This is somewhat of a bulging behemoth of a film - a rather overdone, convoluted conglomeration of genres which is, nonetheless, a vehicle for several spectacular performances. Peter O'Toole is characteristically perfect as the psychotic General Tanz; his somber, brooding megalomania is brilliantly conceived (particularly in contrast to his more frenzied but equally stunning work in films such as The Ruling Class and Caligula). Omar Sharif wisely leaves a great deal to be supposed about Major Grau; his fascination with unmitigated justice clearly makes him the most likeable character in the film, but Sharif's overall performance is remarkably undertoned and nuanced. Donald Pleasence, of course, is pitch-perfect as the icy General Kahlenberg; Charles Gray and Coral Browne steal all their scenes as General von Seidlitz-Gabler and his xanthippe of a wife. Philippe Noiret, Tom Courtenay, and Harry Andrews (through uncredited) shine; conversely, Christopher Plummer is wasted in his brief appearance as Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. This is neither a classic war film nor a classic murder mystery; however, for whatever it may be, Anatole Litvak's adaptation of the Hans Hellmut Kirst novel is certainly worth its running time.