Overlord 1975 NR CC

Amazon Instant Video

(16) IMDb 7.3/10
Available in HD

Seamlessly interweaving archival war footage and a fictional narrative, Stuart Cooper's immersive account of one twenty-year-old's journey from basic training to the front lines of D-Day brings all the terrors and isolation of war to life with jolting authenticity.

Starring:
Brian Stirner, Davyd Harries
Runtime:
1 hour 24 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

Overlord

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Product Details

Genres Military & War, Drama
Director Stuart Cooper
Starring Brian Stirner, Davyd Harries
Supporting actors Nicholas Ball, Julie Neesam, Sam Sewell, John Franklyn-Robbins, Stella Tanner, Harry Shacklock, David Scheuer, Ian Liston, Lorna Lewis, Stephen Riddle, Jack Le White, Mark Penfold, Micaela Minelli, Elsa Minelli
Studio The Criterion Collection
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 3-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

"It sounds silly, but this war has killed so many people already.
Trevor Willsmer
Other than some air raid film, however, most of it depicts the massive preparations that had to be carried out in order to prepare for the invasion.
John Morgan
The director chose too many intense action scenes out of the old footage and filmed too many subtle and quiet moments with the new actors.
mr. contrarian

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Clare Quilty on June 2, 2007
Format: DVD
One young British soldier, who celebrates his 20th birthday while training for the impending D-Day invasion, writes a letter to his parents and tells them that as time passes, he feels like a smaller and smaller part of a bigger and bigger machine.

Being a small component of a massive device is the central idea behind Stuart Cooper's "Overlord," an odd, hazy, child's-fever-dream of a movie that uses staged black-and-white scenes interspersed with actual archival footage from World War II.

We follow Tom (Brian Stirner) through a drab, dispiriting round of basic training; his experiences are interspersed with separate scenes of battle, of invasion and aftermath to illustrate events going on "meanwhile" all around him, events leading up to Normandy.

The movie is a truly unique visual experience. John Alcott shot the storyline scenes (just before he began work on "Barry Lyndon") and the movie has a look not unlike "The Elephant Man," or its thematic brother, "Johnny Got His Gun."

Though the incorporation of actual footage is very smooth, I never had any trouble distinguishing what came from the 40s and what was shot in the 70s. That didn't ruin the experience for me: Look at the hauntingly beautiful scenes involving bombers flying above the cloudline at night, or a harrowing training sequence in which a rowboat ditches its passengers onto rocks (Cooper reveals in his commentary that one or two men actually died during the exercise).

With its short, spare narrative and its stark conclusion, "Overlord" almost feels like a short story of a movie, but that doesn't downplay its impact or importance. This is a little-known movie worth reviving and it gets a fine Criterion presentation here. The commentary with Copper and Sterner is particularly good; it's worth listening to to hear how they did it even if you don't particularly connect with the film.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Robin Simmons VINE VOICE on January 31, 2007
Format: DVD
This incredible film is a dreamlike recreation that mixes real vintage footage with original film as it follows an ordinary young British bloke from his military induction to D Day.

Wonderfully evocative on every level. The photography is extraordinary. Powerful images shimmer next to the sublime. The very human dilemma of how to make sense of life and war has never been told better. A great film.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Morgan on January 28, 2009
Format: DVD
As with any film that Criterion chooses to put out, "Overlord" is well worth watching. If you're coming to this film as I did, however, not knowing anything about it, you may be surprised to find that this is NOT a retelling of D-Day in the style of "The Longest Day" or "Saving Private Ryan." Other than a few shots of air raids from the archives, there is no combat whatsoever depicted in this film, and it ends just as the Allies are first hitting the beaches on that day. I think it was a bit misleading to entitle the film "Overlord" and then have "D-Day, June 6, 1944" emblazoned across the cover, since nearly all of the film takes place BEFORE D-Day. Overlord (the Allies' code-name for the invasion) here seems to be used in a more metaphorical sense, since the only overlord in this film would seem to be war itself, an overarching unseen presence which first deprives men of their individuality and freedom, and then destroys them physically. As others have written, this film consists of two elements: archive footage from the Imperial War Museum, and the story of a young British Everyman who is called up and undergoes training in preparation for D-Day. The archive film is quite impressive; I've spent many hours watching WWII film and a lot of this material, which is quite interesting, was new to me. Other than some air raid film, however, most of it depicts the massive preparations that had to be carried out in order to prepare for the invasion. As for the new parts of the film, they are visually quite interesting, particularly since it was filmed by John Alcott, a veteran of four of Kubrick's greatest films. It looks distinctive and yet meshes well with the archive footage...in a few instances, it's hard to tell which is which.Read more ›
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Josh Shapero on May 11, 2007
Format: DVD
WOW!...Another amazing hidden gem from the folks at criterion..if you are a an avid fan of Criterion, and the amazing films they bring to viewer's attention, you owe it to yourself to buy and watch Overlord. An amazing film, the story line is shot in an amazing way, mixed with real world war 2 stock footage...the film plays like a dream. A war film directed by David Lynch!....The composition of each shot, angle is carfefuly thought out by the filmakers...It is a haunting film, and stayed with me for days!....check it out!, one of the best dvd's of the year!.
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Format: DVD
"Operation Overlord", the code-name used for the Allied invasion of France in June 1944, commanded by General Dwight Eisenhower. A code-name in which Americans, Canadians, British and French soldiers joined together to fight against the resistance and to overtake the Germans in Normandy. Over 150,000 men were planned for a mass landing and the Allied Forces would end up as the victors in the second World War.

Fast forward to the '70s and a new war taking place in Vietnam, needless to say that people were growing sick of the war and while previous war films were successful as propaganda films, in 1975, a film directed by Stuart Cooper would feature a young soldier named Tom Beddows who was called up to join the military and fight in the war but would have images of him being killed in battle.

Unlike any war film seen ever in cinema at that time, Cooper who was to work on a documentary about soldier embroidery did a lot of research and in the process was able to find archived footage kept at the Imperial War Museum and instead, wanted to male a film about a young soldier's journey and outlook on life as a young man who is called up to join the military, his life in boot camp and his life and thoughts as he and his fellow soldiers are being whisked to the beaches to fight in the war. But what made "Overlord" so much different from war films is that it effectively combined archived newsreel and fictional war footage captured by various sources and successfully creating a war film in 1975. But also, the main character was influenced by the letters of several D-day soldiers.
Read more ›
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