1 January 2014 | ma-cortes
Failed blockbuster about the Allied invasion of Italy that wastes the talents of great actors and nice locations
This War movie contains crossfire , thrills , large-scale action , battles , shots of troops , tanks and amphibious landings . This average film never pulls things together enough to rise above continuous images of military marches , tanks , smoke and shootouts . This would-be blockbuster is not a description of such an important event but it is a context in which the battle in Italy offers the concrete development , life and death , a few men in the first days after the Allied landing on the beaches of Anzio . Nothing memorable , nonsense scenes and undistinguished recounting with all-star cast though frankly wasted such as Peter Falk as Cpl. Jack Rabinoff , Earl Holliman as Sgt. Abe , Mark Damon as Wally Richardson , Arthur Kennedy as Maj. Gen. Jack Lesley , Robert Ryan as Gen. Carlson , Reni Santoni as Pvt. Movie and Giancarlo Giannini as Private Cellini , among others . Furthermore , a hackneyed screenplay and full of cliché . Evocative cinematography in Panavision by Giuseppe Rotunno, Federico Fellini's usual cameraman ; location filming for this movie was conducted in and around the environs of Rome, Italy . Atmospheric as well as thrilling musical score by Riz Ortalani , including an enjoyable leitmotif . The motion picture was middlingly directed by Edward Dmytryk and Duilio Coletti .
The motion picture was partially based on real events : As Operation Shingle (January 22, 1944) was an Allied amphibious landing in the Italian Campaign against German forces in the area of Anzio, Italy. This operation was aimed at outflanking the German army on the Winter Line and as such allow for an assault on the capital city of Rome . It was one of WWIIs bloodiest battles as the Allies smash through the German lines which have enclosed the Anzio beachhead . The operation was commanded by American Major General John P. Lucas (Arthur Kennedy) and was intended to outflank German forces of the Winter Line and enable an attack on Rome. The resulting combat is commonly called the Battle of Anzio.The success of an amphibious landing at that location, in a basin consisting substantially of reclaimed marshland and surrounded by mountains, depended completely on the element of surprise and the swiftness with which the invaders could move relative to the reaction time of the defenders. Any delay could result in the occupation of the mountains by the defenders and the consequent entrapment of the invaders. Lieutenant General Mark Clark (Robert Ryan as General Carson) , commander of the U.S. Fifth Army, understood that risk, but Clark did not pass on his appreciation of the situation to his subordinate, General Lucas, who preferred to take time to entrench against an expected counterattack. The initial landing achieved complete surprise with no opposition and a jeep patrol even made it as far as the outskirts of Rome. Despite that report, Lucas, who had little confidence in the operation as planned, failed to capitalize on the element of surprise by delaying his advance until he judged his position was sufficiently consolidated and his troops ready. While Lucas consolidated, Field Marshal Albert Kesselring (Wolfgang Preiss) , the German commander in the Italian theatre, moved every spare unit to be found into a ring around the beachhead, where his gunners had a clear view of every Allied position. The Germans also stopped the drainage pumps and flooded the reclaimed marsh with salt water, planning to entrap the Allies and destroy them by epidemic. For weeks a rain of shells fell on the beach, the marsh, the harbour, and on anything else observable from the hills, with little distinction between forward and rear positions. After a month of heavy but inconclusive fighting, Lucas was relieved , sent home and replaced by Major General Lucian Truscott. The Allies finally broke out and turned his forces north-west towards Rome which was captured on 4 June. As four months and 30,000 casualties before the Allies finally march to Rome . As a result, the forces of the German Tenth Army at Cassino were able to withdraw and rejoin the rest of Kesselring's forces north of Rome, regroup, and make a fighting withdrawal to his next major prepared defensive position on the Gothic Line