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The Steel Bayonet

Director: Michael Carreras
Screenwriter: Howard Clewes
Starring: Leo Genn, Kieron Moore, Michael Medwin, Michael Caine
Release details: Hammer Films, UK 1957, 84mins
Full details: IMDb
Genre: War
Rating: not rated

Hammer Films didn't only make horror movies. That came later, when the studio realised that it was a genre with almost guaranteed profits. In the 1950s and early 60s, they also made small dramas like this war movie, in which Michael Caine makes a brief, uncredited appearance as one of the German invaders.

The official Hammer Films site gives this synopsis:

"Tunis, 1943. Battle-weary troops of Company C have orders to occupy a derelict Tunisian farmhouse. They are to establish an artillery observation post, reporting on enemy movements before the imminent offensive to liberate Tunis. However German infantrymen discover their operations. The ensuing battle for control of this small piece of land will decide who controls Tunis but more critically, the victors in the battle of democracy versus fascism."

Fansite Hammer Graveyard adds that the film "was mildly controversial for showing the Germans as human beings and is believed to be the first such film to allow the German characters to speak in their own language, with subtitles in English."


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