Battle on Neretva known as the ”fourth offensive” the most humane battle in World War II led by Yugoslav partisans. In January 1943 German army, afraid of Allied invasion of Balkans, launched great offensive against Yugoslav Partisans in Western Bosnia.They encircle the mountain and begin the mop up operation. Out gunned and outnumbered the partisans must not only take care of themselves but try to protect thousands of refugees too. Providing a heroic resistance, multiple superior enemy partisans advancing towards the only remaining bridge over the Neretva river, through which they intend to transfer himself and wounded at free territory. Therefore, all the shock decision of the Supreme Headquarters to demolish the bridge, but it is just as foolish ruse to weaken the enemy forces on the other side of the river. Movie Battle of Neretva is usually the most famous work by the Yugoslav film industry has produced.
Battle of Neretva: a peek into a lost classic
The Battle of Neretva, It is sad that the most widely distributed version of this Yugoslavian war epic “Bitka na Neretvi” is the 102 minute version edited and dubbed in USA by Commonwealth United Films. This version, known as “The Battle of Neretva” has been shortened by a full hour. It looks a bit like a long trailer, offering samples of what is obviously a big scale, melodramatic giant of a film, like “The Longest Day”. At times the re-editing looks like it has been made with an axe, some dialogue being cut from the middle of a sentence.
I have just seen, however, a longer Commonwealth version: 127 minutes, 25 minutes longer. This is a far superior version, professionally edited into a coherent, well flowing narrative. It seems that the 102 minute “stub” has been edited from this. I can only imagine how much deeper the characterization would be with the 40 minutes still missing from the original. The Italian and German versions are longer than this 127 minute version, and they have been released on DVD. Still, for anyone preferring an English translation, this could be the best version around.