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Cross of Iron (Widescreen Special Edition) (1977)

James Coburn , Maximilian Schell , Sam Peckinpah  |  R |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (229 customer reviews)

List Price: $29.95
Price: $26.18 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Blu-ray 1-Disc Version $25.00  
DVD Widescreen Special Edition $26.18  
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Cross of Iron (Widescreen Special Edition) + Stalingrad + The Winter War (TALVISOTA) : Uncut (70 min. longer than U.S release) 2-DISC, Special Outer BOX Slip-Case Edition, [IMPORTED For ALL-REGIONS, NTSC]
Price for all three: $72.38

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Product Details

  • Actors: James Coburn, Maximilian Schell, James Mason, David Warner, Klaus Löwitsch
  • Directors: Sam Peckinpah
  • Writers: James Hamilton, Julius J. Epstein, Walter Kelley, Willi Heinrich
  • Producers: Alex Winitsky, Arlene Sellers, Lothar H. Krischer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Special Edition, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Unknown), French (Unknown)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Henstooth Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 18, 2006
  • Run Time: 132 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (229 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E5N63Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,476 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cross of Iron (Widescreen Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary by film scholar Stephen Prince, author of "Savage Cinema: Sam Peckinpah and the Rise of Ultraviolent Movies"
  • Photo Gallery of German Lobby Cards
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • New Widescreen 16:9 Anamorphic Transfer

Editorial Reviews

Widescreen Special Edition DVD Features include:
Audio Commentary by film scholar Stephen Prince, author of Savage Cinema: Sam Peckinpah and the Rise of Ultraviolent Movies
Original Theatrical Trailer
Photo Gallery of German Lobby Cards
Language Options: English, French
New Widescreen 16:9 Anamorphic Transfer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
178 of 183 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, atrocious Region 1 DVD release! October 31, 2003
Cross Of Iron is one war film that will take repeat viewings to truly absorb all the material. With that said, I won't elaborate on the film's strong points since they've already been mentioned by many before. And this DVD release from Hen's Tooth is not the one to view this film from. It is a shortened edited version and the transfer is Full-Frame, it doesn't even appear to be Pan & Scan...simply a dead shot down the middle of the film. The quality of this Hen's Tooth release is absolutely atrocious for the DVD format. It appears as though it's almost a VHS transfer, or a heavily worn film transfer at best. There are numerous scratches and dust artifacts, and the color saturation is very faded in many scenes. The sound on the DVD is equally terrible during the entire movie, it's very hard to understand much of the dialogue at times.
I've purchased bargain DVD's for $3 before that are 100% better in quality than this! Just by the sheer fact that the film is edited would have Peckinpah rolling in his grave. Hen's Tooth knows and have admitted that the transfer is horrible, yet they still charge $30 retail nearly 4 years after their DVD release?!?? There is no way that this disc is worth that much money. I would gladly pay the price if it was a Criterion edition, but not this poor edition.
If you have the technical capability I recommend ordering either the UK DVD or Japanese DVD of Cross Of Iron. It won't cost you much more (perhaps less) than this unworthy Region 1 DVD release. The imports both present the film in it's original anamorphic widescreen format, with vastly superior picture and sound. If you don't have the technical capability, then buy a VHS edition of Cross Of Iron.
5 stars for the film itself, 0 stars for the Hen's Tooth DVD...hence my 4 star rating.
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140 of 144 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gruesome masterpiece -- intense, chilling September 14, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Cross Of Iron is a masterpiece, one of the greatest anti-war, anti-authoritarian movies. It is one of director Sam Peckinpah's two finest works -- the other being The Wild Bunch. It deserves to be ranked in the same great war movie company as Apocalypse Now, Das Boot, Full Metal Jacket, Paths Of Glory, Saving Private Ryan, Seven Samurai, and Zulu. Its setting on the World War Two Eastern Front, its gruesomeness, and its risk-taking viewpoint on ugly combat from the German side, have tended to count against fair assessment of its considerable artistic achievements. Viewers wary of the morality of its German viewpoint and its explicitness might find that it is fundamentally about humanity in general as a victim of war. The film reflects on the humanity which may be found on all sides of conflict--including Russian humanity portrayed variously as relentless, innocent, brave, and feminine.

Cross Of Iron opens with an intense, chilling montage of children's song, propaganda vision, combat newsreel and atrocity. By the end of the main title this montage subtly introduces the central characters, a German reconnaissance unit patrolling on the 1943 Russian front.

This 1977 film set rarely matched standards of cinematic mayhem. Cross Of Iron explosions don't look merely like pretty fireballs -- they blast fragments, rocks and debris, leaving no doubt as to why blood gouts from stumps of limbs and shrapnel-shredded entrails... Amid the screams of wounded and dying, as dust subsides from a mortar barrage, an artillery piece shorn of its crew by a near hit swings across a pocked battlefield, its traversing wheel spinning under its own momentum. The carnage occurs in the choreographed slow motion which Peckinpah made his signature.
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93 of 101 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Take it from someone who was an Army "grunt" for 12 years -- this movie was filmed as realistic as one could get without being on the battlefield, and during my time in service, Cross of Iron was one of the favorites of infantrymen and WWII buffs everywhere. Many wellknown (at least in Europe) German actors were featured in this film. It is one of the few movies I've seen that accurately depicts the spite and tension that exists between officers (seeking career advancement at the expense of their men) and enlisted men (just trying to survive). Having lived in Germany and conversed on many occasions with Wehrmacht veterans who were on the Russian front, I found Cross of Iron to be very close in detail to the conditions and experiences they described. A previous writer describes the movie's mood as depressing (not as much as Das Boot or Stanlingrad, IMHO!); yet it reflects exactly the realization of fighting for a lost cause that many German soldiers experienced. And hell, war IS depressing! Aside from the farmhouse scenes involving a female Soviet unit, this movie is as real as any German depiction of fighting on the Russian front that I have ever read, and there are many books in this genre. If you want to know what it was really like to fight in the elements in East Europe in WWII, in the mud, sweat, and shrapnel, and to understand what comaraderie is about (without all the surrealism and eccentricities of "Stalingrad") then this under-appreciated classic is the one to see! The artillery and trench warfare scenes are incredible, some of the best I've ever seen... Sam Peckinpah was able to effectively show all the sharp contradictions of war: courage and cowardice, sensitivity and crudeness, mercy and cruelty, and in the end, irony and justice.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Trepidation Of War Seasoned With A Dubious Morality Trying To...
Cross Of Iron is Peckinpah's only military-action film he directed. The thing is, if you're only going to do one such genre, then here the master director got it right from start... Read more
Published 13 hours ago by Rich Holtzin
5.0 out of 5 stars t give hope then the film itself was in question but along comes blu...
i was at 1st on the fence on this as the reviews didn,t give hope then the film itself was in question but along comes blu to save the day blu is pristine crisp sharply defined so... Read more
Published 24 days ago by tim huxoll
5.0 out of 5 stars A great movie!!
One great movie for the WW2 person. A look at the deadly fighting on the southern Russians front after Stalingrad had fallen and the German army was in retreat. Great acting.
Published 1 month ago by M. Stone
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
maybe the best war movie ever
Published 1 month ago by Alistair MacKay
1.0 out of 5 stars Got 2 copies of UK DVDs, costs more to ...
Got 2 copies of UK DVDs, costs more to return than to get new ones.Want to trade? No plans to visit UK, I'm German-Hungarian!
Published 1 month ago by Ben Goossen
5.0 out of 5 stars Bonus Features on Japanese Blu-Ray???
The 5 stars is for the transfer and the film but I bought this Japanese Blu-Ray expecting the bonus features on the UK blu-Ray which I cannot seem to access or find. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Brian Rector
5.0 out of 5 stars Historic Adventure War Movie at its Best! Don't Miss It!!
James Coburn at his best! A really great movie! As the liner says: one of the best anti-war movies done. I rented it years ago in VHS and wanted to add this to my DVD library. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Joseph Brown
1.0 out of 5 stars Cross of Iron VHS
I know it's dated and all, but there are so many better films, made at the same time, about the war than this one. The scenes, the acting, etc.
Published 2 months ago by 1988Navy
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertainment at its finest!
well made movie, good entertainment
Published 2 months ago by Holly Schneck
5.0 out of 5 stars I've liked it ever since I first saw it years ago
The movie has been a war classic for years. I've liked it ever since I first saw it years ago.
Published 2 months ago by Steven R. Hoover
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Topic From this Discussion
Cross of Iron - the crappy DVD costs 12 thousand dollars????
I'm placing my order right now before it's sold out, ha! ha!
Nov 15, 2010 by DB Edwards |  See all 3 posts
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