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Many Wars Ago

 DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008I34ZA2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,110,015 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Editorial Reviews

In Northern Italy, WWI has turned into a bloody stalemate. Bogged down in their trenches on a barren highland, the men of an Italian infantry division have been given one objective: retake a commanding height from the enemy. Unfortunately, the tactical ingenuity of general Leone, the unpopular division commander, consists of supplementing frontal attacks against machine-guns with medieval fighting schemes. His dispirited troops must be prodded with ever harsher measures into storming the Austrian positions. As casualties mount, indignation spreads amongst the rank and file. Disturbed by the decisions of his superiors, lieutenant Sassu is progressively led to question the purpose of the war and to reconsider where his real duties lie.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest war film ever made? September 11, 2012
Format:DVD
Alongside "Come and See", Richardson's "The Charge of the Light Brigade", "Japan's Longest Day", and "The Big Red One", this would be on my shortlist for the greatest war film of all time.

Bears some similarities to Kubrick's "Paths of Glory", but Rosi's film (and I don't say this lightly) is much better. Rosi casts light both on universal military fault-lines and an intrigingly lesser known theatre of WWI, the Italian Alps in 1916.

There are several unforgettable scenes, including one where troops in plate armour attempt to storm the Austro-Hungarian positions. They look like Tin Man from "The Wizard of Oz", but the Italians did actually experiment with this "Farina" body armour.

Piero Piccioni provides an appropriately doom-laden score, and Rosi gets committed performances from his international cast of actors. One imagines that Gian Maria Volonte was particularly chuffed with the awakening Marxism of his character!

Now where are the remastered versions of Rosi's great trilogy from the 1970s? "The Mattei Affair", "Lucky Luciano", and "Illustrious Corpses". Criterion box-set please!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A WWI essential December 27, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
After being stunned by this film when it was presented on French TV, I have long waited for it to be available in a Region 1 DVD. Agreeing with Mr. Smith's previous comments, I would only add that this film and "La Grande Guerra" of Vittorio Gassman and Alberto Sordi besides being spectacular films are essential because of their look at the Italian experience in WWI. Both owe much to Emilio Lussu's book "Un anno sull'altipiano" which, at last, will be published in 2014 in its English translation entitled "A Soldier on the Southern Front: The Classic Italian Memoir of World War I"
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