Continuing my World War 2 movie kick, I watched BREAKTHROUGH (1979), starring Robert Mitchum and Richard Burton at his snarly best.
The story follows Sergeant Steiner (Burton) from the Eastern Front to the Western Front. He becomes embroiled, albeit at the very peiphery, in the plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler and end the war. The question is whether the Americans will believe it and delay their attack, and whether the plot will succeed. Robert Mitchum plays the colonel of a tank battalion who believes Steiner.
It’s a strange movie. Lots of action, an interesting premise, but it’s fragmented, and the pieces didn’t hold together very well for me. Steiner is so cranky, and his relationships with almost everybody in the film so thin and forced, it’s hard to see him as a very likable protagonist. The stakes in the story kept changing. I can see what the film was aiming for, but while it had a lot of great moments, in my opinion it failed to reach it. The highlight of the movie was Mitchum, particularly his interactions with his cranky CO and the smartass sergeant who acts as his driver and personal aide.
Can’t say I’d recommend it, but if you’re into old war movies, you’ll probably want to give it a watch.
Click here to watch the complete movie on YouTube.