HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Simon
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Extraction
Overlanders, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  Night of the Generals, The On Whose Orders?
Year: 1967
Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Omar Sharif, Tom Courtenay, Donald Pleasence, Joanna Pettet, Philippe Noiret, Charles Gray, Coral Browne, John Gregson, Nigel Stock, Christopher Plummer, Juliet Gréco, Gordon Jackson, Patrick Allen, Harry Andrews, Howard Vernon
Genre: Drama, Thriller, WarBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Warsaw 1942, and in this tenement block late at night one of the residents hears a scream from a upstairs room. He hides in the lavatory but manages to catch a glimpse of someone going past, who appears to be a German officer, a General in fact, so when he learns that a prostitute has been murdered in the building he is terrified by what he has witnessed. Enter Major Grau (Omar Sharif), who is brought in to investigate because the victim was no ordinary whore, but an undercover Nazi agent, so beginning an obsession with seeking justice for the woman which will last years...

One of those not quite historical thrillers which took elements of real life and mixed them up with a fictional plot, The Night of the Generals was an odd film all round, on the surface a straightforward Second World War suspenser, but once you started watching it you'd find a work which was apparently reluctant to easily slide into any obvious categorisation. Certainly the cast proved a good enough reason to see it for appreciators of interesting assemblies of actors, with Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif reunited after their Lawrence of Arabia blockbuster, though this time on opposite sides of the moral divide, as O'Toole's General Tanz was not a nice fellow to be around.

He is one of the suspects of course, as are his fellow Nazi Generals in Warsaw Kahlenberge (Donald Pleasence) and von Seidlitz-Gabler (Charles Gray), though the actual murderer is easy to spot seeing as how he's the only one who acts like a complete psychopath, which leave us wondering if we're watching a whodunnit or a whydunnit or what? This was a lengthy excursion into what was allowed even among the Nazis, well over two hours, with the conclusion that they would tolerate all sorts of depravity as long as the war machine was running smoothly, though late on the same plot as the Bryan Singer movie Valkyrie is put into play as some of the characters try to assassinate Adolf Hitler (who we never see here).

So you can understand this has a lot on its plate, and one which was more mishmash than slick operation, with a selection of interesting performances and scenes, but not much coherence as a whole entity. There was also a romance as von Seidlitz-Gabler's daughter Ulrike (Joanna Pettet) falls in love with supposed war hero Corporal Hartmann (Tom Courtenay), a man who has had greatness, if you can call it that, thrust upon him as he was escaping a German defeat at the Russian Front when he was picked up by his side and erroneously believed to be the slaughterer of "forty" of the enemy. He ends up as chauffeur and dogsbody to Tanz, which puts him in a very compromising position when events begin to gather pace nearer the end of the movie.

What you had here was not some late after the fact propaganda piece, as it was evident everyone thought they had something to say about distinctions between the Nazis and the ordinary Germans forced into war even if their instincts told them it was a mistake, if not tackling the vile tenets of their leaders' philosophies. Yet by making the biggest Nazi butcher in the story one who was patently off his rocker, it tended to give a false impression, as if the worst of the regime's atrocities could almost be excused because they were plainly insane, rather than working from a plan drawn out with its own base logic and self-justification. Nevertheless, it offered more food for thought on that level than it did succeed as a thriller, simply taking too long to get to the point no matter how well-performed it was: O'Toole you could take or leave in a very mannered style, but Sharif, if not convincing as a German, sounded a welcome note of humanity and Courtenay was sympathetic. This remained a curate's egg of a movie, though. Music by Maurice Jarre.

[Eureka have released this title on Blu-ray with the following features:

1080p presentation on Blu-ray, taken from a stunning 4K restoration
Uncompressed LPCM audio (original mono presentation)
Optional English subtitles
Brand new and exclusive Audio Commentary by author Scott Harrison
Original Theatrical Trailer
Limited Edition Collector's booklet featuring new writing by author Scott Harrison [2000 copies ONLY].]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2256 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: