Commando Leopard (German: Kommando Leopard) is a 1985 war film directed by Antonio Margheriti and starring Lewis Collins, Klaus Kinski, and Manfred Lehmann. It is the second of their three mercenary war films (including Codename Wild Geese and The Commander).
In an unnamed Latin American dictatorship, a group of rebel freedom fighters fight to bring about a less oppressive society. The rebels, led by the enigmatic Enrique Carrasco (Collins) who has returned to his native land to fight, attack a hydro-electric dam. Along with Carrasco’s native fighters are Smithy (Steiner), a British mercenary, and Maria, a native ex medical-student turned freedom fighter. After killing the security guards, Carrasco’s men place explosives at a crucial point in the dam wall, when they blow the dam the resulting tidal surge destroys a nearby bridge that is carrying Government convoy.
On hearing the news, the President demands the head of the secret police, Colonel Silvera (Kinski), to eliminate the rebels. Carrasco’s group arrive at an impoverished village to gain medical supplies for their wounded, unfortunately the village leader informs Carrasco that there is none, but there are nearby priests that looks after the sick and wounded. Splitting his force in two, Maria leads a group including the wounded to seek out the priests while Carrasco, Smithy and the rest of the group return to the dam. After leaving the village Government forces led by Silvera’s deputy (Leutenegger) attacks the village with flame thrower armed helicopters. At the site of the destroyed dam, Carrasco finds that the Government forces have already built a pontoon bridge and are recovering the sunken supply convoy. Using scuba diving equipment, Carrasco and Smithy plant time bombs on some of the still submerged trucks that carried explosives. But the two rebels can exit the river the bombs explode, the pressure wave knocks Smithy unconscious and he surfaces and is captured. Carrasco is more fortunate and escapes with the help of an elderly friend (Pigozzi) and his men, who turn up in a truck in the nick of time.
In a prison located in the country’s capital, Smithy is being held with other political prisoners when he learns of a plot to free them.
- Lewis Collins as “Leopard” Carrasco.
- Klaus Kinski as Silveira.
- Manfred Lehmann as Don Julio.
- John Steiner as Anrade.
- Hans Leutenegger as Leutnant Ortiz.
- Thomas Danneberg as José.
- Francis Derosa as Hidalgo.
- Alan C. Walker as Emiliano.
Commando Leopard was made from many returning members of the film crew of Codename: Wild Geese, specifically director Antonio Margheriti, producer Erwin C. Dietrich and cinematographer Peter Baumgartner.
- At an estimated 15 million in Swiss Francs, this was up to the time the most expensive Swiss-budgeted film.
- Approximately half the budget went into the miniature special effects.
- Even though the movie was highly advertised in Germany with Klaus Kinski in the starring role, he has just about 10 minutes of screen time in the entire movie.
- The 2003 DVD release has a slightly different English dubbing track than the original theatrical release, as some minor actors have American accents instead of German accents as they did in the original mix.
Production & Filming Details
- Antonio Margheriti … (as Anthony M. Dawson).
- Erwin C. Dietrich … producer.
- Roy Nelson … (screenplay).
- Giacomo Furia … (story).
- Goran Kuzminac.
- Peter Baumgartner.
- Marie-Luise Buschke.
- Alberto Moriani.
- Ascot Film.
- Prestige Film.
- Ascot Filmverleih (1985) (West Germany) (theatrical).
- Universum Film (UFA) (West Germany) (VHS).
- Ascot Elite Home Entertainment (2007) (Germany) (DVD).
- Arrowdrome (2012) (UK) (DVD).
- Ascot Elite Home Entertainment (2014) (Germany) (Blu-ray) (DVD).
- Daiei Home Video (1987) (Japan) (VHS).
- Entertainment in Video (1985) (UK) (VHS).
- Filmways Home Video (1986) (Australia) (video).
- Vestron Video International (1986) (Australia) (video).
- Zodiac Video (1986) (Greece) (VHS).
- Release Date: 24 October 1985 (West Germany).
- Rating: 15.
- Running Time: 103 minutes.
- Country: Germany.
- Language: English.