agrees with me on this point - I read his review AFTER writing the bulk of mine, note). If you forgive the fact that the actors fall down and die throughout the battle sequences not like soldiers being shot, but like actors (and Italian ones, at that) falling down - flinging their arms wide, clutching their hearts, and so forth - Uomini Contro is a nearly perfect anti-war movie, gritty, bleak, honest, and maddening. The film chronicles the growing disillusionment of a young Lieutenant Sassu (Frechette) as he watches the generals and majors issue insane orders, treat their soldiers with total disregard for their lives or well-being, bleat nonsense about honour and glory, and relish in their insulating class privileges, while the men under and beside him - including a fantastic Gian Maria Volonte, in a small but essential role - sacrifice themselves left and right for no seeming purpose whatever. Slowly Sassu becomes politicized; eventually his superiors notice.
Death Valley Superstar, which I would love to see; though it is apparently only 27 minutes long - one minute for each year he was alive? - there's so much that could be told about the man, from his time with the Mel Lyman cult, to the making of Zabriskie Point, or his later brief career as revolutionary bandit, that I would imagine it quite compelling. If you're the type of cinephile who thinks that would be an interesting documentary to see, then Uomini Contro is absolutely essential viewing, too. World War One buffs - and yes, Danny, I'm thinking of you here - should rush to check it out, as well.