Movie depicts the the battle of Hürtgen Forest, where well prepared Germans were repelling attacks from Americans.
David Manning, a private in American army is one of the few people who survived another attack through Hürtgen Forest. He lost all the hope for the future, doesn’t want to take any risks - all he thinks of is to keep his head low and just stay alive. But due to heavy loses the officers wants him to take over a platoon of fresh men and lead them on patrols. Reluctant Manning is forced to take care of completely green soldiers and to keep them alive during the action.
The quote "Heroes are born when bullets fly, when the earth explodes, when cannons roar, When Trumpets Fade" describes the content of this film. We see average soldiers put in front of impossible task - attacking well prepared German positions in a middle of dense forest. Their morale is sinking each time they make another push are suffer heavy losses. The protagonist is a worn-out G.I. that just doesn’t care anymore, he just wants to survive. But after another patrol he realizes that all the other men around him wants the same thing and someone has to take the risk in order for the rest to survive.
The film tells the story of one of the longest and most horrible battles of World War 2, but mostly forgotten due to fact that it was followed by much more spectacular Battle of the Bulge. Battle of Hürtgen Forest brings to mind many World War 1 battles at western front - series of attacks on well prepared lines defended by machine guns and artillery. American army lost over 25.000 men and didn’t make any significant progress.
Film is on one hand realistic view on life of American soldiers amongst fog and mud in forest where they can’t be safe anywhere. But on the other hand the whole production was rather cheap (f.e. scene where officers lean over an army map that looks like a boardgame board) and some parts of the script seems like taken out of Disney movie. This movie is important, because it tells the story of bloody and forgotten battle of World War 2, but it could have been better.
6 / 10
3 / 5
3 / 5
4 / 5