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Plot:

In WWII Western Germany, Private David Manning reluctantly leaves behind a mortally wounded fellow soldier and searches for survivors from his platoon, only to learn from commanding officer Captain Pritchett that they have all been killed in action. Despite requesting a discharge on the grounds of mental disability, Manning is promoted to sergeant and assigned to lead a new platoon of young inductees.

Also Known As: Hurtgen, Quand les clairons se taisent, Когато тромпетите заглъхнат, When Trumpets Fade, Harctéri harsonák, Quando as Chamas Se Apagam, Cuando callan las trompetas, Battaglia all'inferno, Kun aseet vaikenevat, I diasosi, Gli Ultimi Eroi, Когда молчат фанфары, Les Soldats de l'impossible, Wenn Helden sterben, Hamburger Hill 2 South, Quando os Bravos se Calam, Kiedy ucichna dziala, The Sound of War - Wenn Helden sterben, Když utichly trumpety Czech

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  • sari-salonen
    sari salonen

    After seeing this on HBO many years ago I searched and searched to find it on video. Well I bought the DVD and am still in love with the film. I believe there is much more of a storyline here than seen in Saving Private Ryan. The character development is pretty solid and you soon feel for them as people. I felt much closer to the action in this movie than in SPR in terms of feeling like you are a member of the squad. In SPR you watched the group move through the film where as in this film you are almost a member. Anyway, I like this movie a lot and its a must see.

  • benny-holm
    benny holm

    The best thing about this movie, aside from it’s interesting storyline, is that it’s one of the few movies that portrays the US soldier in WWII as a fragile thing. They aren’t supermen or willing to do or die. The soldier in this film is thrust into a bad situation and has to adapt just like anyone else or die. An excellent example of the new breed of war films. That we don’t get to know all the characters intimately is good, because, in war, faces, and lives, come and go. The movie brings that fact home in a chilling way.

  • triin-lass
    triin lass

    This is one of those rare gems: an excellent TV movie.In Australia, this TV movie is (apparently) called ‘Hamburger Hill 2’. Although it’s neither a sequel nor a prequel to ‘Hamburger Hill’, I forgive the reference on the basis that if you’ve seen (and enjoyed) ‘Hamburger Hill’, you will certainly enjoy this movie. Both are directed by John Irvin and share certain elements: a simple story, a relatively unknown cast, excellent production values and dramatic battle sequences.The story centres around Private Manning (Ron Eldard), a soldier who simply wants out, but finds himself, due to the fact that his survival instinct is misinterpreted as battle instinct, promoted first to Sergeant and then to Lieutenant and given charge of a small band of new soldiers as they battle with the German Army. Manning is assisted by war-worn medic, Chamberlain (Frank Whaley) and taunted by his nemesis, Sergeant Talbot (Dylan Bruno) who sees him as a coward. Manning, however, redeems himself. The ending is heartbreaking.As with ‘Hamburger Hill’, John Irvin presents us with a poignant reminder of just how much of a meat-grinder War is. Instead of a hill, we have a forest – a beautiful, but deadly forest. The cinematography here belies its TV movie status; it is simply stunning. The cast, especially the protagonists, give 100%. The sense of anger, fear and despair is palpable. There’s no let up in all its 92 minutes.My only quibble (and a minor one) is with the music. Whereas Philip Glass provided a simple, yet chilling, motif for ‘Hamburger Hill’, Geoffrey Burgon gives us slightly too much music which, in some scenes, didn’t quite gel with the images.I bought this movie on DVD on the basis of other reviews here and the fact that I enjoyed (and also bought) ‘Hamburger Hill’. I did not waste my tenner. Excellent.10/10

  • melissa-colon
    melissa colon

    This is a great war movie. It depicts how the men feel about the tasks at hand. Sgt Manning displays his feelings about the situation right to his superiors, who tell him that he has no say in the matter. He has great leadership qualities but displays them in ways that make him seem barbaric. This movie is made with the materials they had and was done well, the firework explosions were a bit awkward. This movie is realistic in a way that American men can be hit by bullets. In most was movies you find that most of the men always “dodge bullets” or something like that. His squad develops to be a great one. The battle of the bulge started a few days after this Hurtgen Forrest battle. That is why you never really here about this battle. The acting was superior to that of Midway but it matched that of Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan. This movie also showed how in the war, men cracked and went crazy.

  • ernst-august-neuschafer
    ernst august neuschafer

    WHEN TRUMPETS FADE is one of the very best recent WWII films. It doesn’t have anywhere near the scope of something like SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, but it captures what it was like to fight as a typical “grunt” in Europe during the winter of ’44-’45–and what it’s like to fight in a war anywhere–about as well as any movie can. Appropriately enough, its setting is the bloody, intense Battle of Hürtgen Forest, the longest single engagement in the history of the United States Army and one that, ironically, many of the history books largely ignore. Many experts now believe that this battle should have been avoided altogether.Ron Eldard gives a really fine performance as “Manning,” a reluctant draftee-type who’s “not about to take a bullet for anyone.” One of the best aspects of this film is the way it shows the psychology–and irony–of how Manning’s higher-ups use him via a combination of threats, flattery, and promotions just to take one small strategic spot during the battle. Just about everyone else in the film–American or German, I don’t believe that there are any non-military characters –gives a commendably believable performance, but special mention goes to Zak Orth, who plays a typical replacement who, young, green, and unsoldierly though he may seem, turns out to be a fine soldier, and Martin Donovan as Captain Pritchett, a typically ruthless, uncaring commander to the men in his company but a bit of a Private Manning himself to his superior officers.Like most of today’s war films, WHEN TRUMPETS FADE is gory, disturbing, and, by necessity (since it’s about an unpopular and rather ineffectual battle), somewhat depressing. Still, the dialogue, battle footage, and various other aspects are nothing if not realistic. WHEN TRUMPETS FADE captures the cynicism of war-in-general incredibly well.

  • lina-vanags
    lina vanags

    In a day and age when theatrical releases leave one wanting, this TV movie Delivers.When Trumpets Fade tells the story of Manning (Ron Eldard), a man who has seen more than his share of hell and wants more of it. But war is a jealous mistress and won’t let him go so easily. While Private Manning, then Sergeant Manning, then eventually Lt. Manning would just like to go home, he’s continually called upon to lead others into battle in one of the most horrific events of WWII.This being a TV movie one hardly expects that there was a huge production budget. Yet John Irvin (Hamburger Hill), working from a brilliant screenplay by W.W. Vought, directs and brilliant cast of familiar, if not A-List faces through an incredibly moving and gripping tale.Working with the elegant natural landscape, production designer László Rajk makes the past come alive in the here and now. While cinematographer Thomas Burstyn catches the action and the drama like he’s working with a blockbuster budget. In all aspects When Trumpets Fade stands proudly among the best war movies ever made. A near perfect execution.

  • doukissa-auge-tompoulidou
    doukissa auge tompoulidou

    After reading all the positive reviews on IMDb about this movie, I couldn’t wait to see it. Well, it was a nice effort but alas a bit overrated. It’s hard to forget you’re watching a made for television movie while sitting through this one, unfortunately the film can’t shake that air of low budget. The fighting scenes, what little there were, had a certain cheese factor to them. Some of the explosions looked like they came from cheap fireworks, the gunfire was dubbed in later and is totally incorrect for the weapons being used, we didn’t get to see enough of the Germans, just American G.I.’s charging into endless explosions. Wish there had been more character development, because there was really none. The movie tries hard to be dramatic, but it’s hard to feel emotional or sympathetic about someone you know nothing about. Attention to detail was really pretty good, everything looked pretty much correct(weapons/uniforms/gear) except for the German Tanks.With that being said, the movie did keep my attention for the 90 minute running time. When it comes to war movies, i’ve seen much worse, and I don’t mind the $5 I paid for this one and am glad to have it in my collection. It’s not a terrible movie at all, just simply middle of the road; nothing more, nothing less. Certainly no Saving Private Ryan, but worth a look if you’re a fan of World War II or War films.

  • dr-feryas-akgunes-yuksel
    dr feryas akgunes yuksel

    Absolutely incredible. A difficult, punishing film to watch that completely disputes the notion of heroism and personal sacrifice. Instead of being a fraudulent, shallow movie more about U.S. propaganda (as seen in Saving Private Ryan), this film never gives any answers or any consolation. It asks questions so cruelly and indirectly that you’ll be lucky to shake the images you see.It’s violent, but it doesn’t resort to throwing blood, guts, and limbs around. The image of a river red with blood, the slight glimpse of a mine, men screaming in unknown agony speak loudly enough. I’ve never seen anything so intense.No, it’s not a perfect film. There are issues with the story and some of the characterizations, I guess…but not enough to worry about. For God’s sake, SEE THIS FILM!

  • aaron-valentini
    aaron valentini

    One line mostly sums up how I feel about this movie: it was the most realistic war movie I’ve ever seen. I tend to get agitated with unrealistic major Hollywood productions and their quests to bend or shape the truth as they see fit. I believe ‘When Trumpets Fade’ was probably the first war film I have seen which dared to display war as I imagine it to have occurred: atl east on the battle field.I cannot iterate enough how refreshing it was to see actual young men play soldiers, instead of the regular usage of men over the age of 35, requiring the viewer to imagine he’s not long out of high school. Get a grip Hollywood! Viewers are not that stupid…Are you?Furthermore, I cannot iterate to you how sympathetic I felt towards watching these young men running through forest and river beds along side their fallen comrades who had realistically been ripped to pieces by enemy tank fire and land mines, etc.I’m quite a critic of Hollywood (how they get financed for the majority of junk produced I’ll never understand), but this was one of those rare films which actually dragged me in with it’s believeable and realistic production. You won’t watch this film and feel as if you’ve wasted your time afterwards.

  • tina-phillips
    tina phillips

    From the opening minutes of this film, until the very last, it was clear that this was not a glory movie, or any type of buddy story. No search for fame, or honor, just a story of war…true war. Too many times the battles, the heroes, and the glory is the main attraction, but not this one. It was a hard hitting, in your face human story of preservation, and honesty. War was indeed hell, and to so many good men, it broke them in so many ways, and many either never made it back, or came back changed for the rest of their lives. After so many days of death, and losing buddies, the simple act of personal preservation comes into play, and this becomes the only goal. In the scope of WWII, Korea and Vietnam, ground forces were the main body of war. Men were tools of war, and pawns for the using. Yet so many movies overshadow the truths and realities of its effects. This movie throws it right at you, showing one mans struggle to keep his identity, as well as his life. Manning struggles with his role as a soldier, as a leader, and as a human being. To play the game, be the pawn, or use his own courage to save himself. And in the end, sacrifices himself for the greater good of so many other men, all whom he owes nothing to, but tries to his last breath to save all of them. This movie is so under rated, and under promoted. Having a father who fought in WWII, and having heard his stories of death, courage, self preservation, and of loss, this movie hits a spot deep inside of me, and helps me remember those who fell to keep us all free.

  • aurelie-gillet
    aurelie gillet

    This movie actually hearkens back to Director Irving’s previous “Hamburger Hill”, in that it focuses on the fate of some unimportant small unit fighting in a larger bloodbath battle. The battles involved In both cases, Hamburger Hill and the Hurtgen Forest, were utterly unimportant battles that managed to get a lot of our men killed. Both were US Army assaults on heavily defended prepared defenses performed by largely green troops without proper tactics or gear. The Hurtgen Forest was actually planted and maintained as a defensive position. The irony was, that east of the Hurtgen Forest, the Roer River in Germany was dammed, so the Germans merely opened up the dams and flooded the valley, making logistic and supplies nearly impossible; so the battle had no strategic value. This was a result of Eisenhower’s flawed broad front strategy where he wanted his whole front to apply pressure, instead of Montgomery’s more sound plan of a strong left hook through the low countries along the coastal plains into NW Germany. Though one might add that a set piece battle commander like Monty probably would have muffed any clever hook advance like that. These battles happen cause war has its own logic and fighting is done for fighting’s sake. But since the loss ratios weren’t working in our favor, someone should have had the nerve to pull the plug on the whole strategically useless campaign. But Monday morning quarterbacking by me is hardly fair too, you might add. These battles are called meat grinders, for the pointless waste of life. This movie was released on HBO right after “Saving Private Ryan” so it was submerged behind all that hoopla. “Saving Private Ryan” was a grand big budget salute to all the Greatest Generation vets, with it’s Normandy D-Day setting, it’s elite paratrooper and ranger troops and their humanitarian mission. Here it is just the opposite, the men are just semi trained green replacements in a standard infantry division, mainly fighting to stay alive. They face murderous German artillery fire and mines, as well as determined defenders. There is no ideological hatred of Germans or Nazis either, they are just the enemy.The “hero” is a flawed man, Ron Eldard as Pvt. David Manning a survivor of the first failed advance along the Kall Trail. So he is first promoted to sergeant by his desperate Captain, who are all being pushed by their seniors to push through the strong German defenses. His captain made him a devil’s bargain, wipe out the German guns and get the advance going and he’ll get a Section 8 relief. So he is given a squad of green replacements and warned not to bug out on them or else. He leads them on a behind the line operation with flamethrowers to destroy the German guns covering the river crossing, and kills one of the replacements when he balks at charging with his flamethrower. After that, everyone is cracking up from the flawed battle. Meanwhile, both his captain and his lieutenant are relieved and he is now the platoon lieutenant. Another sergeant, Talbot, is on to him as well as the medic.So you see it is a complicated plot of many anti or reluctant heroes, mainly trying not to get killed in a war they heard will be over by Christman anyways. In this way, it is more cynical than Hamburger Hill, where a similar squad was trying to stay alive during an assault against a fortified enemy hill. The acting is good, Ron Eldard has presence and that gaunt hunted, loner look. Basically, all the men are being driven by unseen superiors, in some remorseless machine of death. It is in the family of war pics like “Men in War”, “Hell is for Heroes”, “Platoon” and other flicks that show ordinary soldiers who have to face a near invisible lethal enemy as well as their fellow troops. It was shot in Hungary, Eastern Europe seems to be the ideal location for WW ll flicks; with it’s retro look, cheap extras, and tons of surplus military gear. “Bridge at Remagen”, the 70’s remake of “All’s Quiet on the Western Front”, “Enemy at the Gates” and “Cross of Iron” all made use of Eastern European settings to their credit.

  • bite-kristaps
    bite kristaps

    This movie portrays the common soldier in a very different light than many other war movies. In so called “War Epics”, the soldiers are all courageous and heroic, willing to do anything to fight the enemy and save Europe. Their is perhaps one soldier in the squad who is a coward, the one who stands out compared to his allies bravery. But in this movie, the main character is a coward, or at least he thinks he is. He doesn’t want to fight, and does whatever he can to save his skin. But when the Commander reads the Captain’s report about Manning, he is right when he describes his innate ability to lead and his battlefield six sense. He shoots one of his own soldiers in the back, but by doing so he stops his squad from retreating and they successfully destroy their objective, an artillery gun, and save the lives of many other soldiers. This is a new, refreshing spin on the common soldier, and is perhaps more realistic than other views that are presented. The only detractor from the film is the weak music, which is thin and distracts one from enjoying the otherwise superb war movie.

  • bayan-vacibe-halenur-arsoy-akar
    bayan vacibe halenur arsoy akar

    This entire film is one that should not be forgotten for its historical and psychological relevance. What I liked the most is how it shows how late in the second world war, US soldiers were often, if they had not done so already, their breaking points. The film displayed what war can turn someone into, where fear can cause valor, as is the case with the character Sanderson. The character of Manning was fascinating because he had only been in the conflict for a few days and he had already made his own opinions and options on the battlefield, and how he starts in the woods as a caring fellow, trying to save a wounded comrade, to being the instant battle hardened warrior he was when his squad was sent to take out the Flak 88 guns. I liked how this film gave an insight into what war does to people, and how during conflict they can be changed from average people into hardened-heartless warriors.

  • phyllis-clark
    phyllis clark

    This movie had everything a war movie needs. It had dialog that fit into war well and it had action that was perfect for war. You could easily see the emotion of war because it was portrayed so well. The battle scenes had so much detail, it made it seem so real. The battle showed what soldiers had to do, even if they didn’t want to. The movie showed facial expression that also showed emotion. The movie had action that also showed emotion. The dialog expressed other emotions of war.The one problem I had was the music urning some of the battles Overall it is a great movie that I would see again.

  • nicholas-andrade
    nicholas andrade

    this movie accurately portrays what is was like for green recruits to be on the front lines of battle. this movie is about a private Manning who is part of a squad that is entirely wiped out. having been the only one to survive he is promoted to sergeant and put in change of his own squad. After exemplifying himself is an act of heroism he is recommended to be given his own platoon. The movie accurately displays on how friends you have been fighting with and assume so naively would live actually end up dying in your arms. i enjoyed this movie because i enjoy movies about war with violence and gore. however i have to say that there was drama in the script that came up just out of the blue and it didn’t really add anything to the story. on a side not Private Sanderson is the man! He should be made next company commander. to conclude i would recommend this movie to anyone who likes band of brothers or any of the call of duty games.

  • ashley-stein
    ashley stein

    While people keep calling this film realistic (and it probably is), I saw this film at a time when I couldn’t deny its relevance to events in my own work life. More than the futility of _just_ war, it speaks to a mentality that allows a system to dictate what must be accomplished by the people under its thumb, without regard to whether it’s possible or how many people it will destroy to accomplish that thing. Almost more than other war movies, it reminds me of Rod Serling’s _Patterns_ (another fine movie that never made it off the small screen).And it’s also a great exploration of that dark, strange area where what’s selfish in the moment can turn heroic in hindsight. I think the writer may have actually _read_ Audie Murphy’s _To Hell and Back_, which dwells in some of the same strange and gritty territory.As someone else said, it’s not perfect — but up-&-comers Orth & Eldard turn in great performances, and there’s none of the usual Spielbergian sentimentality in evidence. See it, but don’t expect to be uplifted.

  • angela-wood
    angela wood

    Men who are under fire don’t fight for queen and country they fight for the guy standing beside them, their buddies and friends. When one realizes this and only when one realizes this. Can one truly understand the nature of war and this particular film. This statement is true wither it be drafted or volunteered troops. No one knows how he or she will act under fire until they are. Less than one percent of the population even knows what a bullet sounds like as it bees past your head thumps into a sand bag or thwacks into flesh, the sounds alone are horrifying. The replacements in this film acted exactly how new replacements do. Openly scared, unaware of the dangers of combat and filled with antiquated training from out of touch boot camps. (It hasn’t changed even today) How can you call someone who runs away a coward unless you were there? If that’s so, lets just call the entire American retreat from North Korea or the British retreat at Dunkirk all cowards. I think not!! This film was riveting in my opinion all the characters were believable and acted in a believable manner. Parts of the battlefield still exist today the dragons teeth are still in place in some areas and some of the bunkers are still intact. Every year or so human remains are still found in a farmer’s field or in a excavation. A tribute to the battles ferocity .As for the leadership in the film it was in fact as exactly as it happened. The American military experimented for the first and last time with promoting untrained officers and NCOs and putting them in combat command and control positions. They realized their error when about 20 thousand or so troops were killed. The fight or flight reaction in one of the scenes was true to life and a totally believable reality. I enjoyed this film and think it stands high on the scale of true to life combat films. No one knows our real hero’s in war. Only a select few of the survivors were recognized most died with no witnesses. They certainly didn’t charge into the breech yelling God Save the Queen! Most were trying to stop someone from killing their friends or saving a wounded buddy. Just ask Smokey Smith. Who is he you ask? He is just a few clicks away, if you wish to know. Try a search engine and see a real hero not an athlete.

  • haley-rivers
    haley rivers

    Surprised to find criticism here. This is a film for grown ups. Its about infantrymen, you know, the bulk of the troops in contact with the enemy. Watching other films you might be tempted to think that only Paratroopers and Rangers did any fighting, being made up of highly motivated men with a higher purpose on heroic missions. I note criticism that the cynical nonconformist type should not appear until Vietnam films. I would suggest that a very high proportion of those in combat in WWII also didn’t want to be there – my father landed on Sword beach on D-Day and certainly would rather have been somewhere else. We can still respect their sacrifice even though they only wanted to survive, because we are grown up. We don’t need a film packed full of sentimentality, directors manipulation and musical cues telling us what emotions to feel… and as to complaining about the plot, how do you defend the absolutely contrived plot of that other film I haven’t named (but you can guess which one I mean). See this film. Rant over.

  • rafael-mathurin
    rafael mathurin

    This is a must see film. It presents war realistically. Just as in real combat, some soldiers are reluctant to attack, some officers are not that smart, many soldiers are scared, and the mission is of dubious value.This particular story focuses on one soldier who was the lone survivor of an allied attack or the Germans. He is promoted to Sgt. against his wishes because they are short of people. Put in charge of new replacements, he is torn between training the new men, and staying out of the fight so he will stay alive.After another failed attack by his company, he is promoted to Lt. Again he does not want this responsibility, but now has to lead men into battle.Its one of the few films that show how inept some officers are. Band of brothers is the only other film I can think of that shows an inept American officer, Capt. Herbert Sobel (played by David Schwimmer).Its also one of the few American films about the Battle of the Hertgen Forrest, which was overshadowed a few months later by the Battle of the Bulge.

  • eve-reinsalu
    eve reinsalu

    When Trumpets Fade is a great movie, with excellent action sequences, fine acting and a sound storyline. It’s better than Platoon, and I’d put it up there with 84 Charlie Mopic, except that it deals with infantry warfare during WWII. It came out after a series of real to life WWII movies, Saving Private Ryan, The Thin Red Line, but is made on a smaller budget and apart from Ryan’s opening scene, it is a better movie. The cast consists of thoroughly unknown but very skilled actors, and the movie gives you a feel of what it must have been like to be on the front line in the Huertgen Forrest in Germany, late 1944. The Hungarian location adds realism as well.The story basically revolves around the single minded efforts of private (then sergeant, then lieutenant) Manning (Ron Eldard) to stay alive and out of the meatgrinder that is conventional warfare, no matter what, even though ironically, the fact that he survives means that he has to put up for ever more dangerous tasks because he’s the only one near who has any close-up experience.I’ll add that the videostore I go to allows you to rent 5 movies for the price of 3, and keep them for a full week. Every day after watching another movie, I couldn’t help but re-watch “When Trumpets Fade”, and every time I found something new and something more made sense to me.This is one outstanding movie, very well produced and if you like war movies from the grunt’s point of view, don’t miss it.

  • susana-de-avila
    susana de avila

    The film makers obviously intended a memorial to the soldiers who fought and died in the Hurtgen Forest. Though this was not a docudrama, the story had to be true to the context, and for what I could tell, it definitely achieved that goal. The Battle was not a victory for the U.S. forces. The Germans pushed back the Allies during this battle, creating the “bulge” in the front lines. The Battle of the Bulge was a later victory, and it is duly remembered. But the Hurtgen Forest campaign, which was a defeat and by many commentators is viewed as a huge strategic blunder paid for in American blood, has largely been forgotten.Why does everyone (including viewers) assume that Manning is a coward? Because he is the only survivor of his platoon? Perhaps that assumption accurately reflects the command mindset which caused so many deaths: death is so cheap that one more death is expected, in order to prove valor. (That is not a new concept, “The Red Badge of Courage” had it in a Civil War context; but it also seems to be a motivation for contemporary suicide bombers.) Contrast that with these soldiers’ motives for the last mission–when the objective was clear: to save their own lives, rather than to make a noble but unavailing gesture. Usually war films have more plot. But the Hurtgen Forest campaign was not as carefully plotted as a screenplay. Did any mission in this film seem to have any real point? The battle is accurately reflected here. This is not a compelling film, and it does not attempt to impart any great moral lessons, but it’s best virtue is that it is honest.My late father was in the “Bloody Bucket” (the 28th Infantry, Pennsylvania National Guard–note the red keystone insignia) during this battle, and he was fortunate to have survived. Decades later, he often would say to me that the trees could kill you. I was never really sure what he meant. This film showed me what he meant: the tree tops which were blown off by artillery fire would fall on the soldiers below.

  • michael-craig
    michael craig

    Two years ago a WWII veteran asked me if I saw WHEN TRUMPETS FADE, the story of the battle for Heurtgen Forest. He said that he was wounded in the battle, which history has almost forgotten because it was so overshadowed by the Battle of the Bulge starting several days later.He informed me that it was chilling in it’s dead-on accuracy, not only of the events within the battle itself but of the ferocity of carnage that permeated the senses 24/7 of everyone who was there.After watching it, I realized this was not a “Let’s travel to Middle Earth, and slay the dragon fantasy” but a testimony to the barvery, or lack of it, in battle, that men must endure to justify their existance, which is continually threatened by the enemy. There isn’t room for sub-plots when all that is on your mind is staying alive; and at what cost?All the performances are exemplary in this regard, Eldard creating a character that is not only believable but admirable in it’s honesty.It should be ranked among the new age of war classics of recent years. But please don’t look for any love stories or soul searching introspectives, there wasn’t any time for that when you are cursing the very ground to get lower than the bullets flying over your head.

  • irma-k-iria
    irma k iria

    A tense and unforgiving war epic that follows David Manning (Ron Eldard), an American soldier in World War II who tries to get a discharge for being mental unstable although his superior officer, Captain Roy Pritchett (Martin Donovan) who immediately promotes him to be the squad leader of a platoon where all the members are new and inexperienced.The performances here are nothing short of excellent, the battle scenes are well-executed, and Thomas Burstyn’s photography isn’t only gloomy, it also hides some unexpected surprises from Germans to mines, that are hidden in the ground.Director John Irvin, who is no stranger to making effective and intelligent war films (“Hamburger Hill”, “The Dogs of War”) and turning raw talent into top-notch, has made another classic here. What this film has in common with the previous movies is that one or some of the characters are cynical or determined to survive. However, it’s a shame that this film was only made for cable instead of being given a fair chance to gain some attention at the box office.

  • sarita-ruggiero
    sarita ruggiero

    In 1944, in Hurtgen Forest in the border of Belgium, Pvt. David Manning (Ron Eldard) is the only man of his company to survive a battle in the woods. He joins a new company trying to get a medical waive, and although having difficulties to respect his superiors, he is promoted to sergeant due to his leadership and instinct of survival. After a new battle, when he destroys the German cannons, he is promoted to lieutenant.”When Trumpets Fade” is a great surprise: totally unknown in Brazil, without any publicity, it is indeed an excellent war movie. Based on a true story, the Hurtgen Forest Battle, where 24,000 soldiers died, this film shows, without any clemency or romance, how stupid a war is. The soldiers are moved by the instinct of survival, and not by patriotism like other movies usually present. The battle scenes are amazingly real, showing shattered bodies or man losing parts of their bodies. A must-see movie, recommended for audiences who look for raw and naked true story, with magnificent interpretations and direction. My vote is nine.Title (Brazil): “Quando os Bravos se Calam” (“When the Braves Silence”)

  • frau-luka-grottner
    frau luka grottner

    Due to the fact that the two films came out close together, it is tempting to compare When Trumpets Fade to Saving Private Ryan. This would be a mistake. Unlike Private Ryan, Trumpets is not an epic set to a background of a crucial point in history, like D-Day, nor are the central characters members of an elite unit who are given a “heroic” assignment. Instead, the main character, Manning (Eldard), starts off as a private reluctant to risk his life, but who finds himself promoted and burdened with increasing responsibilities he does not want as his unit suffers horrendous attrition attempting to fight its way into Germany in late 1944. Manning’s dilemma both contrasts and parallels that of his company commander, Captain Pritchett (Donovan), who has to balance achieving the objectives he has been assigned and keeping as many of his men alive as he can, and succeeding at neither. The greatest contrast with Private Ryan, however, comes in the form of the replacement troops, all green recruits with no combat experience – a far cry from Captain Miller’s seasoned Rangers. Rounding it off is Dwight Yoakam as the nameless battalion commander who is unapologetic about driving his men to the slaughter, but whose face betrays the fact that, as with Captain Pritchett, their deaths weigh heavily upon him. When Trumpets Fade successfully showcases combat at its most gruesome and frustrating as Captain Pritchett’s company batters itself to pieces against its target with nothing to show for the effort and bravery of the men except an ever-increasing pile of American corpses. But we get two good looks at the face of a German squad leader, portrayed by Frank-Michael Köbe, and in it we can see the despondency of a man who knows that he is fighting only to postpone the inevitable defeat of his country. A gritty, realistic, and depressing, but nonetheless excellent film.