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The shocking story of seven teenage boys who are drafted into the German army in a futile effort to stop the enemy invasion.

Germany, April 1945. Friends and schoolmates, a group of teenage boys from a small town are impatiently waiting to be drafted. Fiercely patriotic, they believe that to fight for their fatherland is the ultimate honor. When the boys are finally called to duty, they are elated, but their teacher secretly appeals to the company sergeant to spare them from the war. The company sergeant gets permission to have the boys watch a strategically useless bridge, which is going to be blown up anyway. Not aware of this, the boys take their orders very seriously. They refuse to leave their posts even when fleeing German troops retreat across the bridge. As dawn breaks, American tanks suddenly appear and try to cross the bridge. The boys fight bravely, and the Americans finally retreat, but only two of the young men survive. When German soldiers arrive to blow up the bridge, the boys realize that their friends' deaths were senseless and open fire on their countrymen.
Genre History, Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 1959
Director Bernhard Wicki
Screenplay Karl Wilhelm Vivier, Michael Mansfeld
Cinematography Gerd von Bonin
Carl-Otto Bartning
Hans-Martin Majewski
Heinrich Graf Bruehl, Peter Scharff
Cast Cordula Trantow, Guenther Hoffmann, Volker Lechtenbrink, Karl Michael Balzer, Frank Glaubrecht, Michael Hinz, Fritz Wepper, Folker Bohnet, Guenter Pfitzmann
Producer Hermann Schwerin
Production Company Fono Film, Berlin
Runtime 104 min
Format 35 mm, b&w
Dubbed Versions English, French, Italian, Spanish
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Optical
Festivals Karlovy Vary 2005, Zlín 2015
Awards Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film 1960, German Film Awards 1960 in 5 categories, German Film Critics' Award 1960, Bambi 1960
German Distributor Deutsche Kinemathek - Museum für Film und Fernsehen/Berlin

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