The Battle of Neretva (1969)

The Battle of Neretva


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Movie Info

Originally released as The Battle of the Neretva, this sprawling epic is a tribute to the Yugoslav partisan fighters of World War II. Yul Brynner stars as a guerilla leader whose mission in life is to eradicate all Nazis from his homeland.

Rating: G
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Art House & International, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Steve Previn, Ugo Pirro, Stevo Bulajic, Ratko Durovic, Veljko Bulajic
In Theaters:



as Vlado

as German Captain

as Capt. Michele Riva

as Danica

as Senator

as German Gen. Lohring

as Gen. Morelli

as Gen. Morelli

as Nicola

as Partisan Captain
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Critic Reviews for The Battle of Neretva

All Critics (2)

The most expensive Yugoslavian production of its day ($12 million) and an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign-Language Film.

Full Review… | May 1, 2013
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Despite being mauled in the editing suite, this remains a fine war movie and a powerful reminder that WWII was fought on many fronts.

Full Review… | May 1, 2013

Audience Reviews for The Battle of Neretva

This Yugoslav film was probably the most shown Yugoslav film of all times, but for the most Westerners is still unknown! Produced by Anthony B. Unger, Henry T. Weinstein and Steve Previn, written by Stevan Bulajić and Veljko Bulajić, who was the director, it was starring Sergei Bondarchuk, Yul Brynner, Anthony Dawson, Franco Nero, Milena Dravić and Orson Welles. A real Second World War epic with outstanding cinematography of Tomislav Pinter. It is based on the true events of World War II. The Battle of the Neretva was due to a strategic plan for a combined Axis powers attack in 1943 against the Yugoslav Partisans. The plan was also known as the Fourth Enemy Offensive and occurred in the area of the Neretva river in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


At the time, every Yugoslav (out of 20 something millions) had to see it, at least once, in his or her lifetime. I am not sure how many times I had an opportunity to watch it but it is definitely a two digit figure.

And I enjoyed every time 175 minutes of it. Having a budget of $71,015,000 in 1969 allowed the bridge on the Neretva river to be built and twice-destroyed during the shooting of the film. This was the most expensive motion picture made in the SFR Yugoslavia! It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, the year after Sergei Bondarchuk (playing the role of Martin in Neretva) won the honour for War and Peace. This was a legendary movie at the time on many levels... just imagine who could have one of the original posters for the English version of the movie to be made by Pablo Picasso, which, according to Bulajić, the famous painter agreed to do without payment, only requesting a case of the best Yugoslav wines.

I suggest to watch it if you like war epics!

Panta Oz

Super Reviewer

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