FANDOM


Hornets' Nest is a 1970 World War II thriller directed by Phil Karlson and Franco Cirino.

PlotEdit

SynopsisEdit

ReviewEdit

A dark and gritty World War II adventure movie filmed on location in Italy and co-produced by the Italians, this film is quite grimdark and violent, and also possibly one of the filthiest movies I've ever seen. Everyone is always sweating and in bad need of a good bath, with messy hair that needs combing, and clothes that need a trip through the washing machine. It all adds to the realism, of course; war is dirty and messy.

Hornets' Nest stars macho man Rock Hudson, fresh off his successful starring role in the big screen adaptation of Alistair MacLean's novel Ice Station Zebra, as the determined Captain Turner. He does a pretty good job in what is essentially a one-note tough guy role, although he does, later one, get to emote a bit during scenes where Turner wonders he's doing the right thing by arming a bunch of preteen and younger kids.

Other standout performances include the achingly beautiful Sylva Koscina as Bianca, whose compassionate, kindhearted nature make it truly saddening all that she endures throughout the film. She begins by denying the crimes of the Nazis, but eventually takes up arms against them herself. Still, there is the uncomfortable scene where she's almost raped by the kids, and roughed up by Turner later, and I really have to wonder what in the world directors Phil Karlson and Franco Cirino were thinking.

There's also Mark Colleano as Aldo, and wow, can that kid act! Colleano really plays the whole "psycho teen" angle to the hilt and makes Aldo a believably dangerous and reprehensible, but still somehow pitiable character. Indeed, almost all the actors playing the boys do a good job, particularly Mauro Gravina as the adorable, ill-fated Carlo, and John Fordyce as Dino. These two are really the human face of the group of children (nevermind Dino is probably close to eighteen). If Aldo represents all that is wrong with youth, then the warm and compassionate Dino and the eager, curious and hopeful (despite the tragedy that has befallen them) Carlo represent all that is good and pure in it.

This finally brings us to the German characters, who save for Lithuanian actor Jacques Sernas as Taussig, are played almost entirely by Italians doing bad Teutonic accents. The high-ranking colonels and generals are stilted and laughable, but Sernas is pretty good. His Taussig oozes despicable arrogance and casual cruelty.

The best German character, though, and, indeed, probably the best character in the movie, is the very, very blonde Sergio Fantoni as Captain Friedrich von Hecht. He's a perfect example of an antagonist who isn't a villain. He's a decent enough guy who's just on the wrong side of an unjust war and knowingly serving an evil regime, acidly making his distaste for "you SS people" known at every turn, even at the risk of his own career and maybe even his life. Most interestingly of all is how he treats his mission to find and eliminate (or capture) Turner. Von Hecht is a hunter, you see; and he sees the American officer on the loose as a challenge that he must accept and try to overcome. For him, it's less about advancing the Nazi cause (he could care less about that) and more about the thrill of the hunt. And (mild spoiler here), he isn't one of this egomaniacal hunters drunk on his own superiority over his enemy; when his own prey bests him in the end, he accepts his defeat with dignity.

If the movie has a fault (the rape scenes aside), it is that it is a little on the unrealistic side when it comes to the battle scenes, and also can't quite seem to settle on a tone or moral. We have (essentially) untrained kids mowing down countless Nazis left and right, and it can't quite seem to decide if it wants to show war as a fun adventure or as a grim reality with tragic psychological tolls that come with children becoming killers, and its efforts to have it both ways leave it feeling a bit disjointed.

CastEdit

Main CastEdit

  • Rock Hudson .................. Captain Turner
  • Sylva Koscina ................ Dr. Bianca Freedling
  • Sergio Fantoni ............... Captain Friedrich von Hecht
  • Giacomo Rossi-Stuart ......... Sgt. Schwalberg
  • Jacques Sernas ............... Maj. Taussig
  • Mark Colleano ................ Aldo
  • Mauro Gravina ................ Carlo
  • John Fordyce ................. Dino
  • Giuseppe Cassuto ............. Franco
  • Amedeo Castracane ............ Tonio
  • Giancarlo Colombaioni ........ Romeo
  • Ronald Colombaioni ........... Mikko
  • Valerio Colombaioni .......... Arturo
  • Giuseppe Coppola ............. Rico
  • Luigi Criscuolo .............. Paolo

Supporting CastEdit

  • Gaetano Danaro ............... Umberto
  • Vincenzo Danaro .............. Silvio
  • Daniel Dempsey ............... Giorgio
  • Anna-Luisa Giacinti .......... Maria
  • Daniel Keller ................ Tekko
  • Mauro Orsi ................... Luigi
  • Maurizio-Fabrizio Tempio ..... Mario
  • Jean Valmont ................. Scarpi
  • Roda Dana .................... US Colonel
  • Tom Felleghy ................. Colonel Jannings
  • Andrea Bosic ................. General von Kleber
  • Andrea Esterhazy ............. General Dohrmann
  • Mino Doro .................... Dr. Frassi
  • Gérard Herter ................ Captain Kreuger
  • Jacques Stany ................ Sgt. Ehrlich
  • Hardy Stuart ................. Corporal Gunther
  • Marco Gobbi .................. Sgt. Hermann
  • Max Turilli .................. Colonel Weede
  • Alain Chammas ................ 1st Sentry
  • Amos Davoli .................. 2nd Sentry
  • Goffredo Unger ............... Corporal Merkel
  • Larry Dolgin ................. Pilot
  • William Conroy ............... German Soldier

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.