Watch Cross of Iron
- 2 hr 12 min
Set during World War II, Cross of Iron is a gritty war film that explores the brutal realities of combat on the Eastern Front. The story follows a German Army unit as they fight against the Soviet Union, struggling to survive amidst the harsh conditions and unrelenting violence of war. At the heart of the film is Sergeant Steiner, played by James Coburn, a battle-weary veteran who has seen the worst of combat and is increasingly disillusioned with the war effort. Alongside him are a group of men who all have their own reasons for fighting, from patriotic fervor to the desire for glory to the hope of survival.
As the war grinds on and the casualties mount, tensions rise among the soldiers. The unit's commander, Captain Stransky, played by Maximilian Schell, is a wealthy aristocrat who uses his status and connections to gain favor with his superiors and further his own career ambitions. Stransky covets a medal for bravery, the coveted Iron Cross, and will stop at nothing to obtain it, even at the cost of his own men's lives.
Despite Stransky's machinations, Steiner and his comrades are determined to carry out their mission and protect each other from harm. They face a series of grueling battles, each more dangerous than the last, as the war drags on and the Soviet forces close in.
With breathtaking action sequences and a realistic portrayal of the horrors of war, Cross of Iron is a powerful depiction of the human cost of conflict. It explores the themes of loyalty, bravery, and sacrifice, showing how the soldiers on the front lines were forced to confront their own mortality and make difficult choices in impossible circumstances.
The film is anchored by strong performances from the cast, including James Coburn as the stoic and battle-hardened Sergeant Steiner, Maximilian Schell as the ruthless and ambitious Captain Stransky, and James Mason as the troubled and world-weary Colonel Brandt. The cinematography is stunning, capturing the stark beauty of the Eastern Front and the chaos of battle with equal skill.
Overall, Cross of Iron is a must-see for fans of war films and anyone interested in a realistic and harrowing portrayal of World War II. It offers a sobering look at the toll of war on the human psyche and the sacrifices made by those who fought and died in the name of their country.
Cross of Iron is a 1977 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 12 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.4 and a MetaScore of 64.