Alexei German's directorial debut was this powerful war film banned in its native Soviet Union for 15 years.
The plot concerns a German soldier, Lazarev (Vladimir Zamansky), captured by the Russians during WW II. Lazarev claims that he was a sergeant in the Russian army before being forced by the Nazis to serve Germany, but many of his captors still want him shot.
The sympathetic Lt. Erofeyich (Fyodor Odinokov) fights to get Lazarev reinstated, and the brave captive proves himself on the field of battle despite being constantly undermined by the cruel Maj. Petushkov (Anatoly Solonitsin).
Filmed in black-and-white, this gritty military drama showed German's tremendous promise as a filmmaker and remains quite an entertaining film on its own.