Bitter Victory

Critics Consensus

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75%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 16

69%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 970

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Movie Info

British Capt. Leith (Richard Burton) knows the Libyan Desert like the back of his hand, but Maj. Brand (Curt Jurgens), who's unfamiliar with the terrain, is chosen to lead a campaign through the area because of his prestigious military credentials. During the mission, tensions build between Leith and Brand, and the latter reveals himself to be a poor fit for the dangerous operation. The power struggle between the officers is only intensified when Brand learns that his wife once loved Leith.

Cast & Crew

Curd Jürgens
Maj. David Brand
Ruth Roman
Jane Brand
Anthony Bushell
Gen. R.S. Patterson
Alfred Burke
Lt. Col. Michael Callander
Christopher Lee
Sgt. Barney
Sean Kelly
Lt. Barton
Nigel Green
Pvt. Wilkins
Harry Landis
Pvt. Browning
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Critic Reviews for Bitter Victory

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (4)

Audience Reviews for Bitter Victory

  • Aug 03, 2014
    In "Bitter Victory," General Paterson(Anthony Bushell) is in a bit of a pickle with a sudden dangerous mission to steal documents behind enemy lines in Benghazi requiring recruits. Major Brand(Curt Jurgens) is an obvious choice, especially considering his experience. Even though Captain Leith(Richard Burton) is very familiar with Libya, Paterson has doubts about him, especially about his being an intellectual...and Welsh. But that doesn't mean Brand and Leith have nothing in common, like say Brand's wife Jane(Ruth Roman). "Bitter Victory" is an offbeat war movie with some interesting casting(Jurgens playing a hero on dry land while Richard Burton is not yet Richard Burton) and very good use of location photography being the main points of interest. While Brand and Leith are outsiders(yes, I know Brand is a white South African but that's a conversation for another time), the movie attempts a psychological portrait of war. The fact that it takes the most cliched approach possible(of all the suicide missions in this war, you had to choose this one...) including a shaky resolution is a huge shame and lost opportunity.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 15, 2012
    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 D Super Reviewer
  • Aug 27, 2010
    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 n Super Reviewer
  • Aug 05, 2009
    This film succeeds with the acting, but fails with the story. Nicholas Ray gets everything he can out of every character, but the story is bland, the action is bad and the love story is tact on and unnecessary. Burton is fantastic and has a great screen presence. Burton, Jurgens,and the rest of their crew is what makes this film great. Everyone has a memorable character and the desert scenes look great. The story of a coward commander clashing with a noble one is not handled well. It's a forced story as is the love story which is a rip off of Casablanca. I am on the crossroads here,because loved the acting and was bored by everything else. Watch Sahara with Bogart to see a better desert war film.
    cody f Super Reviewer

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