Two trigger happy border commanders, with no war left to fight in, determine to fight against each other on the German-Czech border.
Egad, another cold war confrontation thriller! This one might have squeaked past its long-expired sell-by date on the grounds that it is an allegory, even a psychological drama about individuals not ideologies - but for one small thing. It's crap.
Roy Scheider plays Colonel Knowles, an unsympathetic, embittered Viet vet in charge of a US post on the West German border with Czechoslovakia. Jurgen Prochnow is his Soviet counterpart Valachev, an Afghan vet equally embittered. These two "disillusioned, pissed-off heroes" are longing for action, and in their need to square off engage in little boy games that escalate from snowball-throwing to mania and tanks at ten paces.
Things get even more absurd when a fishy Czech babe defects into Scheider's arms, and the resolution with the world on the brink of war, of course is just laughable. All concerned would seem to have taken leave of their senses.
Boring and Silly, Ronin is a better example of Frankenheimer's direction