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Love, Freedom and Treachery (1961)

Legge di guerra (original title)
During WW2, in a Nazi-occupied country, a local partisan blows-up a German military train, prompting the Germans to take civilian hostages to be shot if the culprit doesn't surrender before a deadline.


Bruno Paolinelli


Cast overview, first billed only:
Mel Ferrer ... Mirko
Magali Noël ... Olga
Peter van Eyck ... Hauptmann Langenau
Jean Desailly ... Rade
Franz Muxeneder Franz Muxeneder ... Feldwebel
Paul Muller ... Interprete
Evelyn Stewart ... Danica (as Ida Galli)
Maria Michi ... Frau Matusar
Michael Hinz ... Jossip
André Jocelyn André Jocelyn ... Student
Diego Carlisi Diego Carlisi ... Capo del villaggio
Marijan Lovric Marijan Lovric ... Ante
Branko Plesa ... Don Stefano (as Branca Plesa)
Mira Sardoc Mira Sardoc ... Saira
Peter Neusser Peter Neusser ... SS-Offizier
Learn more

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During WW2, a local partisan in a Nazi-occupied country blows-up a German army train. Apart from the damages, the Germans also lose three men. In accordance with their usual policies in occupied countries, the Germans take ten hostages for every dead German soldier. Therefore, the German company occupying the village where the sabotage occurred takes thirty male hostages from among the local villagers. Some hostages act with dignity and bravery, others are cowards and a few try to curry favor with the Germans in order to be spared. The German commander, Captain Langenau, orders the hostages to line-up in the village square and places his soldiers manning heavy machine-guns in front of the hostages. He announces that he will free all the hostages if the partisan responsible for the sabotage-act surrenders by four o'clock in the afternoon. The partisan responsible for the sabotage is Mirko. He has conscience problems about allowing 30 innocent hostages to be shot for a deed he committed... Written by nufs68

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War | Drama


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Did You Know?


Although the film is mostly an Italian production, the story takes place in Yugoslavia. There are several hints about this, even if no specific country name is mentioned during the film. One hint, the names of most villagers are Serbian, Croatian and Slovenian. Second hint, the proclamation - warning poster on the wall of a building is written in Slovenian. The Slovenian word Odredba, meaning Proclamation, Decree, Provision, Regulation is clearly seen as the title of the German army poster warning the local populace against acts of sabotage against the occupying forces. See more »

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Release Date:

9 May 1961 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Law of War See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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