Battle on the Neretva River is one of the most popular films of European cinema. In the world this film is seen by around 550 million people. This film is also considered one of the greatest successes of the Yugoslav cinema.
The film was written by Stevan Bulajić and Veljko Bulajić and directed by Veljko Bulajić. In this great film, the roles get the world-known actors such as Orson Welles, Yul Brynner, Hardy Kruger, Franco Nero, Curd Jürgens, Sergei Bondarchuk and Oleg Vidov. Next to them in film also appear all the local stars of Yugoslav cinema like Ljubiša Samardžić, Bata Živojinović, Milena Dravić and Boris Dvornik. Commission of 32nd International Film Festival in Moscow has included Battle on the Neretva River among the ten most important titles ever made about World War II. This movie was in the company of masterpieces such as “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” by David Lean and “Empire of the Sun” by Steven Spielberg.
A very interesting fact about this film is also a poster made by Pablo Picasso. Picasso was delighted with Yugoslav films. After the movie Skopje 63 won an award at the Cannes Film Festival. Bulajić offered to Picasso to make a poster for his next film The Battle on the Neretva River. After seeing the movie and studied happenings in the film, Picasso accepted the job. According to the stories of people who were involved in filming, Picasso did not ask for money for the poster, in turn, he asked for a box of Yugoslav finest wines. Picasso during his career, made only two posters. One for the film “Spanish Andalusian Dog” from 1929. and one for the film Battle on the Neretva River in 1969.
What makes this movie a masterpiece work certainly is musical scenes, composed by Bernard Herrmann. Herrmann is fameous by composing music for Hitchcock films.