Movie The Great Transport (1983.)

134 min

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In May 1943, Yugoslav Partisans' HQ in Vojvodina decides to send reinforcements to beleaguered Partisan units in eastern Bosnia. A convoy of more than a thousand volunteers carrying food, clothes and medicine, led by Pavle Paroški, embarks on a dangerous mission. They are joined by Paroški's girlfriend Dunja, doctor Emil Kovač, and British major Mason and his radio operator Danny, who are tasked with establishing the communications with the Partisans.


134 min






Avala Film

The Great Transport

At the Film Festival in Pula 1984, the war spectacle The Great Transport (Veliki transport), directed by Veljko Bulajić, didn't get any reward. It was nothing new, but the movie was followed by a bad reputation even before, there were a lot of end-of-era writings, compounded by the catastrophic information about loss created by these types of films: after all, the Novi Sad-based film company Neoplanta soon went bankrupt and fell apart. Until the breakup of Yugoslavia, no one any longer thought of investing large sums in a partisan epic. We never found out what happened with Neoplanta’s partners, Sherwood Productions, Inconvent from Los Angeles and Lantern Editrice from Rome, but it was obvious that Neoplanta had paid for aguilt of unreasonable business. According to the prescription that every republic, even the province, must have one such movie monument, now it was Vojvodina’s turn. An authentic story from 1943 was used as a template when a large transport of food, clothing and medicines started moving from that part of the country to help the besieged partisans in Bosnia. The Germans are following its movement and trying to stop it, but the colourful procession of soldiers in which priests, Roma, allied mission officers, people with typhoid fever and who knows who else is still moving further. It’s unusual for this kind of production to have just one big action scene, right before the finale, when it seems like the transport might finally collapse. By rule of thumb, Hollywood professional writers who were more adept at working at television than at film had a hand in the screenplay (Donald R. Boyle worked on the series Baywatch) and guests from overseas, such as James Franciscus, Steve Railsback, Robert Vaughn, Edward Albert and Helmut Berger, have stepped up already solid domestic cast (Velimir Bata Živojinović, Ljiljana Blagojević, Zvonko Lepetić, Dušan Janjićijević, Dragan Bjelogrlić). Vaughn (one of The Magnificent Seven), for example, complained about the very poor organization during shooting, but this was the only time he was acting in this region. From today’s perspective, the movie will not disappoint fans of the war spectacles, there are a lot of extras in some scenes, and the aforementioned action finale is not so bad. The Great transport was in the foreign market renamed into Heroes, but it wasn’t accepted particularly well by the audience. Author: Nenad Polimac

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