The Last Blitzkrieg (1959) starring Van Johnson, Kerwin Mathews, Dick York, Larry Storch directed by Arthur Dreifuss Movie Review

The Last Blitzkrieg (1959)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Kerwin Mathews and Van Johnson in The Last Blitzkrieg (1959)

The Good German

As the son of a Colonel, Sgt. Hans Von Kroner (Van Johnson) knows he has a duty to the Nazis and as one who was raised In America speaks English with an American accent which means he is valuable as proven by gaining the confidence of a group of PoWs by masquerading as one of them in Stalag 12. But along with other bilingual Nazi soldiers, including the eager Wilitz (Kerwin Mathews), they have been called together to form a platoon to masquerade as Americans to infiltrate enemy lines and cause chaos to weaken the lines for a German attack.

I actually enjoyed "The Last Blitzkrieg" despite there being plenty of negative opinions of it and that is because it aims to be broad entertainment rather than gritty realism. It is why I am sure some people were disappointed as right from the word go it doesn't take itself seriously as we see the men in Stalag 12 and one of them wanting to bake a chocolate cake and using in his words "tooth powder" as it has baking soda in it to use as a raising agent. It is light hearted and through out the rest of the movie it frequently delves into the lighter side of things such as Nazi soldiers being ordered to enjoy chewing gum and stop clicking their heels.

Larry Storch and Dick York in The Last Blitzkrieg (1959)

The thing is that when you get passed the lighter stuff you could say that "The Last Blitzkrieg" begins to struggle as the attention focuses on Kroner and Wilitz as they are very different. Wilitz having been a brown shirt is a full on soldier who is eager to fight and kill whilst Kroner has his doubts and dislikes all the killing and the cheating to break rules so that people can kill without being technically guilty of breaking the Geneva Convention. Plus he also believes the war is coming to an end and more blood shed especially of teenage soldiers is futile

As such the casting of Van Johnson and Kerwin Mathews is intriguing as you don't expect them cast as bad guys although you can predict some thing as "The Last Blitzkrieg" was made in the days when actors known for playing heroes tended not to play bad guys. Aside from that there is Dick York who whilst playing it straight still has a comical aspect to his character as does Larry Storch in that wise ass buddy type role and yes he is the one who wants to bake cake.

What this all boils down to is that "The Last Blitzkrieg" isn't very realistic, it is light-hearted and in truth doesn't really deliver anything which you won't have seen before if you enjoy war movies about WWII. But if you enjoy lighter war movies with a focus on entertaining then it is passable.