The things you find on Youtube!  Yesterday my wife and I watched the film Counterpoint (1968), one of the more off beat, I couldn’t resist, of the many World War II flicks made in the Sixties.  Charlton Heston is the head of an orchestra making a USO tour, captured during the Battle of the Bulge.  Maximilian Schell, who made a good living playing Nazis although he was from a family of refugees from the Third Reich, plays a German General obsessed with having the orchestra perform, before shooting them, as he is under orders to shoot all prisoners.  Leslie Neilsen plays the assistant conduct giving a subdued, almost somnabulant, performance.  This was years before he made his comedic turn, and one can almost hear him thinking:  I used to be a leading man.  Now I’m reduced to playing second banana to Chuck Heston.  I’ve got to make a change!

I hadn’t seen the film since the early seventies.  It was notable in my life since it was one of the first times I heard classical music outside of Bugs Bunny cartoons, my parents not being fond of “long-hair” music as they called classical music.  Maximilian Schell plays his role as more than half insane, as Heston chews up every scene he is in.  It is not necessarily a good film, but it is a memorable one.  It also harkens back to a time when most actors had either served in World War II or at last lived through it, a time which is now long passed.  More’s the pity.  Go here to see it before it is pulled down.

More to explorer

One Comment

  1. I like old movies. You know who are good guys are because they act morally good and usually win. Not so much now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: