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Enemy at the Gates

Enemy at the Gates

A Feature film by Jean-Jacques Annaud

Produced by Repérage

Release in France : 14/03/2001


    Autumn 1942. The Third Reich’s power is at its zenith. One city alone now stands in the way of Hitler’s total victory over Europe. This city takes on emblematic proportions in the Führer’s mind. It’s named after Hitler’s last remaining adversary on the continent: Stalingrad, Stalin’s city. If it falls the war will be won. In the martyred city torn apart by bombs, Vassili Zaitsev, a young Russian, is thrown like thousands of others into the hell of this battle already lost from the outset. Vassili’s superior sharpshooter talents – forged from a youth spent hunting wolves – capture the attention of another officer, Ivan Danilov. The two men, both the same age, become friends. Danilov’s aim is to breathe life into the embers of waning heroism, and provide the decimated troops with the strength to continue fighting the implacable German war machine. Vassili becomes the hero of his inflammatory propaganda. An underground empire of destroyed cellars, shelters and passages lies beneath the ruins of the city. It’s here, constantly prey to death, that life has taken refuge. It’s here, too, that the two friends meet Tania Chernova, a young student who has returned to her hometown to fight against the Nazi intruder. The bloodiest battle of World War II, where life expectancy is no more than a few days, is no place to start dreaming of the future. But when the two men meet Tania they can’t resist imagining better times ahead. However, just when they feel the desire to start living again, Vassili the hunter becomes the prey. Danilov’s propaganda vaunting Vassili’s sniper talents has been more successful than could have been imagined. Exasperated by the Wehrmacht’s losses in the rubble of the ruined city, the German army, under pressure from Hitler, sends its top marksman, Major Konig, to kill the man who has become the symbol of the indomitable Russian resistance in Stalingrad. The Battle of Stalingrad proved that the Germans weren’t invincible. It announced the beginning of the end of the Third Reich and the victory of the free world.

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    Actors (5)

    Production and distribution (3)

    Executive Producer :


    French distribution :

    Pathé Films

    Foreign production company :


    TV Broadcasts: Cumulative total

    TV broadcasts: details by country

    Full credits (8)

    Executive Producer :

    Jean-Jacques Annaud

    Director of Photography :

    Robert Fraisse

    Editors :

    Noëlle Boisson, Humphrey Dixon

    Music Composer :

    James Horner

    Screenwriters :

    Jean-Jacques Annaud, Alain Godard (Succession)

    Press Attachés (film) :

    Michèle Abitbol-Lasry, Séverine Lajarrige

    Production Designer :

    Wolf Kroeger

    Costume designer :

    Janty Yates

    Technical details

    Feature film

    Genres :


    Sub-genre :


    Themes :


    Production language :


    Coproducer countries :

    United States, Germany, France

    Original French-language productions :


    Nationality :

    Minority French (United States, Germany, France)

    Production year :


    French release :


    Runtime :

    2 h 10 min

    Current status :


    Visa number :


    Visa issue date :


    Approval :


    Production formats :


    Color type :


    Aspect ratio :


    Audio format :

    Dolby DTS