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Fünf Patronenhülsen (Five Cartridges)

1960, b/w, 85 min, Feature
Dir.: Frank Beyer
Script: Walter Gorrish
Camera: Günter Marczinkowsky
Music: Joachim Werzlau
Cast: Erwin Geschonneck, Ulrich Thein, Edwin Marian, Ernst-Georg Schwill, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Manfred Krug

VHS-NTSC, English subtitles:

Synopsis:

Using the Spanish Civil War as a backdrop, director Frank Beyer tells the story of five international brigade soldiers, who in the extremely harsh conditions of the Sierra mountains, attempt to carry out the orders of their dying commanding officer. Each of the five soldiers is given an empty cartridge case containing a part of the enemy's secret marching plans. The soldiers are ordered to take these secret plans back to their own troops. The audience, however, knows something which these men only find out at the end of the film - namely, that the torn pieces of paper hidden inside their cartridge cases are not the enemy's secret marching plans, but rather a message directed to them, which reads: "You can only survive if you stay together." It is not the political convictions of the five brigade soldiers which is of importance to this film, but rather their collective situation in a precarious and dangerously borderline predicament. Not only these soldiers, but people in general, contending with the most extreme conditions, must rise to the occasion and prove themselves. Featuring Manfred Krug and Armin Mueller-Stahl, two of the best-known stars of German cinema today.

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