Watch The Girl and the General
- 1 hr 43 min
The Girl and the General is a 1967 war film set in Italy during World War II and stars Rod Steiger, Virna Lisi, and Umberto Orsini. The film is directed by Pasquale Festa Campanile and tells the story of a German general who, after a series of losses on the Italian front, is ordered to capture and execute a group of rebel partisans.
As the film opens, we see General von Kessel (Steiger) leading his weary troops through the Italian mountains. They are tired, hungry, and losing the war badly. Von Kessel is a tough soldier who is known for his brutality and uncompromising nature. He is determined to win the war for Germany, no matter what the cost.
However, when Von Kessel and his men stumble upon a small village, they meet a young Italian girl named Graziella (Lisi) who changes their perspective on the war. Graziella is the daughter of a local barber and is unafraid to speak her mind, even to a German general. She tells Von Kessel about the suffering of the Italian people under the German occupation and asks him to consider a different path.
As the two begin to talk, Von Kessel begins to see the war from a different point of view. He realizes that he has been fighting for a cause that he doesn't entirely believe in and that the suffering of the Italian people is not worth the cost of victory. Graziella, for her part, is attracted to the general and sees in him a potential ally.
But when Von Kessel is given the order to capture and execute a group of rebel partisans, he is forced to make a choice. Will he follow his orders and continue to fight for a losing cause? Or will he listen to the voice of reason and humanity that Graziella has awakened in him?
The Girl and the General is a film that explores the complexities of war and the toll it takes on both soldiers and civilians. The film is shot on location in Italy, and the cinematography is beautiful, capturing the stark beauty of the Italian mountains and the lush countryside.
The performances in the film are excellent, particularly Rod Steiger as General von Kessel. Steiger is a master of portraying complex characters, and in this film, he delivers a nuanced and powerful performance as a man who is forced to confront the consequences of his actions. Virna Lisi is also excellent as Graziella, bringing warmth and humanity to a character who could have been played as a typical war movie love interest.
One of the strengths of the film is its portrayal of the Italian people, who are caught in the middle of the war between the Germans and the partisans. The film shows the suffering they endure and the choices they are forced to make to survive. It is a reminder that war is never straightforward and that the innocent are often the ones who suffer the most.
Overall, The Girl and the General is a powerful and thought-provoking war film that explores the humanity that can be found even in the midst of conflict. The film is a reminder that even in the darkest of times, there is always hope for redemption and that it is never too late to choose the path of compassion and understanding.