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|Robert Mitchum||Dick Ennis (war correspondent, International Press)|
|Peter Falk||Cpl. Jack Rabinoff|
|Robert Ryan||Gen. Carson|
|Earl Holliman||Platoon Sgt. Abe Stimmler|
|Mark Damon||Wally Richardson|
|Arthur Kennedy||Maj. Gen. Jack Lesley|
|Reni Santoni||Pvt. Movie|
|Thomas Hunter||Pvt. Andy|
|Giancarlo Giannini||Pvt. Cellini|
"...where all roads lead to Rome!"
After meeting a general, war correspondent Dick Ennis (Robert Mitchum) is assigned to accompany US Army Rangers for the upcoming attempt to outflank the tough enemy defenses. The amphibious landing is unopposed, but the bumbling American general is too cautious, preferring to fortify his beachhead before advancing inland. Ennis and a Ranger drive in a jeep through the countryside, discovering there are few Germans between the beachhead and Rome, but his information is ignored. As a result, the German commander, Kesselring, has time to gather his forces and launch an effective counterattack.Ennis is with the Rangers when they are ambushed at the Battle of Cisterna. From there, the film departs from being a view of all sides and levels of the campaign to a story of a handful of survivors making their way back through enemy lines. Ennis asks what makes one human being willingly kill another. Corporal Jack Rabinoff (Peter Falk) replies that he loves it, and his lifestyle makes him live more than anyone else. Rabinoff is based on a real 1st Special Service Force soldier Jake Wallenstein, who ran an illegal brothel of Italian prostitutes in a stolen ambulance. Most of the men, including Rabinoff, are killed (in reality, Wallenstein was killed by shrapnel at Port Cros during Operation Dragoon, the invasion of southern France.) Ennis survives to publicly question the competence of the Allied commander.
DVD : 2001-11-06