The Night of the Generals (1967)

Anatole Litvak directs Peter O’Toole, Omar Sharif and Tom Courtney in this murder mystery war film, where a good German officer tries to figure out which of his superiors is slicing up prostitutes during the European theatre of war.

A massive afternoon devourer… the kinda film that could never live up to its six minute credit sequence. An easy dozen fantastic stars and character actors names framed by fetishising shots of Nazi uniforms and bombastic military marching band pomp. The Jack-The-Ripper in jackboots detective story gets sidelined for the plot of Operation Valkyrie in the last hour but either story allows for gloriously hammy grandstanding, spectacular action and attractive turns from O’Toole and a very self determined Joanna Pettet. It is no Doctor Zhivago but for a shameless David Lean wannabe epic it certainly gives dated old Lawrence of Arabia a run for its money. At least this knows it is nasty, distasteful, excessively budgeted hokum.

8

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