The Fallen

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 7


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,126
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Movie Info

War makes for uneasy alliances and dangerous loyalties in this period military drama. During the waning days of World War II in late 1944, German troops in the Italian Alps are struggling to defend "the Gothic Line," their ultimate line of defense, with the help of a battalion of Italian soldiers as American forces on the other side are poised to attack. While Italy may be allied with Germany in the war, many of the soldiers feel little sympathy for their cause, and the Italian villagers nearby are as frequently in cahoots with Communist resistance fighters as with Yankee soldiers, a number of whom have Italian blood. Lt. Gunther Breukner (Thomas Pohn) leads the German troops, while Lt. Bruno Gianini (Fabio Sartor) commands the Italian reinforcements. Sgt. Ricky Malone (John McVay) is temporarily in charge of a band of American soldiers when a cache of supplies must be escorted to the front lines; Malone and his men must also escort an injured G.I. to a field hospital for medical attention. Sal (John O'Leary), one of the American fighters, is hoping to do some business with Rossini (Carmine Raspaolo), a local black marketer, before they hit the road, as Sal has confiscated some vintage wine he'd like to unload for the right price. En route to the front, Malone's troops are sidelined by the breakdown of their truck and are taken in by an Italian family for the night. While the Yankee G.I.s enjoy the attention of some attractive women from the nearby village, they also make friends with a similarly stranded Scottish officer (Milton Welsch), unaware that he's actually a spy for Axis intelligence. But neither the German agent nor the American soldiers realize the family that has given them shelter is affiliated with the Communist underground. The Fallen was directed by Ari Taub, who screened an earlier version of the film in 2003 under the title "Letters from the Dead."


Critic Reviews for The Fallen

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (4)

  • War is hell, it maintains -- and though we've heard that before, Taub and his crack international company make us feel it.

    May 11, 2006 | Rating: 3/4
  • The photography and period detailing are excellent, and Taub, who displays real feeling for the innocent bystanders of war, finds the occasional small, surprising moment.

    Mar 23, 2006 | Full Review…
  • You care for these warriors, no matter which uniform they're wearing.

    Mar 10, 2006 | Rating: 3/4
  • Directed by Ari Taub with a naturalistic style and a nonpartisan eye, The Fallen finds its humanity in the dailiness of a soldier's life.

    Mar 9, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • This multiethnic, polyglot war epic successfully marries its grand ambitions to a minuscule budget.

    Jul 24, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Italian locations, strong acting in three different languages, and sharply written snapshots of individual soldiers from all four sides of the conflict add up to a multifaceted close-up of daily life on the lines.

    Mar 10, 2006 | Rating: 3/4

Audience Reviews for The Fallen

  • Jan 25, 2008
    A squad of German soldiers is reinforced by the Italians in the final days of the war in the face of certain defeat by the advancing allies. The version of this film I saw was re-edited, removing the majority of the American involvement and renamed "The Final Sacrifice". For some reason. It's an interesting take on the WWII film focussing on the soldiers on the ground and their day to day lives as they bicker, reminisce and basically do what anyone else would do if they were stuck in muddy hole for days on end. Its multi-cultural aspect is the most interesting in that it shows the relationship between the Germans and their Italian "allies" who are treated as second class citizens and torn between a soldier's duty and loyalty to their conquered country. In a lot of ways it's more like a soap opera set during a war than a "war film" as such but thanks to solid writing and strong performances the characters and their relationships are completely believable and it engages through to a poignant ending. A story about ordinary people stuck in an extraordinary situation, The Final Sacrifice wisely avoids politics (let's face it, Nazis are hardly the most sympathetic protagonists) and concentrates on those caught in the middle of events bigger than themselves. A man can have the right motivations and be a "hero", even if his superiors have not.
    xGary X Super Reviewer
  • Jul 18, 2007
    Touted as 'Saving Private Ryan only better'. I dont know who wrote that but they clearly hadnt watched it. Unbeleivably poor.
    Barry L Super Reviewer

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