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War Classics, Vol. 1 [2 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Special Features

  • Digitally remastered
  • Interactive menus
  • Chapter selections
  • Digitally enhanced audio 5.1

Synopsis

Cold War Killers
Rival agents from both England and Russia race to gain control of a valuable plane. ~ John Bush, Rovi

Waterfront
With such charismatic villains as John Carradine and J. Carroll Naish on hand in PRC's Waterfront, who cares about nominal leading man Terry Frost. The story is set in the docks of San Francisco, where Nazi spy Carl Decker (Naish) poses as a harmless optometrist. Decker is aided and abetted by fellow goose-stepper Victor Marlowe (Carradine), who keeps the local German-Americans in line by threatening them with reprisals against their families. The film's "Maguffin" is a code book, which briefly falls into the hands of hapless hero Jerry Donovan (Frost) and helpless heroine Freda Hauser (Maris Wrixon). Evidently the only thing that can save Democracy is a falling out between Decker and Marlowe, and that's just what happens in the final reel. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Eagles Attack at Dawn
Members of the Israeli Army and Security Services plan an attack on a Syrian prison to release Israeli commandos. Eli (Yehoram Gaon) joins Beno (Rick Jason) and Abie (Peter Braun) in the clandestine operation. They must divert the attention of the Syrian Major Heikal (Yoseph Shiloah) by leaking false information to the Syrians. Hebrew, Arabic and English are spoken in this tepid drama. ~ Dan Pavlides, Rovi

Casablanca Express
This actioner involves Nazi soldiers hijacking a train carrying England's prime minister. ~ Kristie Hassen, Rovi

Commandos
A combined force of Italian and American commandos are ordered to attack and take over an air base in North Africa with only two days to do it. The Italian film, dubbed into English, is also known as Sullivan's Marauders. ~ John Bush, Rovi

Go for Broke!
Robert Pirosh wrote and directed this little-known World War II drama from MGM that commemorates the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a combat unit composed of Japanese-Americans who fought valiantly during World War II, with many of the actual veterans of the combat unit appearing as actors in the film. For the most part, the film follows the standard Battleground plot line -- there is Sam (Lane Nakano), the wise sergeant; Chick (George Miki), a lazy private; the enervating Ohhara (Henry Oyasato); and Tommy (Henry Nakamura), a crack sharpshooter. Van Johnson plays Lt. Michael Grayson, a bigoted Texan assigned to shape these men into a fighting unit and who learns to respect their valor and bravery. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

A Yank in Libya
PRC's A Yank in Libya is distinguished by some of the oldest, grainiest stock footage ever seen in a mid-1940s film. Once past this aesthetic obstacle, however, the film isn't too bad. Walter Woolf King heads the cast as American war correspondent Mike Malone, on assignment in a papier-mache facsimile of Libya. Malone helps to squash a Nazi scheme to attack a British garrison, earning the everlasting gratitude of heroine Nancy Brooks (Joan Woodbury) and British consol Herbert Forbes (H. B. Warner). Reasonably amusing comedy relief is provided by radio dialectician Parkayarkus, aka Harry Einstein (the father of present-day comic actors Albert Brooks and Bob Einstein). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Hitler's SS: Portrait in Evil
The two-part TV movie Hitler's SS: Portrait in Evil crystallizes that evil by concentrating on two Berlin brothers. In 1931, Helmut Hoffman (Bill Nighy) a brilliant student and self-styled opportunist, joins Hitler's SS. At the same time, his younger brother Karl (John Shea), a top athlete and idealist, becomes a chauffeur for the "S.A." (storm troopers). When the SS topples the SA from power, Karl ends up in Dachau. He is rescued through his brother's influence--if you can describe sending Karl to fight on the Russian Front a "rescue." As he watches the Third Reich deteriorate, Helmut at long last suffers pangs of conscience. As if the story of the rise of Nazism needed any further melodrama, Hitler's SS shoehorns in a romantic triangle involving Karl, Helmut, and beautiful nightclub-singer Lucy Gutteridge. The all-star supporting cast of Hitler's SS includes Carroll Baker as the Hoffman brothers' anguished mother; Tony Randall as an androgynous entertainer named Putzi (shades of Cabaret's Joel Grey); and David Warner, repeating his Holocaust role as SS head man Heydrich. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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