Saturday, 30 April 2011



During the WWII battle of Stalingrad, two snipers, a Russian, and a German, are locked in a battle of wills and marksmanship, while the Russian is boosted to the status of hero by a political official.


Drama | History | Thriller | War


An extrordinary work of raw skill and imagination

A gut-wrenching and impressive hide-and-seek thriller that uses the bloody battle of Stalingrad (during the second World War) as the clever disguise here for a real battle of courage and determination. The film follows a young and highly talented Russian sniper from the Urals, Vassili Zaitsev (Jude Law - "eXistenZ", "The Talented Mr. Ripley"), who gains national fame from the help of Danilov (Joesph Fiennes - "Shakespeare in Love"), a propoganda officer and his true love and fellow sniper, Tania (Rachael Weisz), who is also flirting with Danilov.

However, the Germans have an ace sniper of their own in Erwin Koning (Ed Harris - "Pollock"), a seasoned and out-spoken Major who comes to Stalingrad only to pick off Vassili. And before Koning leaves, his superior officer asks how he'll find Vassili. Koning says, " I'll fix it so he finds me."

The love triangle that director Jean-Jacques Annaud and co-writer Alain Godard put in the story shows that the pair took a chance and I'll give them credit for doing it. Plus, the love scene that Law and Weisz have is one of the strangest (no offense to either one) that I've seen.

The film's best moments come when Vassili tries to catch Koning off guard, but the problem is Koning is aware of what Vassili is capable of. I won't say how it's done, but the final confrontation is a genuine nail-bitter.

All of the performances here are powerhouse and that includes Bob Hoskins as Nikita Kruschev, a snarling and impatient man and Ron Perlman, who portrays Koulikov, a lieutenant whose teeth are all metal and serves as a guide for Vassili.

Robert Frassie ("Ronin") handles the movie's photography with care and the appearrence of Stalingrad itself reminded me heavily of the war-torn cities shown in Spielsburg's "Saving Private Ryan" and Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket". Also, James Horner conducts a tender and extremely mournful score that leaves a quiet yet important reminder of how awful war is.

"ENEMY AT THE GATES" is an extrodinary work of raw skill and imagination.

Directed by
Jean-Jacques Annaud
Writing credits
Jean-Jacques Annaud(written by) &
Alain Godard(written by)
Cast (in credits order) verified as complete
Jude Law... Vassili Zaitsev
Ed Harris... Major König
Rachel Weisz... Tania Chernova
Joseph Fiennes... Commisar Danilov
Bob Hoskins... Nikita Khrushchev
Ron Perlman... Koulikov
Eva Mattes... Mother Filipov
Gabriel Thomson... Sacha Filipov (as Gabriel Marshall-Thomson)
Matthias Habich... General Paulus
Sophie Rois... Ludmilla
Ivan Shvedoff... Volodya
Mario Bandi... Anton
Hans Martin Stier... Red Army General
Clemens Schick... German NCO (as Clemans Schick)
Mikhail N. Matveev... Grandfather (as Mikhail Matveev)
Alexander Schwan... Young Vassili Zaitsev
Lenn Kudrjawizki... Comrade in Train
Hendrik Arnst... Fat Colonel
Claudius Freyer... Aide de Camp
Dietmar Nieder... Blond Captain
Bernd Lambrecht... Captain with Lighter
Jim Dowdall... Stubborn Feldwebel
Maxim Kovalevski... Politruk / Sniper
Gennadi Vengerov... Russian NCO
Dan van Husen... Political Officer
Peter Silbereisen... Sweating Officer
Markus Majowski... Stammering Officer
Robert Stadlober... Spotter
Gotthard Lange... Corpse Robber
Anna Böttcher... Female Russian Typist
Holger Handtke... Paulus' Aide de Camp
Marc Bischoff... Stealing Photographer
Mark Zak... Russian Captain at Headquarters
Thomas Petruo... Russian Lieutenant
Dmitri Aleksandrov... Comrade in Shelter
David Pagel... Pravda Interviewer
Galina Dobberstein... Izvestiya Interviewer
Igor Rozinsky... Krasnaya Zvezda Interviewer (as Igor Rozinskij)
Sergei Tokarev... Russian Reporter
Tom Wlaschiha... Soldier
Marischka Schubarth... Woman Plucking Eyebrows
Natalya Bondar... Woman Officer (as Natalja Bondar)
Dana Cebulla... Athletic Female Sniper
Pjotr Papierz... Politruk
Jarek Wozniak... Politruk
Genia Makarov... Politruk
Werner Daehn... Politruk
Birol Ünel... Politruk
Grigori Kofmann... Politruk
Aleksei Nesterov... Politruk (as Aleksej Nesterov)
Vladimir Vilanov... Politruk
Aleksei Volodin... Junior Politruk (as Alexeji Volodin)
Gennadi Tselbyansky... Senior Politruk (as Gennadi Tselbiansky)
André Kaminski... Russian Trench Officer (as Andrej Kaminski)
Michael Schenk... Russian Officer
Jury Cooper... Russian NCO
Manfred Witt... Russian NCO
Arslan Kodirov... Chechen Sniper / Sniper / Russian Officer
Axel Neumann... Gaunt German Prisoner
Morin Smole... Sniper
Inna Samain... Sniper
Keta Burowa... Female Russian Radio Operator
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Toby Cockerell... Russian Sharpshooter (uncredited)
Eddy Joseph... Voice on Tannoy (uncredited) (voice)
Martin Glyn Murray... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Valentin Platareanu... General Schmidt (uncredited)
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Produced by
Jean-Jacques Annaud.... producer
Alain Godard.... executive producer
Roland Pellegrino.... executive producer
Jörg Reichl.... executive producer
John D. Schofield.... producer
Alisa Tager.... executive producer
Original Music by
James Horner
Cinematography by
Robert Fraisse
Film Editing by
Noëlle Boisson
Humphrey Dixon

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