6 interesting things about the film Battle of Neretva

1.    The film "Battle of Neretva" directed by Veljko Bulajic from 1969. It  is considered the best and the most expensive Yugoslav war movie. The movie was sponsored by the government of Yugoslavia,(which amounted to between 5 and 12 million dollars). financial support for the film was provided by the 58 state-owned companies.

2.    Poster for the English version of the movie was made by Pablo Picasso. According to Bulajic claims, Picasso did not ask for a fee, he just wanted a box of Yugoslavia's best wines.

3.    Yul Brynner and Orson Welles for the first time in the same movie. This was the first and also, the last movie in wich July Brynner and Orson Welles performed together. Briner interpreted partisan Vladimir Smirnov. This was the first and only movie together July Brynner and Orson Welles. Briner interpreted partisan Vladimir Smirnov called Vlada Rus  and Welles played Chetnik commander - Senator. 

Besides them, in the movie took part and the other, then the world stars Franco Nero, Hardy Kruger, Sergei Bondarchuk, Silva Košćina, Kurd Jurgens, Oleg Vidov, Spela Rozin and Anthony Dawson. With them were our actors and actresses Milena Dravić, Ljubisa Samardzic, Velimir Bata Zivojinovic, Boris Dvornik, Lojze Rozman, Nikola-Kole Angelovski, Stole Arandjelovic, Miha Baloh, Faruk Begolli, Milena Dapcevic, Dragomir Felba, Fabijan Šovagović, Paul Vujisić, Abdurrahman Shala, Radko Polic, Branislav-Ciga Jerinić and many others.

4.    The real explosion. For the scene of an explosion of the bridge over the Neretva, the director wanted to use a real bridge. In Jablanica was constructed replica life-size, but the smoke from the explosion was so thick that the camera footage was unusable. The whole procedure was repeated, but with the same results. At the end, for  the recording used a miniature model bridge.

5.    Oscar nominations. 1969 The movie was nominated for an Oscar, but Z movie, directed by Costa Bravo, won in this category. In that category, the Russian director and actor Sergei Bondarchuk triumphed with the movie „War and Peace“, a year earlier. He played as Martin, the commander  of an artillery, from Slovenia in the „Battle of Neretva“

6.    Army as extras: Yugoslav People's Army was involved in the movie recording. for the purposes of filming were taken about 10 000 soldiers. During the movie recording four specially constructed villages and one fortress was destroyed


  1. Cool post! Thank you.
    If you're interested in seeing World War II era documents I have more than 100 from The National Archives, London posted at
    They are about the British pigeon service, including Operation Columba, Operation Gibbon, (secret pigeon service set up by SOE in Belgium) and other ways pigeons were used for espionage.

  2. Hi Jennifer!

    thank you for the offer but I write only about the Balkans...



  3. I just watched this great movie. I am American with Bosnian husband. I look foward in learning more and more about this country and it's awesome people.


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