Cross of Iron

Cross of Iron (German: Steiner – Das Eiserne Kreuz, lit. "Steiner – The Iron Cross") is a 1977 war film directed by Sam Peckinpah, featuring James Coburn, Maximilian Schell, James Mason and David Warner. Set in late 1943 on the Eastern Front in World War II, the film focuses on the class conflict between a newly arrived, aristocratic Prussian officer who covets winning the Iron Cross and a cynical, battle-hardened infantry NCO.


The movie opens with a German children's song, "Hänschen klein", mixed with black-and-white footage of prewar and war scenes. It then segues to colour and a German platoon raid on a Russian forward outpost led by Sergeant Rolf Steiner, during which his men capture a Russian boy-soldier.