Number of Times Seen – 1 (21 Mar 2018)
Brief Synopsis – During the end days of World War Two, a German unit captures a USO Orchestra led by a tyrannical conductor.
My Take on it – Here is another film that I knew nothing about before watching it.
All I knew was that it was a Charlton Heston World War Two drama.
Heston and Maximilian Schell are both perfect for their roles and I loved the way that their characters were able to verbally spar the entire time.
Each character is a form of egomaniac and they both believe that the fate of the orchestra is solely in their hands.
This film does a great job giving us numerous subplots along the way to help keep the story gripping throughout.
WE get a story about former lovers, the idea that two combat soldiers must try and hide out among the musicians without being sold out or discovered via their lack of musical talent and of course we get the intellectual aspects of a cultured German who must try and decide what is more dear to him; his rank and position or his yearning to experience culture despite some of his men disagreeing with him.
Great to see a young Leslie Nielson in this film in a pivotal role.
I was actually quite surprised at how interesting this film remains throughout since based solely on the premise I wouldn’t have believed that they could keep it that way for over an hour and a half yet they did t wonderfully.
Bottom Line – Great watching the egos of Schell and Heston spar back and forth throughout this film. Both characters try to show that they are truly in control of the fate of the entire orchestra being held hostage. Really enjoyed the subplot presented here that include a former affair, two combat soldiers hiding out among the group of musicians and of course the ideals of the Germans vs the ideals of culture. Surprised at how interesting this film was because it didn’t seem that way from the premise itself. Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Charlton Heston spent up to 5 hours a day at rehearsals conducting Beethoven’s Fifth..In his diaries, he describes it as better than parting the Red Sea . (From IMDB)
Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)
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