“Lady, the whole world is full of trouble.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
… and Bob Newhart (in his film debut) as a bumbling outsider tasked with faking a phone call to his superiors in order to make spying Germans believe his team is doing just fine.
There are a few other mild attempts at humor, but for the most part, this is a bleak film that pulls no punches in depicting how relentlessly brutal war is.
Particularly hair-raising scenes include a few of the men snake-crawling across the ground while feeling with their fingers for landmines (tragically, Coburn misses one):
… Guardino screaming that his guts have been blown out while being carried off the battlefield:
… and a brutally graphic ending for McQueen. Indeed, “The End” appears on screen almost immediately after several major characters have been killed, thus denying the viewer any further closure or sense of what happens to the remaining men. This harsh film has a minor cult following given taut direction by Siegel and plenty of authentic-seeming fighting, but it’s not my personal cup of tea.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments: