HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
Sweat
Quiet Place Part II, A
Nobody
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Mandibles
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Triggered
Claw
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
Hall
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Superhost
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
Shorta
Knocking
Bloodthirsty
When the Screaming Starts
   
 
Newest Articles
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin 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 2831 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: