Breakthrough (1979 film)

Last updated
Breakthrough
Breakthrough FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen
Produced byWolf C. Hartwig
Herbert Lukowski
Written byPeter Berneis / Tony Williamson
Starring Richard Burton
Robert Mitchum
Rod Steiger
Michael Parks
Curd Jurgens
Helmut Griem
Klaus Löwitsch
Music by Peter Thomas
Production
company
Palladium Film
Rapid Film
Distributed by Constantin Film
Maverick Pictures International (US)
Release date
1979
Running time
111 minutes (German version)
115 minutes (English version)
CountryWest Germany
LanguageGerman / English

Breakthrough, also released as Steiner - Das Eiserne Kreuz, 2 and Sergeant Steiner [1] is a 1979 war film set on the Western Front, specifically the Normandy coastline. [2] The picture is an unofficial sequel to Sam Peckinpah's Cross of Iron , and includes several characters from that film.

Contents

The film starred several big names including Richard Burton, Robert Mitchum and Rod Steiger. Burton (Sergeant Steiner) and Helmut Griem (Major Stransky) assume the roles played by James Coburn and Maximilian Schell respectively in the original film. The supporting cast features Michael Parks and Curd Jürgens. Klaus Löwitsch is the only actor from Cross of Iron to reprise his role.

Plot

Starting in late May 1944, during the German retreat on the Eastern Front, Captain Stransky (Helmut Griem) orders Sergeant Steiner (Richard Burton) to blow up a railway tunnel to prevent Russian forces from using it. Steiner's platoon fails in its mission after coming up against a Russian tank. He then takes a furlough to Paris just as the Allies launch their invasion of Normandy.

Steiner's unit is transferred to France, occupying the village of St Bologne. General Hoffman (Curd Jürgens) orders Steiner to cross into nearby enemy territory and confer with American Colonel Rogers (Robert Mitchum) and General Webster (Rod Steiger), informing him that the High Command of the German Army (Wehrmacht) is plotting to assassinate Hitler and would like to surrender. The plan fails and American forces launch an attack on German forces in St Bologne where Stransky has planned an explosion to destroy both the Americans and the civilian inhabitants.

Cast

Unofficial sequel reception and criticism

Breakthrough was mostly financed by West German producers when it was released in 1979, after several changes were made to the sequel: for instance,the action was relocated from Russia to the Western Front and Richard Burton replaced Coburn as Sgt Steiner. The film was panned by critics, who identified a confusing plot, poor dialogue, an aged cast and undistinguished acting. [3] They further point out that it is not 100% faithful to Cross of Iron because it does not follow the correct timelines nor make any sense, since Stransky was already wounded and left for dead and Steiner goes missing in action in the previous film. Also, the film depicts the duties of officers being performed by enlisted men and the duties of enlisted men being performed by officers.

Related Research Articles

Rod Steiger American actor

Rodney Stephen Steiger was an American actor, known for his portrayal of offbeat, often volatile and crazed characters. Cited as "one of Hollywood's most charismatic and dynamic stars," he is closely associated with the art of method acting, embodying the characters he played, which at times led to clashes with directors and co-stars. He starred as Marlon Brando's mobster brother Charley in On the Waterfront (1954), the title character Sol Nazerman in The Pawnbroker (1964), and as police chief Bill Gillespie opposite Sidney Poitier in the film In the Heat of the Night (1967) which won him the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Iron Cross Military decoration in the Kingdom of Prussia, and later in the German Empire (1870–1918) and Nazi Germany

The Iron Cross is a former military decoration in the Kingdom of Prussia, and later in the German Empire (1871–1918) and Nazi Germany (1933–1945). King Frederick William III of Prussia established it on 17 March 1813 during the Napoleonic Wars. The award was backdated to the birthday of his late wife, Queen Louise. Louise was the first person to receive this decoration (posthumously). The recommissioned Iron Cross was also awarded during the Franco-Prussian War, World War I, and World War II. The Iron Cross awarded during World War II has a swastika in the center. The Iron Cross was usually a military decoration only, though there were instances awarded to civilians for performing military functions. Two such examples were Hanna Reitsch, who received the Iron Cross 2nd Class and Iron Cross 1st Class, and Melitta Schenk Gräfin von Stauffenberg, who received the Iron Cross, 2nd Class. Both were civilian test pilots during World War II.

<i>Cross of Iron</i>

Cross of Iron is a 1977 war film directed by Sam Peckinpah, featuring James Coburn, Maximilian Schell, James Mason and David Warner. Set in late 1943 on the Eastern Front in World War II, the film focuses on the class conflict between a newly arrived, aristocratic Prussian officer who covets winning the Iron Cross and a cynical, battle-hardened infantry NCO.

<i>The Longest Day</i> (film) 1962 film about the Invasion of Normandy

The Longest Day is a 1962 American epic war film based on Cornelius Ryan's 1959 non-fiction of the same name about the D-Day landings at Normandy on June 6, 1944. The film was produced by Darryl F. Zanuck, who paid author Ryan $175,000 for the film rights. The screenplay was by Ryan, with additional material written by Romain Gary, James Jones, David Pursall, and Jack Seddon. It was directed by Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, and Bernhard Wicki.

<i>The Willing Flesh</i>

The Willing Flesh is a novel by Willi Heinrich, chronicling the Eastern Front combat experiences of a depleted infantry platoon during the 1943 German retreat from the Taman Peninsula in the Caucasian coast of Russia.

Horst Tappert

Horst Tappert was a German movie and television actor best known for the role of Inspector Stephan Derrick in the television drama Derrick.

Quakenbrück Place in Lower Saxony, Germany

Quakenbrück is a town in the district of Osnabrück, in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated on the river Hase. It is part of the Samtgemeinde of Artland.

Helmut Dörner was a German commander in the Waffen-SS of Nazi Germany during World War II. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. During World War II, he was awarded both classes of the Iron Cross during the Battle of France. Dörner stayed with the Polizei division until late 1943, and was then transferred to Greece. When Karl Schümers was killed, Dörner took over the command until the arrival of the new commander. In September 1944 the 4th SS Polizei Division was sent to Rumania and Hungary. During the siege of Budapest, he became the commander of a mixed battle group and died during a breakthrough attempt.

Grimme-Preis German television award

The Grimme-Preis is one of the most prestigious German television awards. It is named after the first general director of Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk, Adolf Grimme. It has been referred to in Kino magazine as the "German TV Oscar".

Harry Meyen German actor

Harry Meyen was a German film actor. He appeared in more than 40 films and television productions between 1948 and 1975. In the 1960s he also worked as a theatre director in West Germany.

Horst Rudat was a general in the German Air Force. During World War II, he served in the Luftwaffe of Nazi Germany as a bomber pilot.

Harald Freiherr von Elverfeldt was a general in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany during World War II who commanded the 9th Panzer Division. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves.

Helmut Rüffler was a German Luftwaffe ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Helmut Rüffler was credited with 88 victories in 690 missions, a further 10 victories were claimed but not confirmed.

The Steiger Award or Der Steiger is an international award established in 2005 and presented annually by the award organization based in Bochum, Germany. The title refers to steiger, reflecting the qualities of responsibility, honesty, openness and hard work valued in the Ruhr region where the award is presented.

Helmut Adalbert Mahlke was a highly decorated Oberstleutnant in the Luftwaffe during World War II, and a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, the highest award in the military and paramilitary forces of Nazi Germany during World War II.

Fritz Fliegel

Fritz Fliegel was a German track cyclist, Luftwaffe bomber pilot and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, the highest award in the military and paramilitary forces of Nazi Germany during World War II. On 18 July 1941, Fiegel was killed in action flying a Focke-Wulf Fw 200 during the Atlantic War in an attack on convoy OB 346. He targeted the 7,046-ton freighter Pilar de Larrinaga. However, the gunners shot his starboard wing off and he crashed into the sea, killing all on board.

<i>Family Parade</i> 1936 film

Family Parade is a 1936 German comedy film directed by Fritz Wendhausen and starring Ernst Dumcke, Curd Jürgens and Amanda Lindner.

The Iron Cross is a 1914 German silent film directed by Richard Oswald and starring Friedrich Kühne, Hedda Vernon, and Hanni Weisse. It marked the directorial debut of Oswald.

<i>Gustav Adolfs Page</i> 1960 film

Gustav Adolf's Page is a 1960 German-Austrian historical adventure film directed by Rolf Hansen and starring Liselotte Pulver, Curd Jürgens, and Ellen Schwiers. It is based on the 1882 novel of the same title by Conrad Ferdinand Meyer.

References

  1. Steiner - Das eiserne Kreuz, 2. Teil (Sergeant Steiner) (Breakthrough) (1980) , retrieved 2019-06-25
  2. Fyne, Robert. (2008). Long ago and far away : Hollywood and the Second World War. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press. ISBN   9780810861244. OCLC   183179610.
  3. "Review:BREAKTHROUGH (1979) aka SERGEANT STEINER". Angelfire.com. Retrieved 2011-04-07.