Blu-Ray Review: The Night of the Generals

It may come as a surprise to many but there were five different attempts to kill Adolph Hitler during the Third Reich. The first was an obsessed Swiss college student in 1938. This was followed by a beer hall bomb, death in a brandy bottle, a suicide mission and a conspiracy of officers. The latter was probably the closest anyone came to killing an incredibly fortunate Führer. Taking place at a time when the fortunes of war looked to have decisively turned in favour of the Allies. It forms the backdrop to Anatole Litvak’s film The Night of the Generals.

In 1942, a prostitute is killed in Warsaw. What is an everyday occurrence in an occupied country could easily have been swept under the carpet if not for the persistence of an intelligence officer, Major Grau (Omar Sharif). He establishes that she was a German agent and narrows the field of suspects down to three German Generals. General Tanz (Peter O’Toole), General Kahlenberge (Donald Pleasence) or General von Seidlitz-Gabler (Charles Gray)

The Night of the Generals uses World War II as a backdrop to create a tense, thrilling and clever crime drama. Based on Hans Hellmut Kirst novel of the same name, what makes Litvak’s film so compelling is the incredible cast. O’Toole is brilliant as a sadistic young Nazi hero traumatised by war. His character is perfectly complimented by Tom Courtenay’s young corporal, who wants to stay as far away from the fighting as he possibly can. Litvak’s film is a multi-layered and many faceted beast.

Special features:

  • 1080p presentation on Blu-ray, taken from a stunning 4K restoration
  • Uncompressed LPCM audio (original mono presentation)
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Brand new and exclusive Audio Commentary by author Scott Harrison
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Limited Edition Collector’s booklet featuring new writing by author Scott Harrison

The Night of the Generals is released on Blu-ray by Eureka Classics on 13 May.

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