A Slow Victory
"The Victors" follows a group of American GIs from the bombing of Britain during 1942 through Italy, France and eventually Berlin. Along the way some seek solace with women they meet, sometimes to remind them of home at other times to feel normal. But there is also violence and racism which makes war hell for all these men as they are forced to move on, never staying anywhere really long enough to feel normal.
I am going to try and keep this review of "The Victors" short because at almost 3 hours long you are going to waste plenty of time watching it and I said waste on purpose. You see "The Victors" feels painfully drawn out and uncensored, in need of some one who could look at it with a critical eye and have told director Carl Foreman that it was overkill and would have probably worked better as a two hour movie.
Part of the trouble is that the movie isn't really new because by 1963 there had already been some movies which focused on the men during war than the action and some of these even went down the war is hell root rather than showing it as some sort of patriotic duty. Don't get me wrong as the characters are an interesting bunch of very different people with their own stories but it all goes on and on to the point of overkill.
The thing is that "The Victors" is a glorious looking movie with a mixture of stunning studio sets with some glorious European location shots. From an artistic point of view "The Victors" is great but again it is part of the movies problem as the look starts to become more important than the story with scenes ending up feeling too crafted and choreographed.
What this all boils down to is that "The Victors" didn't do it for me and suffered from a director being over ambitious with no one to tell him enough is enough. It is a shame as "The Victors" is a stunning looking movie and a well acted one but goes on and on without managing to really move the theme along,