Counter-Attack (1945)

83 or 90 mins | Drama | 26 April 1945

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was One Against Seven . The picture opens with the following written prologue: "In 1942 Russia had been invaded to a depth of a thousand miles, and her armies seemed crushed. The world didn't know that these same 'beaten' armies would turn, take back every foot of ground they had lost and then invade Germany itself. One night, in this same year, 1942...under cover of fog...Russian engineers were engaged in a strange activity...on a river, facing the German lines..." According to a pre-production news item in HR , Eric Feldary tested for the role of "Kirichenko." The Russian village set occupied four acres of land on Columbia's Burbank ranch and location shots were filmed at Charlston Flats, CA, according to a HR news item. Another news item in HR adds that additional scenes were shot in late Jan 1945 to update developments on the Russian-German ... More Less

The working title of this film was One Against Seven . The picture opens with the following written prologue: "In 1942 Russia had been invaded to a depth of a thousand miles, and her armies seemed crushed. The world didn't know that these same 'beaten' armies would turn, take back every foot of ground they had lost and then invade Germany itself. One night, in this same year, 1942...under cover of fog...Russian engineers were engaged in a strange activity...on a river, facing the German lines..." According to a pre-production news item in HR , Eric Feldary tested for the role of "Kirichenko." The Russian village set occupied four acres of land on Columbia's Burbank ranch and location shots were filmed at Charlston Flats, CA, according to a HR news item. Another news item in HR adds that additional scenes were shot in late Jan 1945 to update developments on the Russian-German front. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
7 Apr 1945.
---
Daily Variety
2 Apr 45
p. 3.
Film Daily
3 Apr 45
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Aug 44
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Aug 44
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Sep 44
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jan 45
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Apr 45
p. 3, 14
Hollywood Reporter
21 May 45
p. 12.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
9 Dec 44
p. 2216.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
7 Apr 45
p. 2393.
New York Times
17 May 45
p. 15.
Variety
4 Apr 45
p. 10.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Paul Andor
Bob Lowell
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Spec eff photog
2d cam
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
Research dir
Research dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Counter-Attack by Janet and Philip Stevenson (New York, 3 Feb 1943), which was based on the play Pobyeda by Ilya Vershinin and Mikhail Ruderman (production undetermined).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
One Against Seven
Release Date:
26 April 1945
Production Date:
5 September--6 December 1944
addl scenes late January 1945
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
26 April 1945
Copyright Number:
LP13280
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
83 or 90
Length(in feet):
8,100
Country:
United States
PCA No:
10643
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1942, in German-occupied Russia, Russian engineers work under cover of darkness to build a bridge beneath a river facing German lines, over which Russian tanks plan to launch a counter-attack. In preparation for the attack, a group of Baltic paratroopers are assigned to penetrate enemy lines and ascertain the position of enemy reserves. At headquarters, the troopers meet Kostyuk, the commander of the operation, and marvel as he shrewdly interrogates a German prisoner. After Kostyuk introduces them to their guide, Lisa Elenko, the soldiers parachute into a factory near Lubovonov, which the Germans are using as divisional headquarters. The Russians capture their objective, but in the raid, the factory is severly bombed and collapses. In its subterranean cellar, only Lisa, Alexei Kulkov, one of the paratroopers, and seven German soldiers survive. After taking the Germans prisoner, Alexei finds a German officer's revolver among their possessions and determines to unmask the officer hiding among the enlisted men. Above ground, in the ruins, Alexei's dog claws at the rubble while the sole surviving Russian taps a message to those below. When Alexei responds in code and instructs the Russian to report that a German officer has been captured, the Germans scoff at Alexei's claim until he silences them by showing them the revolver. As Alexei interrogates the Germans, the dog and the Russian steal through the night across enemy lines. When the Russian is killed by German bullets, Alexei's dog continues his trek to headquarters. Meanwhile, in the cellar, Alexei questions Mueller, a professor in civilian life, who begins to rant about an anti-German book that he has written. When ... +


In 1942, in German-occupied Russia, Russian engineers work under cover of darkness to build a bridge beneath a river facing German lines, over which Russian tanks plan to launch a counter-attack. In preparation for the attack, a group of Baltic paratroopers are assigned to penetrate enemy lines and ascertain the position of enemy reserves. At headquarters, the troopers meet Kostyuk, the commander of the operation, and marvel as he shrewdly interrogates a German prisoner. After Kostyuk introduces them to their guide, Lisa Elenko, the soldiers parachute into a factory near Lubovonov, which the Germans are using as divisional headquarters. The Russians capture their objective, but in the raid, the factory is severly bombed and collapses. In its subterranean cellar, only Lisa, Alexei Kulkov, one of the paratroopers, and seven German soldiers survive. After taking the Germans prisoner, Alexei finds a German officer's revolver among their possessions and determines to unmask the officer hiding among the enlisted men. Above ground, in the ruins, Alexei's dog claws at the rubble while the sole surviving Russian taps a message to those below. When Alexei responds in code and instructs the Russian to report that a German officer has been captured, the Germans scoff at Alexei's claim until he silences them by showing them the revolver. As Alexei interrogates the Germans, the dog and the Russian steal through the night across enemy lines. When the Russian is killed by German bullets, Alexei's dog continues his trek to headquarters. Meanwhile, in the cellar, Alexei questions Mueller, a professor in civilian life, who begins to rant about an anti-German book that he has written. When Alexei becomes mesmerized by Mueller's diatribe, the Germans attack. Although Lisa and Alexei fend off their attackers, Lisa is stabbed in the assault. In retaliation, Alexei announces that he intends to kill the Germans, one by one, until he finds their commander. After ordering the sergeant behind a wall, Alexei knocks him out and then fires his gun, causing the Germans to believe that he has killed him. As Alexei confronts his next victim, the man defiantly proclaims that he is Major Ernemann. When the sound of tanks rumble above ground, the major taunts Alexei with images of imminent defeat and suggests that if he is so certain of Russian victory, he should have no qualms about exchanging invasion plans. Alexei, determined to elicit the location of the concentration of German forces, offers to trade information with the major. After the major pinpoints the site of the German tank division, Alexei shows him the Russian crossing point in the river. In exchange for the name of the village in which the German troops are to assemble, Alexei tells the major about the underwater bridge. Lisa, shocked by Alexei's revelation, urges him to kill the Germans before they can use the information. Alexei rejects Lisa's advice, claiming that he must first ascertain whether the major has told the truth. As the bridge nears completion, Alexei's dog reaches headquarters and then leads the troops across the bridge to his trapped master. Meanwhile, in the cellar, Alexei pretends to fall asleep and one of the Germans awakens him and offers to be his ally. Alexei then hands the German a rifle and drifts off to sleep. Later he is awakened by the sound of digging. When the major charges toward their rescuers, shouting the Russian plan of attack, Alexei shoots him. Thinking that the German army is breaking into the cellar, Alexei is about to pull the pin in his grenade when he sees his dog and the Russian army burst through the rubble. After Lisa is carried out on a stretcher, Alexei turns over his prisoners and reports the details of the German invasion plan. Taking the rifle from the German's hands, Alexei reveals that it holds no bullets and then collapses from fatigue. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.