Classic War Movies

10/10/2005
  |  Buy to Own: 10/10/2005
  |  648 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC

Synopsis

Box set containing five popular war movies. In 'Von Ryan's Express' (1965), when US pilot Colonel Joseph Ryan (Frank Sinatra) is shot down and placed in a German POW camp, he is more concerned with his own survival than escape. The top-ranking officer in the camp, he is initially reviled by his fellow British and American prisoners, who nickname him 'Von Ryan'. However, Ryan eventually comes to lead them in a daring escape attempt, taking over from the commanding British officer (Trevor Howard) and the escapees face many hazards as they commandeer a train to make their way across Italy, closely followed by the Nazis. 'The Young Lions' (1958) follows the fortunes of three soldiers, one German and two Americans, from the time of their enlistment for World War Two to the end of the war. Christian Dietl (Marlon Brando) is a German who starts out as a dedicated soldier but gradually becomes appalled by the Nazi movement. The American soldiers (Montgomery Clift and Dean Martin) meet as draftees, one a young Jew and the other an entertainer, and together endure Boot Camp and the campaign to retake France. All three characters finally meet in a confrontation outside a concentration camp. The film was nominated for three Oscars. 'The Hunters' (1958) is based on the novel by James Salter. Robert Mitchum plays Major Cleve Saville and Robert Wagner is Lt. Ed Pell, two pilots with different personalities. Amidst the drama of war, romance rears its head, giving the soldiers more than they can handle. 'The Sand Pebbles' (1966) is set in China in 1926. The US gunboat San Pablo cruises the Yangtze river on a peacekeeping mission and new crew member Jake Holman (Steve McQueen) causes friction when he insists upon looking after the San Pablo's engines himself, rather than leaving the hard labour to the Chinese helpers. Holman ruffles more feathers when he falls in love with an American missionary (Candice Bergen), and as the political climate becomes more and more volatile, he begins to question the validity of the American presence on the river. Finally, 'The Desert Fox' (1951) is a biopic of Field Marshal Rommel, from his military defeat in Africa to his implication in the plot to assassinate Hitler. James Mason plays Rommel and the film was one of the first to use original war footage before the opening credits. Mason also played Rommel in the 1953 film 'The Desert Rats'.