Monday, January 26, 2009

Enemy at the Gates

I try to catch most of the World War II movies but missed this one when it came out. A young Russian soldier (Jude Law) becomes a sniper during the siege of Stalingrad and demoralizes the Germans so much that they bring in a sharpshooter of their own, an aristocrat played by Ed Harris. Most of the movie is a tense duel between the two as they try to get a clear shot at each other, but there's also a little romance and some philosophizing as well. This is a grim and gritty but intelligent thriller. It's also a rather old-fashioned movie that's staged and edited so that the viewer can actually tell what's going on. ENEMY AT THE GATES is a well-made, involving film, and I liked it a lot.


James Bojaciuk said...

if this is the movie i think i saw a few years ago i enjoyed it a lot.
it starts with the sniper as a kid trying to shoot a wolf, right?

Steve M said...

Gotta agree James, this is a superb film. One of my favourite war films ever.

James Reasoner said...

James B.,

Yep, that's the way the movie opens.

Ray said...

Vassili Zaitsev existed in real life but whether the duel took place is a matter of conjecture. I think this story is told in David L. Robbins book 'War Of The Rats'.
Although he is creditted with about 240 kills by sniper fire unofficial sources think that it may have been double that.
In 1943 his eyesight was damaged during a mortar attack.
The facts at the end of the movie though are fairly accurate.
I got so taken up with the movie that I had to check out whether it was just a film - or whether Zaitsev really existed.

Leon1234 said...

I saw this movie and thought it was great.