Enemy at the Gates

Enemy at the Gates (Stalingrad in France and L'Ennemi aux portes in Canada) is a 2001 war film directed, co-written, and produced by Jean-Jacques Annaud, based on William Craig's 1973 nonfiction book Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad, which describes the events surrounding the Battle of Stalingrad in the winter of 1942–1943. The screenplay was written by Annaud and Alain Godard. The film's main character is a fictionalized version of Vasily Zaitsev, a sniper and Hero of the Soviet Union during World War II. It includes a snipers' duel between Zaitsev and a Wehrmacht sniper school director, Major Erwin König.


Vasily Zaitsev is a soldier in the Red Army and is sent to the front line of the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942. Forced into a suicidal charge without a rifle, he hides while a tank shell incapacitates a car. The occupant, Commissar Danilov, hides among numerous bodies, coincidentally next to Vasily, who uses his exceptional marksmanship to kill the German soldiers nearby.