1960s Anzio (1968)

Published on August 27th, 2012 | by Chris

2

Anzio (1968)

Review of: Anzio (1968)

Reviewed by:
Rating:
2
On August 27, 2012
Last modified:October 2, 2012

Summary:

Starts off really WTF. Ends pretty much the same way. lots of eye-candy with little or no logic or flow or originality in between. A difficult 5/10. Just because there were parts that weren't bad at all, but overshadowed by the not-so-good.

When Anzio started, I actually considered turning it off.  I was greeted with a completely groovy and highly 1965 Tom Jones-ish intro song.  If that wasn't enough, it was followed with an opening scene of a guy swinging from a rather ornate chandelier, surrounded by a bunch of other guys throwing hats at him.  Yeah, I dunno.

But actually Anzio didn't turn out that bad.  The story (if you want to call it that) surrounds one newspaper man, Dick Ennis (Robert Mitchum) as he follows the army into Anzio and points beyond.  Along the way he manages to cross paths several times with Corporal Rabinoff (Peter Falk) a misfit who seems to always wind up on the wrong end of things.  They meet people, get in adventures, and eventually Ennis finds his way back to civilization.

First, the good.  The production in Anzio is just top notch.  They went all out here, filming more-or-less on location in and around Rome and Naples.  Also count the sheer amount of extras, both in manpower and military hardware.  Ships, tanks, planes, troops, weapons, jeeps...  I don't even want to think about the logistics of pulling this one off.  And it certainly is a sight to look at.

The bad?  Well, to be honest, for a war movie, there isn't a lot of war here.  A few very short sequences, especially at the most-confusing and triumphant-sounding (but most untriumphant) ending is about all we really see.  The troops land at Anzio and find, well, nobody.  Then they branch out to Rome and find, well, nobody.  Then they all get captured (save for Ennis' group) without much todo.  While on the run, they come across a German squad in a house they're occupying.  Near the end is there a rather tense yet predictable scene with a pair of snipers that resembles much combat.

I think I understand what the goal was here, to present a stereotypical war-movie "episodic" storyline.  Of course it wholly addresses Gen. Leslie's failure at Anzio, which was to just sit tight and wait on the Germans to assemble and come after them, rather than taking the offensive.  In this regard its a raging success.  Ennis really lays into Leslie at the end, and I think that is the point of  Anzio.  Or at least the intended point.

Unfortunately the so-so acting on the part of Mitchum, and the "hey I'm a bad ass" growling of Falk do us no favors.  Neither does the fact that we don't actually see anything but these few survivors for most of the film, which pretty much negates the entire Anzio setting.  These guys could have been anywhere, and anytime during the war.  The soundtrack at times is OK, but then you realize its a rehash of the leisure-suit-larry intro.   The only thing carrying this through to the end is the production, but that only goes so far.

tl;dr version:  Starts off really WTF.  Ends pretty much the same way.  lots of eye-candy with little or no logic or flow or originality in between.  A difficult 5/10.  Just because there were parts that weren't bad at all, but overshadowed by the not-so-good.

Anzio Anzio
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Description

Screen greats Robert Mitchum, Peter Falk, and Arthur Kennedy star in the riveting war drama ANZIO, a vivid portrait of one of the bloodiest WWII battles ever fought. After landing with allied troops at Anzio, Italy in 1944, war correspondent Dick Ennis (Mitchum) and buddy Corporal Rabinoff (Falk) tell Anzio commander General Lesley (Kennedy) that the road to Rome is wide open...

DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audience Rating: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Brand: MITCHUM,ROBERT
Manufacturer: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Original Release Date:
Actors:
  • Robert Mitchum
  • Peter Falk
  • Mark Damon
  • Earl Holliman
  • Arthur Kennedy

Features

  • Factory sealed DVD

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Anzio (1968) Chris

Summary: Starts off really WTF. Ends pretty much the same way. lots of eye-candy with little or no logic or flow or originality in between. A difficult 5/10. Just because there were parts that weren't bad at all, but overshadowed by the not-so-good.

2.5


User Rating: 3.5 (1 votes)


About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.



2 Responses to Anzio (1968)

  1. the war movie buff says:

    I haven’t seen it since I was a kid when it made such little impression I have nad no desifre to return to it. I will review it in the future, but doubt it has improved since last I saw it. I recall it was a major flop. It is very far from “The Longest Day”.

  2. This was actually one of my favourite Mitchum films. I think it is far better than many give it credit for and i will say Peter Falk gave a lot to the film and its likeability increased for it.

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