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Stalingrad (1996)

Dominique Horwitz , Thomas Kretschmann , Joseph Vilsmaier  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (254 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Dominique Horwitz, Thomas Kretschmann, Sebastian Rudolph, Dana Vávrová, Jochen Nickel
  • Directors: Joseph Vilsmaier
  • Writers: Joseph Vilsmaier, Christoph Fromm, Johannes Heide, Jürgen Büscher
  • Producers: Joseph Vilsmaier, Günter Rohrbach, Hanno Huth
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: German (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Fox Lorber
  • DVD Release Date: November 3, 1998
  • Run Time: 134 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (254 customer reviews)
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • ASIN: 6305037280
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,515 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Stalingrad" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

It's tempting to call this harrowing picture a World War II version of All Quiet on the Western Front: both films take the perspective of ordinary German soldiers at ground level. Stalingrad surveys the misery of the battle of Stalingrad, the winter siege that cost the lives of almost one and a half million people, Russian defenders and German invaders alike. Not unlike Spielberg's approach to Saving Private Ryan, German director Joseph Vilsmaier rarely steps outside the action to comment on the higher purpose of the war, assuming the audience is aware of the evil of the Nazi regime. Instead, we simply follow a group of soldiers as they endure a series of gut-wrenching episodes, events which have the tang of authenticity and horror. Vilsmaier has a taste for symbolism and surreal touches, which only add to the unsettling sense of insanity this movie conjures up so well. --Robert Horton

Product Description

There are no heroes or villains in this stark German-made film about a WWII battle that claimed nearly one and half million lives. Instead, it reveals the humanity and vulnerability of both Russian defenders and German invaders caught in an epic winter siege. Without preaching, it unflinchingly conveys the insanity of war. 1992; 2-1/2 hours.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
264 of 267 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My "favorite" war film April 9, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Before there was "Saving Private Ryan", the most graphic and visceral cinematic battlefield carnage was depicted in "Stalingrad". Ironically, the raw realism which drew rave reviews for SPR had elicited little more than horror and negativity for "Stalingrad". I'm not a sadistic guts'n'gore affictionado, but war is brutal and needs to be presented in an unsanitized manner. "Stalingrad" has been, and remains, my favorite war film. It is from the German producers of "Das Boot", and presents the point of view of the common Wehrmacht soldiers of Paulus' 6th Army, who were abandoned to freeze or be slaughtered in the bombed-out ruins of the city named for Stalin. Neither the Germans nor the Russians are portrayed as heroes or supermen in this film; there is only the desperation of fighters who are forbidden retreat. The anti-Nazi views of the producers are well-known, and occasionally a bit heavy-handed, but there is an admirable attempt to stick to realism. Even the Russians are presented accurately: from the presence of the female corpsman (yes, there were thousands of Russian women combatants at Stalingrad), to the playing of the phonograph song Temnaya Noch', to Stalin's cruel Edict that "there are no POW's -- only deserters". The tense ceasefires to allow tending of the wounded are also historically accurate, and are documented in various memoirs. The T-34 tank model depicted is, unfortunately, an anacronism. But the hand-to-hand fighting through the rubble of the buildings, streets, and sewers is realistic. As is the freezing Russian winter which sapped the energy and morale of the stranded Germans reduced to scurrying like rats and eating their own horses. Read more ›
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134 of 137 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stark, unforgiving look at the horrors of war June 18, 2001
Format:DVD
Stalingrad precedes Saving Private Ryan as a visceral look at the horrors of war. Besieged by the Germans for months, the bitterly contested city looks appropriately as if it's been hit by an atomic bomb. The film relates not only how hard both the Germans and Russians fought over this city, but how the cruel Russian Winter exacerbated the situation and made the Germans' attempt futile.
The acting is very good in this film. We aren't meant to be sympathetic to the German soldiers. They are merely cogs in the Nazi war machine. Fallible characters who show both courage and cowardice in the process of the story. I found that it was best to watch the movie in its native German with English subtitles. You get a better feel for the emotional content of the words that are spoken, even if you are not fluent in the language.
The production values are excellent, as are the sets and costumes. This film, to my knowledge, is thoroughly convincing and makes you feel as if you've been drawn into the era to witness the terrible battle as it nears its conclusion. At the end, we see the beginnings of the terrible march to Siberia by German prisoners. Only five percent survived, but I'm sure the Russians would have been satisfied had none of them made the trip.
The only thing I might have wanted to see was a bit more of the perspective of the Russian troops, but I guess that might have made a long film a bit too long.
Truly an unforgiving and brutal anti-war film and not to be missed!
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122 of 126 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deeper than hell; what canst thou know? _ November 13, 2005
Format:DVD
That was the question Job once asked himself in the Bible. If Job had been alive and on the eastern front in World War II he may have found the answer to his question - Stalingrad. The hellish battle of Stalingrad, as seen through the eyes of a small band of German soldiers, is the subject of director Joseph Vilsmaier's visually stunning and brutal film Stalingrad.

Stalingrad begins on the Italian coast where a German platoon enjoys leave after the Battle of El Alamein in North Africa. Recovering from wounds and enjoying wine and German women while sitting along a bright, sunny, beach the men are called to order. A new opportunity for glory awaits them in Russia. Next stop Stalingrad. We see the platoon boarding a train and entering a tunnel in Italy and exiting a tunnel into Russia. We see the platoon's new officer Lt. Witzland writing home to his wife. A stranger to battle, Witzland writes of the glories to come and of his hopes that he will prove himself to the battle-hardened men under his command. As we shall see, Witzland does indeed prove himself but not in the manner he could ever have predicted.

Witzland's baptism starts immediately upon disembarkation on the outskirts of Stalingrad. Horrified at the mistreatment of some Red Army prisoners he protests only to find himself knocked into the mud and sneered at by the powers that be. Word quickly spreads that this callow youth is a "friend of the Russians" and only his father's military background saves him.

The platoon is ordered to take a factory and the horror begins. Amidst flame throwers, horrible deaths and raw sewage all thoughts of romantic heroism evaporate and Witzland soon learns that survival is the one and only rational, if hopeless, goal one should take into war.
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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Long before Saving Private Ryan, Stalingrad was released in limited distribution in the United States. I was fortunate enough to see it then and was completely stunned, here was a WWII movie that was unlike any American WWII movie that I had ever seen. Stalingrad traces a German platoon from the beginning of the Stalingrad campaign to its cold, horrible end, and it is a measure of the talents of the actors, the directors and the writers of this film that you actually begin to empathize with the characters in the film, even though they are members of the Wehrmacht. The scenes of urban combat in the movie are horrific and claustrophobic, again inviting comparison with Saving Private Ryan (although it should be the other way around). American war movies about the Second World War, even ones such as Saving Private Ryan or Catch-22 which do not glorify the military or the war have a different sense than German war movies such as Stalingrad and Das Boot because, let's face it, we won WWII and as the saying goes, "the winners write history". I can't really put my finger on this more precisely but I will say that this is an excellent movie, hard to watch at times, but still an excellent movie. END
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping story told from the German soldier's point of view.
A haunting depiction of the battle of Stalingrad told from the German perspective. The savage fighting and severe winter weather conditions convey the ferocity of the battle. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Michael H. Ditton
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
plays great
Published 7 days ago by Robert B. Clements
1.0 out of 5 stars beware of region code
cannot watch as will not pay on Australian region even thought I sent it back once at a cost to me of $14
Published 11 days ago by henry ford
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent story about WW2 battle for Stalingrad
Published 11 days ago by Linda R.N.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good war movie
Published 20 days ago by marine
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray looks fantastic!
The absolute BEST way to view this movie is in Blu-ray. It is crystal clear and every single detail can be seen. My Blu-ray version ran fine on my Pioneer Blu-ray player. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Deputy
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a very good movie!
I am in awe of those who fought is this area for over a year. No one relly won but for sure, Germany lost the initiative and the Soviets rolled them up with the two fierce battles... Read more
Published 21 days ago by Robert Connor
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
In the end I felt sorry for the Germans in this movie
Published 28 days ago by John J bolebruch
5.0 out of 5 stars My co worker fought in Stalingrad.
My co worker fought in Stalingrad and could have co written the story if he was asked. He was lucky, he was the last to get out before The Soviet Army overran Stalingrad. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lee Enfield
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Watched the movie with English dub. It is difficult to keep track of the characters and the plot. The movie is from the German side at a squad level without any strategic context. Read more
Published 2 months ago by M. Yates
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