5 Masters of WarValentinian | 19/06/2011 | See all Valentinian's reviews (62)Top 100 DVD Reviewer Sam Peckinpah`s only war film Cross of Iron finally arrives on Blu-ray in near pristine condition. Filmed from the German point of view, it`s set during the Wehrmacht`s long and bloody retreat from Russia. There are massive battle scenes, but the main thrust of the movie is the tension between James Coburn`s Corporal Steiner and Maximilian Schell`s ambitious Capt Stransky; a man who not only covets the Iron Cross that Steiner wears, but also the respect & admiration he commands amongst his men. It`s a movie that shows that not all Germans who fought the war were Nazis, but did it because they were patriots. Shot on a budget that nearly bankrupted the producers, Cross of Iron dazzles with it`s realistic and bloody battle scenes, shot in Peckinpah`s trademark slowmotion technique. The whole cast, script and production values are outstanding, in a movie that only the great Peckinpah could have shot in such a brutal and blood splattered fashion. For me, this is the definitive war movie; typically shot by this maverick film maker from the German point of view, and showing them as men grimly fighting for their country`s survival, not as blood crazed anti semitic fanatics. It`s a masterpiece of war, and highly recommended.