The film Battle of Neretva was based on a true story from World War II. Back then, it was the largest European production by number of actors, extras and invested funds.
The film was nominated for Oscar in the category of the best foreign film, and it starred the largest local and international stars of the time. The music was written by Bernard Herrmann with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, but did you know that Pablo Picasso made the poster for the movie?
According to the story, a documentary film Skopje ‘63 by Veljko Bulajic won the Golden Nymph and award of the critics in 1964 in Monte Carlo. The president of the jury was a French scholar Marcel Achard, who lived with his friend Picasso during the festival and showed him a copy of the film in his studio. Picasso came to the closing ceremony of the festival and congratulated Veljko Bulajic. A few years later, Veljko Bulajic proposed to Picasso’s agent in Paris to ask him to make a poster for the film Battle of Neretva. After taking a look at the film, Picasso confirmed that he will make a poster, but that he will use part of his painting Sabine and asked only for poster to be red. He did not ask for any fees, and his only request was 12 bottles of wine from Yugoslavia.
It is estimated that between 4.5 and 12 million USD was spent on the movie. The film was made for 18 months, and sponsored by 58 major industrial companies. Besides the large number of famous actors, the film also had an amazing number of extras, more than 10 thousand.
Sofia Loren and Omar Shariff were at the premiere on the 29th of November 1969 in Sarajevo.
The film starred: Orson Welles, Sergej Bondarčuk, Yul Brynner, Anthony Dawson, Milena Dravić, Boris Dvornik, Milena Dravić, Ljubiša Samardžić, Velimir Bata Živojinović, Lojze Rozman, Nikola-Kole Angelovski, Stole Aranđelović, Miha Baloh, Faruk Begoli, Milena Dapčević, Dragomir Felba, Fabijan Šovagović, Pavle Vujisić, Abdurahman Šalja, Radko Polič, Branislav-Ciga Jerinić.