War, Action, Drama | 98 Mins | Released: 1968
Director: Armando Crispino
Starring: Lee Van Cleef, Jack Kelly, Giampiro Albertini, Marino Masé, Götz George, Pier Paolo Capponi, Ivano Staccioli
Our Rating: 6
Commandos is an Italian “macaroni combat” war film starring Lee Van Cleef and Jack Kelly and is directed by Armando Crispino. It was released in Italy on 19 November 1968, and rated PG in the United States.
In Commandos, it’s the middle of World War II and in the deserts of Africa, Sgt. Sullivan puts together a group of Italian-Americans into disguise as Italian soldiers in order to infiltrate a North African camp held by the Italians. After the soldiers have killed the Italians in their beds, they find a hooker living at the camp. Sullivan’s commandos are to hold this camp and its weaponry until an American battalion arrives, all the while these Italian-Americans pretend to be Italian soldiers, often hosting the enemy. Cpt. Valli is a young, by-the-book officer who constantly argues with Sgt. Sullivan, who tells his superior that he has no idea what he is doing. One man on the base is an entomologist who is killed and then things get terrible.
Reviews for Commandos:
Million Monkey Theater
One of the better European war movies, Commandos was released to Italian theaters on November 19, 1968. It was seen in America first under the title of Sullivan’s Marauders, later changed back to Commandos. It has been part of the public domain for the last 20 years or so, and I was able to find a copy on DVD dirt cheap at Wal-Mart, courtesy of the Platinum Disc Corporation.
Commandos clocks in at 98 minutes, which is just about right. The film quality is rather good, with the colors only a bit washed out, but otherwise complaint free. The night battle scene is fairly well-lit, as are most interior building scenes, and overall the sound and music are clean. Not bad at all for a few bucks spent and a few hours on the couch.