Breakthrough (1979)

PG   |    |  Drama, War


Breakthrough (1979) Poster

In 1944 a German sergeant gets involved in an anti-Hitler conspiracy, and saves the life of an American colonel.


5/10
948

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  • Richard Burton in Breakthrough (1979)
  • Robert Mitchum and Michael Parks in Breakthrough (1979)
  • Richard Burton and Klaus Löwitsch in Breakthrough (1979)
  • Richard Burton and Dieter Schidor in Breakthrough (1979)
  • Breakthrough (1979)
  • Breakthrough (1979)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


8 June 2004 | Volstag
Stay away -- unless you like bad movies.
This is one of those movies that, for me, is tough to categorize/rate. On the one hand, Breakthrough is nothing more than a poorly made B-grade war movie -- hardly worth watching. On the other hand, it's bad enough to make it worth watching -- provided, of course, you have a soft spot in your heart for terrible movies, you have friends who like terrible movies, and, of course, you have enough alcohol to swill while watching it.

What's wrong with it? Well, for starters, the story is fairly ridiculous. Secondly, the score is, for lack of a better term, weird -- it's hardly evocative of Europe in 1944, but more akin to really bad 60s hippie music (or something like that). Burton & Mitchum, both seasoned actors, spend the majority of the film "phoning-in" their lines -- you get the strong impression that this movie was nothing more than "contractual obligation" for the both of them. The other aspect of this film that we thought was really amusing was the number of times a high ranking military officer is out, walking around alone (or with one other person), in the middle of the night, well within the front lines. Who the heck does that!?

The other thing we found odd about this movie, is the fact that the production values reek of late 70s / early 80s made-for-TV-movies. Was this movie originally destined for the small screen?

So, in the end, I would recommend that you avoid this movie. Unless, of course, you enjoy bad movies, and have friends who enjoy bad movies (it would help if they're also self-styled WWII buffs).

Good movie rating: 4/10 Bad movie rating: 6/10

Critic Reviews


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Did You Know?

Trivia

Most of the action scenes were taken from Cross of Iron (1977) and Battle of Britain (1969).


Quotes

Sgt. Rolf Steiner: NCOs cannot resign.


Goofs

They went to the trouble to get a lot of things right, from the German artillery pieces to the T-34 tanks. Even the German trucks are mostly right. They didn't necessarily do such a good job on the colors. That Kubelwagen in the dark-gray color scheme is anachronistic for the period. But then we come to the aircraft. I was taken aback to see U.S. Navy Corsairs dropping bombs on the Eastern Front. And what are all those Heinkel 111s doing in the air on D-Day?


Alternate Versions

A longer German language version runs at 126 minutes, extra scenes includes:

  • An opening scene that starts at the railway station, Rolf Steiner and Paul Anselm meet again and discuss their current predicament. Captain Stransky appears out of the station building and sends Steiner and Anselm to check out a railway tunnel down the line. Steiner and Anselm meet up with Corporal Kruger before returning to the station. (8mins approx)
  • When Steiner returns to German lines, the scene where he meets his new platoon is longer and includes introductions to new comrades Rothe, Dorfmann and Keppel.
  • An extended scene between Yvette and Steiner at her apartment.
  • Steiner is mocked by an old woman as he leaves Yvette's apartment.
  • The two orphaned children Steiner looks at, at the end turn up earlier and throw rocks at Steiner.
  • The final battle is extended, there is more footage of the American GIs attacking the town, the American tanks cause greater damage to the town. Steiner shoots GIs whilst trying to defend the townspeople.

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Drama | War

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