Watch Once Before I Die
- 1 hr 37 min
Once Before I Die is a war-themed drama film that was released in 1966, directed by John Derek and starring Ursula Andress, John Derek, Richard Jaeckel, and also features Bekim Fehmiu. The movie takes place in Greece during World War II and focuses on the struggles of a group of Partisans as they fight against the German army. As the film begins, we are introduced to a group of Partisan fighters led by Captain Curry (played by John Derek). They are tasked with the job of sabotaging Nazi ammunition depots in Greece, and their mission is made more complicated by the presence of a local armed resistance group that is also fighting against the Germans. Amidst this chaotic and violent setting, Captain Curry meets the beautiful but mysterious Marlene (played by Ursula Andress), a woman who appears to be an ally to the Partisans but is hiding a dark secret.
The film's opening scene is set in the snowy mountains of Greece, with a tense and suspenseful musical score amplifying the suspense. The group of Partisan fighters also includes Sergeant Steve Corey (played by Richard Jaeckel), an experienced soldier who becomes a voice of reason and calm amidst the chaotic and dangerous situation. Bekim Fehmiu plays Lt. Nikolai Leshchenko, a Soviet army officer assigned to assist the Partisans in their fight against the Nazis. Â The group also includes younger fighters and refugees, adding layers of vulnerability and emotional weight to their situation.
As the story unfolds, the intense danger and violence that the Partisans face is evident, with several characters meeting shocking and brutal ends. A major focus of the movie is the relationship between Captain Curry and Marlene, which serves as a way to explore the impacts of the war on the human psyche in a romantic context. Marlene's background as a German and her ties to the Nazis cause suspicion and tension among the Partisans, especially towards Captain Curry who is drawn to her. This sets up a complex love triangle that adds another layer of intrigue and drama to the story.
One of the most outstanding things about the film is the way in which it portrays the brutality of war. The battle scenes are realistic and visceral, with the use of practical effects heightening the impact of each explosion and gunfight. The movie doesn't shy away from showing the devastating effects of war, both physically and emotionally. It also expertly portrays the comradeship and loyalty that is often formed between soldiers, highlighting the importance of trust and teamwork in this kind of environment.
Another standout element of Once Before I Die is its beautiful cinematography. The Greek landscape is showcased with sweeping shots of the countryside and mountains, while darker scenes inside buildings and caves are also shot with consideration and care.
Overall, Once Before I Die is a powerful and intense war drama that explores many different themes pertaining to the human condition during times of conflict. Its portrayal of the relationships between soldiers and civilians during wartime is particularly poignant, and the film's suspenseful and thrilling plot will keep audiences engaged from start to finish. Ursula Andress and John Derek give strong and sincere performances, and the talented supporting cast adds depth and nuance to the story.
Once Before I Die is a 1965 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 37 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 3.9.