|Movie poster courtesy of The Passionate Moveie Goer blog|
Eli Wallach plays the tough and war-weary sergeant. George Peppard, George Hamilton, James Mitchum, and Vince Edwards are the junior troops.
One scene toward the end is noteworthy in contrasting the change in the men as they progress through the war. A very young Peter Fonda shows up as a replacement troop. When he arrives he is made to feel about as welcome as a skunk at garden party. Reason being is new guys have a low survival rate. The troops that have survived the combat thus far don't want to get to know the guy since he won't be around long. So to fill the void from lack of friendship, he adopts a stray puppy. His squad leader discovers the dog and tells him to get rid of it with the admonition not to become attached to things that you can't carry in haversack. From then on, Fonda keeps the dog hidden. T
A discussion of anti-war films would not be complete without mentioning "All Quiet on the Western Front". Similar in plot to "The Victors" in that we see young men eager to go to war, however, as the war grinds on so does their enthusiasm for it. "All Quiet" is significant due to the period it was made. Memories were still fresh from the carnage of World War I, but we were rushing headlong into the second installment. "All Quiet" was remade in the '70s as a TV film starring Richard (The Waltons) Thomas in the lead role. This version is, in my opinion, superior to the original probably due to modern production techniques. It's message was still quite clear: war is insanity.
"The Victors" and "The Execution of Private Slovik" are not available on DVD at this time. Both versions of "All Quiet" are available and affordable.