Overlord

1975

Action / Drama / History / War

54
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 92%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 75%
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 2089

Synopsis


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May 04, 2014 at 03:30 AM

Director

Cast

Nicholas Ball as Arthur
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
697.13 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 23 min
P/S 3 / 7
1.24 GB
1920*1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 23 min
P/S 3 / 8

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by eddie-177 8 / 10

Excellent. Just excellent.

When I heard that this film consisted of about 1/3 newsreel footage, I was expecting the worst. Stock footage blended with studio footage is something you'd find in an MST3k movie; three people in a car driving quickly away from a giant lizard and then cut to a different film grain shot of an iguana in a lab and then back to the car. Oh no, the Iguana is chasing us.

The effect can be jarring, to say the least.

But Cooper, so far as I have heard, actually wrote the screenplay for Overlord with the stock footage he was going to use already in mind, tailoring his script so that the footage actually made sense. The movie is shot so that the switch from studio to stock lighting and film quality is barely noticeable. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's seamless--it does take a little while to get used to, but after the first fifteen minutes or so you don't even notice it.

And that's a good sign, that you have to "get used to" the picture for a little while before you feel comfortable watching it. That's the sign of originality. This is a brooding and slow-paced war film, but unlike other such films it maintains a certain lightness in spite of its weighty subject and so avoids coming off as ponderous. No viewpoints are shoved in your face. Hard questions are asked, yes, but you're given plenty of time to try and sort them out for yourself.

This is a movie you have to be wide awake while watching--it demands your full attention, and if you're not willing to give that up then you're probably not going to enjoy it. Overlord is most certainly not mindless entertainment. It provokes thought, and if thought makes you uncomfortable it's simply not the movie for you.

Reviewed by Edgar Soberon Torchia 10 / 10

Overlord

Second World War (1939-1945) has been the subject of many films that recount the beginning, the offensives, the European movements of resistance, their survival; stories of troops, battles and personalities; the prisons, intimate dramas the madness, the Jewish experience, the memories and the perceptions of the conflagration and the post-war years. England was one of the most devastated nations and the conflict generated a varied production, from the State financed propaganda to classics as "In Which We Serve" and "49th Parallel". But the farthest the products were from the real events, the more false they got, the more they have been loaded with special effects, without a real feeling of what happened between 1939 and 1945. "Overlord" (codename for the 1944 disembarkation of troops in Normandy) supplies that time distance from the real events with a brilliantly executed idea. The film depicts the training of a young British recruit who will die even before the landing starts: his premonition is exposed from the first minutes. We know that he is going to die in the end, so his preparation, reflections, relationship with other recruits, fleeting romance and movements with the troops, are loaded with melancholy and naivety, to which Brian Stirner's face immensely helps, as he portrays the central role Tom Beddows. Tom is not afraid at all. He is just there because he was recruited, he is going to fight because "he has to" or perhaps he senses that his destiny is in the hands of powerful men who stage wars when numbers do not add up. Therefore, the screenplay by Christopher Hudson and Stuart Cooper (also director, an American filmmaker) contrasts Tom's moments of apparent calm, with footage from the war itself. I confess that I have rarely seen documentary material from different sources so admirably edited into a drama as in "Overlord", and I think the key was the selection of images. Taken from the British Imperial War Museum and a film archive in Germany, the authentic footage of Second World War is impressive. Only once we see human remains, because they prioritized the images of aerial attacks, train and cities under fire, building in flames with firemen all around, advancing troops, cannons, machine guns, ambulances, ships that are sunk (in a moment, Adolf Hitler impassively contemplates the panorama, from a wide airplane window...), all aptly overdubbed. No contemporary visual effects can compare to these sounds and images shot at the time they were happening. And the most remarkable job done is the integration of these shots with the scenes of Tom's recruitment, sometimes calm, other hectic. It is the contrast and the context, what Tom is ultimately going to face. "Overlord" won the Special Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival, but not even the UK recognized its value when it came to handing out its Bafta awards. Hollywood, for its part, had had too good a production in 1975 to award an Oscar to a British film. However, time is the best judge and in 2007 and 2014, digital editions were issued.

Reviewed by tomgillespie2002 9 / 10

One of the most innovative and devastating war pictures ever made

Stuart Cooper's Overlord is a meditation on the mechanics of war and the young souls swept into it. After winning the Silver Bear at the 25th Berlin International Film Festival, the film became incredibly obscure until recently, when it was given the restoration it deserved by the lovely folks at Criterion. Beginning in a quaint English home and ending on the beaches of Normandy for 'Operation Overlord' during World War II, it's a simple yet hypnotic story of a young private named Tom (Brian Stirner) and his slow journey to a death he feels is inevitable. The very first scene shows an out-of- focus soldier running from or towards an unknown threat before being shot down, only to be revealed as a dream sequence. This vision plagues Tom's thoughts, but he nevertheless remains somewhat chipper about it.

What makes this very personal journey so incredibly powerful is the sense of impending doom. Tom always seems to be on the move, be it on a train or an army jeep, as if he is making a slow trek towards his fate, and he chooses this time to daydream. Despite not knowing where the war is heading or if he'll even see combat, he somehow knows he is going to die but remains nonchalant about it. A nice boy, well spoken and slight, Tom is not built for the army, but he does what he is told and makes friends. The only time we really see his personality come to the fore is when he meets a pretty young lady (Julie Neesam) and the pair enjoy what little time they have together. He tells her they'll meet again, but we know they won't. In making Tom such an everyman, Overlord studies the anonymity of battle, and celebrates the millions of unknown soldiers who have charged into certain death without really understanding why.

Starting out life as a documentary, Cooper later made the bold decision to use the startling archive footage provided by the Imperial War Museum and weave a narrative through it. Cinematographer John Alcott (who collaborated with Stanley Kubrick on the likes of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Barry Lyndon) employs grainy black-and-white photography for the central story so it is interchangeable with the stock footage. The result is staggering. By adding sound, scenes of devastating city bombings become hellish nightmares, and a beach landing turns into something out of science- fiction. In a bizarre scene, a water wheel device powered by mini rockets rolls across the water and onto land, hoping to detonate any landmines or unexploded bombs before mightily toppling over. It's World War II like you've never seen it before, and it's real. It's a winning combination of observational and personal, making Overlord one of the most innovative and devastating humanist war films ever made.

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