screen and doing them justice for their stunning wildness and beauty. Anthony Quinn is reliable as usual, here as a die-hard veteran Basque who evidently has been through the worst long since and knows what he is doing. James Mason in one of his last films looks worried and has reason to be. Anthony Quinn is paid to get the refugee VIP professor Mason across the mountains to Spain, but he is not informed that the professor has a family <more>
including a frail old wife and two children, youths by all means, but nonetheless totally inexperienced both to war and to mountain passages. Christopher Lee makes a brief intermission as the leader of a Gipsy group helping them on and getting paid for it by the wrong gang. There are a lot of scenes of violence, you learn to hate Malcom McDowell from the beginning, a hatred wich constantly will increase throughout the film, as he relishes in developing it. He boasted that this was his best film, well, I never saw him in a decent character on film, which would have been wished for a change.John Lee Thompson was a specialist on spectacular adventure films, and this is no exception - he never disappointed his audience. There is nothing to object against in this film, except, perhaps that the whole story in its extreme dramatization lacks all credibility.