Cross of Iron script
Cross of Iron (1977)
Synopsis: Cross of Iron is a British-German 1977 war film directed by Sam Peckinpah, featuring James Coburn, Maximilian Schell, James Mason and David Warner. The film is set on the Eastern Front in World War II during the Soviets' Caucasus operations against the Wehrmacht's Kuban bridgehead on the Taman Peninsula in late 1943.

FADE IN:

THE CREDITS:

Which are SUPERIMPOSED OVER a SCENE of almost unnatural

beauty. A thickly wooded forest which practically shut out

the sunlight. All is not serene however. SHOTS RING Out --

and we are privy to a running battle between a German patrol

and a band of Russian soldiers. It is a desperate fight --

and several bodies fall. we see the faces of several men

whose identity we will learn later. The shooting is still

going on when the CREDITS come to an END. Then --

1. THE SLOPE OF A HILL - DAY

The CAMERA is MOVING SLOWLY up the hill. The verdancy of

the hill, the intermittent clusters of daisies and dandelions

are evidence of the season -- late Spring. Now the crest of

the hill is in sight; above it a patch of blue sky is

visible. The mood is pastoral, peaceful.

The CAMERA reaches the crest -- and suddenly a pair of highly

polished boots almost fills the SCREEN. The CAMERA comes

to an abrupt HALT. Then SLOWLY, the CAMERA PANS UP from the

boots to take in a carefully tailored German officer's uniform

and then the face of the German officer -- CAPTAIN STRANSKY.

It is a longish face with a high forehead and light blue

eyes. It is a face that gives an impression of extreme

forcefulness, an impression underlined by the thin - lipped

mouth and angular chin. His hair is white at the temples,

emphasizing by contrast the healthy tan of his face.

At the moment, Captain Stransky is gazing through a stereo-

telescope. His expression is grim. Behind the Captain

stands LIEUTENANT MEYER, a youngish, good-natured face.

However, it is apparent from his expression that he has

no great liking for his Captain. His lips are tight as

the Captain moves the knobs of the telescope with long thin

fingers. Captain Stransky straightens up, locks back at

Lieutenant Meyer, whose expression quickly changes to one

of impassivity. Stransky, whose demeanor is angry, says

nothing, but turns to peer again through the telescope.

2. VIEW THROUGH TELESCOPE WHAT CAPTAIN STRANSKY SEES

A patch of woods, about a square mile in area.

3. MED. SHOT STRANSKY AND MEYER

Stransky straightens up.

STRANSKY:

(angrily)

Incredible -- sheer stupidity.

Those woods should have been

cut down or destroyed by fire.

MEYER:

Excuse me, sir, but we retreated

too hastily for any such luxury.

STRANSKY:

I disagree. It was an irreparable

oversight, and I shall send a report

to that effect to Regiment.

(looks at the woods,

reaches for cigarette case )

Do you think the Russians are

already in those woods?

(offers Meyer a cigarette)

MEYER:

Thank you. We'II know soon enough.

Corporal Steiner is on a recconnai

sance patrol.

Stransky drops his cigarette butt, steps on it.

STRANSKY:

Reconnaissance patrols have a way

of not returning.

MEYER:

Steiner will be back.

STRANSKY:

(angrily)

I did not ask your opinion Herr

Meyer.

Meyer says nothing. We can see that he regrets his impu

dence. With a mixture of anxiety and curiosity, he waits

to see what will happen next.

The ANGLE WIDENS to TAKE IN a PRIVATE who walks up to the

Captain, salutes.

PRIVATE:

Captain Stransky? Lieutenant

Colonel Brandt Would like to see

you at headquarters.

Stransky nods, gazes sharply at Meyer, walks off, the

CAMERA TRUCKING with him. All about him are SCENES of

great activity. MEN are digging bunkers and preparing

positions. SHOUTS fill the air. As Stransky passes,

he is greeted by salutes which he acknowledges with the

briefest of nods.

4. EXT. REGIMENTAL BUNKER

An armed GUARD is on duty. He salutes smartly as .Captain

Stransky comes INTO SCENE, returns the salute without

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Julius J. Epstein

Julius J. Epstein (August 22, 1909 – December 30, 2000) was an American screenwriter, who had a long career, best remembered for his screenplay – written with his twin brother, Philip, and Howard E. Koch – of the film Casablanca (1942), for which the writers won an Academy Award. It was adapted from an unpublished play, Everybody Comes to Rick's, written by Murray Bennett and Joan Alison. more…

All Julius J. Epstein scripts | Julius J. Epstein Books

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"Cross of Iron" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 18 Nov. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/cross_of_iron_839>.

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