Overlord (1975)

overlord poster 1975 movie
9.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 10/10

Great story about the horrors of war

Non-linear story sometimes makes your mind wander

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Overlord

Studio:   Joswend

Genre(s):   War/Drama

Release Date(s):   July 1975 (Berlin International Film Festival)

MPAA Rating:   Not Rated

overlord 1975 eye shot death

Can you see death coming?

Tom Beddoes (Brian Stirner) is headed to war.  He’s left his mother and father and his dog to enter the frontline and defend his country from the Nazi menace growing in Europe.  Tom sees the world for the first time, meets a girl (Julie Neesam), and makes friends among his comrades.  However, war is unrelenting, and even Tom knows that his fate might be destined to become another among the dead.

Written and directed by Stuart Cooper (with additional scripting by Christopher Hudson), Overlord is a military drama.  The movie won the Silver Bear-Special Jury Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1975 when it premiered, but remained rather obscure until rediscovered.  The Criterion Collection released a remastered version of the film (Criterion #382).

overlord letters from soldiers world war ii

Do people want honesty in war letters?

There are a lot of war movies and there are a lot of war movies filled with war clichés about optimistic soldiers facing death.  Despite using almost every cliché in the book, Overlord feels really different and is different.  Overlord is short (less than ninety minutes) and sweet, but it packs a punch.

The movie is told in a non-linear fashion.  You have the character jumping all throughout his experiences from joining the military to heading off to battle.  It actually plays into the chaos of war and how you can be home with your family and dog to fighting for your life on the beach of a country where you may never have been.  A ******spoiler alert****** is in effect for the rest of the review.

Brian Stirner plays a nice fresh faced soldier.  He is doing what he thinks is right by joining the war and the movie shows footage of the blitzkrieg to emphasis why young men would make this decision to fight (especially since this film was made so close to Vietnam).  Stirner even has a sad mini-mustache which shows his youth since he is too young to grow a proper mustache before the fight.

overlord tom kiss brian stirner julie neesam

First love…only love

The real key to Overlord is the visuals which take new footage (shot on stock that would have been the same or similar to that used during World War II) and blending the new footage with archived footage.  It feels quite seamless and gives the film a real feel that increases as the film progresses.

Overlord is worth seeking out.  It is a strong entry in the war features and it does it by having a character who knows he’s going off to die.  What the movie does is give you the character that is killed before even doing anything.  He isn’t the hero that storms a hill taking out enemies before being gunned down…he’s the guy who dies on the boat before everyone even begins to fight.  Every person who dies in war has a face, and Overlord is a tribute to that idea.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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