Town Without Pity
A complicated masterpiece on two planes, the small town of Preston Sturges’ Hail the Conquering Hero and the warlike nation of Peckinpah’s Cross of Iron (“the bitch that bore him is in heat again”), they are united (by way of Duchamp’s L.H.O.O.Q., elle a chaud au cul, “fire down below”) in the essential unique image on a British flying field in Wyler’s Mrs. Miniver, the Venus de Milo with Hitler’s moustache (“Come to Germany”).
The beauty of this is the psychological plausibility of Reinhardt’s imperious young lovely, stretching like Gregor Samsa’s sister just before she’s raped.
De Sica’s The Garden of the Finzi-Continis is decidedly illuminated by this.
Four GIs serving in West Germany are on trial for their lives, it’s a capital crime, rape, with a death sentence for cases of extreme brutality, under U.S. military law.
A mama’s boy wouldn’t have her, she crosses the river and strips.
Variety thought the characters weren’t rounded enough, “it fails”, Halliwell’s Film Guide considers it “dour drama”.