Directed by: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Starring: Ed Harris, Joseph Fiennes, Jude Law, Rachel Weisz
Genres: Action, Drama, History, Thriller, War
Question: If Jude Law as Vasily Zaytsev is the protagonist, then why is Joseph Fiennes the first-billed actor of the movie?
Answer: For the same reason Marlon Brando and Gene Hackman were top billed in Superman. He was a bigger name and his agent was able to negotiate a better deal.
New this month Answer: They almost share the same amount of screen time, but Jude Law is a tad younger and Joseph was coming off a very successful 'Shakespeare in Love' as well as 'Elizabeth'. He was a more marketable actor at the time.
Question: What are the rifles that Jude Law and Ed Harris use in this film?
Chosen answer: Vasily Zaitsev (Jude Law) uses a 7.62 x 54mm Mosin-Nagant M91/30 rifle with a PU scope. Major König (Ed Harris) used a 7.92 x57mm Mauser Karabiner 98 K with scope. Law's scope was wrong as the model used in the film wasn't available until after the Battle of Stalingrad.
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Vassili Zaitsev: He doesn't know you exist, but at that moment you're closer to him than anyone else on earth. You see his face through the sign. You see whether he shaved or not. You can see whether he's married if he's got a wedding ring. It's not like firing at a distant shape. It's not just a uniform. It's a man's face. Those faces don't go away. They come back and they get replaced by more faces.
When the map of the German advance is shown, Switzerland is shown to be taken over. Switzerland was never invaded by the Germans.
The film is based upon William Craig's book of the same name, yet the entire movie is based upon a sniper duel that covers no more than two pages of the entire book. German army historical records never mention an elite sniper named "Major Koenig" hunting Vassili Zaitsev at Stalingrad.