Bitter Victory (1957) - Rotten Tomatoes

Bitter Victory (1957)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Bitter Victory Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

This Franco-American coproduction was released in France as Amere Victoire. As was customary in the films of director Nicholas Ray, the so-called hero, Briton Major Brand (Curd Jurgens) is a seriously flawed individual with a none-too-savory past. Though his WW2 comrade-in-arms Captain Leith (Richard Burton) knows that Brand is an ineffectual coward, the major not only contrive to hide these character flaws, but also manages to earn an unwarranted citation after a raid on Rommel's Afrika Korps stronghold. In addition, he stage-manages the "accidental" death of Captain Leith (Richard Burton), who'd been carrying on an affair with Brand's wife (Ruth Roman). The film's title is explained at the end, when Brand discovers that his victory is a hollow one indeed. Bitter Victory was entered in the 1957 Venice Film Festival, where at first the judges couldn't determine whether it should be labelled a French or American film.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Art House & International, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Paul Gallico, René Hardy, Vladimir Pozner, Gavin Lambert, Nicholas Ray
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 22, 2005
Sony Pictures Entertainment


Richard Burton
as Capt. Leith
Curd Jürgens
as Maj. David Brand
Ruth Roman
as Jane Brand
Anthony Bushell
as Gen. Paterson
Alfred Burke
as Lt. Col. Callander
Christopher Lee
as Sgt. Barney
Sean Kelly
as Lt. Barton
Ramon de Larrocha
as Lt. Sanders
Nigel Green
as Pvt. Wilkins
Harry Landis
as Pvt. Berowing
Jo Davray
as Pvt. Spicer
Sumner Williams
as Pvt. Anderson
Ronan O'Casey
as Sgt. Dunnigan
Fred Matter
as Col. Lutze
Andrew Crawford
as Pvt. Roberts
Raoul Delfosse
as Lt. Kassel
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Bitter Victory

Critic Reviews for Bitter Victory

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (5)

Nicholas Ray's direction of black-and-white CinemaScope, that freak child of the 50s, is consistently brilliant in this raw, confused masterpiece.

Full Review… | October 23, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Contemplating the dangerous games men play with macho self-images, this survives as one of Ray's greatest works.

Full Review… | October 23, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Fine thesping by Richard Burton leads a series of top performances by other members of large cast.

Full Review… | October 23, 2007
Top Critic

The title tells all.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 23, 2012
Top Critic

The film's military detail is in most respects quite ludicrous.

Full Review… | October 23, 2007
Observer [UK]

Audience Reviews for Bitter Victory


one of ray's more neglected films, it's a stunning black and white widescreen character study of the intense struggle between two british officers on a hopeless mission in the libyan desert. i somehow never realized before that richard burton was hot at one point in time

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

Stark drama of principles in wartime. Excellent performances from the three leads. Ruth Roman's part is small but integral to the plot and she makes the most of it.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Burton is strong as is Ray's direction, but this story just falls flat

Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

Bitter Victory Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Bitter Victory on our Movie forum!