FILMS - WAR

THE LEOPARDS OF WAR

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I DIAVOLI DELLA GUERRA

THE LEOPARDS OF WAR

 

Director : Adalberto Albertini

Cast : Guy Madison, Venantino Venantini, Pascale Petit, Enrique Avila, Raf Baldwin

Versions : Italian, English, German, Neutral Spanish, M&E COLORE

Running time : 99 minutes

Year of production : 1969

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North Africa at the time of the Second World War: the Americans are preparing and offensive but are hindered by a powerful battery of German artillery. The task of neutralizing the German position is entrusted to Captain Vincent’s command.

Operation “Red Devil” is underway. The Command drops by parachute over an oasis where a Sheik is waiting to guide the men to the target, but the parachute drop is seen by a German battalion.

Some of the men stay back to try and prevent the German troops from following, while the others succeed in reaching the target and blowing up the cannons. This is the beginning of the advance of the American tanks, while the Germans try to reorganize themselves to prevent a breakthrough of their lines. The survivors of Captain Vincent’s command seek refuge in a cave but find they have been preceded by a group of German soldiers, led by a certain Captain Meineken, who take them prisoner. The Americans and the Germans are isolated and soon the tension relaxes, as does the relationship between the prisoners and the Germans, and they are to become almost friends.

The battle is over and the group attempts to return to the German lines but soon the real and worst enemy of everyone proves to be the desert, and weapons and munition are abandoned to lighten the journey across the barren wastes. Finally the sole survivors arrive at a German camp: Captain Vincent, an American soldier and the German Captain Meineken. At this point the relationship between the two opposing forces returns to the hate dictated by war, and they part with Captain Meineken threatening to kill them if they should ever meet again.

The war continues in Europe, where Captain Meineken has now been promoted to Major and is in charge of the interrogation of a group of English prisoners. Captain Vincent, now a Major too, is in his turn responsible for freeing these very same prisoners, guided by a partisan radio contact who is, however, discovered and arrested by the Gerrnans. The American Command reaches the house of the contact, but finds only the daughter who tells of the arrest of her father, organized by Major Meineken. Together they study a plan to free the English prisoners and the girl’s father. In a surprise attack they succeed in freeing the prisoners after a fierce and bloody battle.

And so the ex-friends, Major Meineken and Major Vincent, now once again enemies, find themselves face to face. But in the end it is Mayor Meineken who is to die.