Iron Cross / Beautiful Blue Eyes (found English thriller film; 2009)

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Poster for the film.

Status: Found

Date found: 2022

Found by: MovieKey

Iron Cross (later retitled Beautiful Blue Eyes) was an English thriller film written and directed by Joshua Newton. It starred Roy Scheider as a retired police detective who believes he has found the Nazi officer responsible for his family's deaths in his son's apartment complex.

The film marked the final role of Scheider, who died during production. Newton completed the film through a prosthetic latex mask based on Scheider's face and CGI to have Scheider appear in the unfinished scenes.[1]

Iron Cross first received a limited theatrical release between 2009 and 2011, but was not released to home media until 2022. While no official word was made on its home media absence, clues can be found in Calibra Pictures, the film's production company, taking unsuccessful legal action against a negative review and subsequently filing for bankruptcy. Following another limited theatrical release in 2022 as Beautiful Blue Eyes, the film became exclusively available through MovieKey, a digital platform created by distributor MovieFarm.


Joseph, a retired New York City detective, travels to Nuremberg for a visit with his son Ronnie. The two have been estranged since Ronnie ended his career with the NYPD to become an actor, but Joseph is seeking reconciliation following the death of his wife. Ronnie is married to Anna, an artist, and lives in an apartment complex that is also home to two elderly tenants, Ernst Shrager and Frau Ganz.[2]

When Joseph arrives at the apartment, he becomes convinced that Shrager is Vogler, the SS officer who murdered his parents and siblings during World War II. Ronnie doubts these claims until he and his father find Nazi items in Shrager's apartment, along with a passport identifying him as Ernest Otto Volger. Following this revelation, Joseph develops a plan to take vengeance on Shrager.[2]

The film also depicts Joseph's time on the run from the Nazis in Poland. In the flashbacks, Joseph meets a Polish girl named Kashka who falls in love with him. Sarah Bolger, the character's actress, stated in an interview Kashka "is interrogated, tortured, and killed to save the person she loves",[3] which is also confirmed by the soundtrack.[4]

Aided by a reluctant Ronnie, Joseph kidnaps Shrager and takes him to a remote area to enact his revenge. The soundtrack confirms Shrager's death[4] and the film concludes with a final twist.[2]


  • Roy Scheider as Joseph
    • Alexander Newton as Young Joseph
  • Scott Cohen as Ronnie
  • Calita Rainford as Anna
  • Sarah Bolger as Kashka
  • Anna Polony as Frau Ganz
  • Helmut Berger as Shrager / Vogler
    • Mateusz Janicki as Young Vogler


The soundtrack was conducted by Roger Bellon, with co-composition credit given to Joshua James Filed, and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra.[4]

  • Iron Cross
  • Micha's Memory
  • Goodbye Joseph
  • In Or Out
  • Kashka's Death
  • Barnyard Lovers
  • Forest Killer
  • Path Alone
  • Shrager's Death

A single entitled "Lost in Forever", performed by actor Alexander Newton, Joshua Newton's son, was also recorded for the film.[5][6][7] Although scheduled for an iTunes release on April 18, 2012, the song and its music video have not been made available to the public. A song by Newton entitled "Beautiful Blue Eyes", after the film's new title, was uploaded to YouTube in 2022 to coincide with the re-release, and appears in the ending credits.[8]


Iron Cross was shown at Academy Award screenings between December 12th, 2009, and December 20th, 2009, in Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco to qualify for the Oscars.[9] It premiered to the public at the 26th Boston Film Festival in September 2010[10] and had a limited theatrical release on March 28, 2011.[11]

At some point by 2012, the film was re-titled Justice/Vengeance. A release that year was planned under the new name but never occurred.[12] In 2013, the film was described as still "upcoming" in a preview for Joshua Newton's biopic on Nicole Brown Simpson, which is also unavailable to the public.[13]

After the film was re-titled Beautiful Blue Eyes, a new cut was released exclusively to Regal Theaters on September 9th, 2022, alongside screenings of Scheider's film Jaws.[14][15]


Due to the film's limited release, only a few reviews were made. Those who reviewed the film praised Scheider's performance, but Newton's direction drew more scrutiny.

Whom You Know gave the film high praise for its characters and "complex personal historical nature", noting that Newton had based Scheider's character off his father's experiences in World War II, and called it "an intelligent film for intelligent people".[2]

Tim Grierson of LA Weekly said Iron Cross "is overwhelmed by its own sense of dour significance" and while he enjoyed seeing Scheider have a leading role for the final time in his career, the film wasn't "the farewell he deserved".[16]

A positive review of Iron Cross was written by Pete Hammond of Boxoffice Magazine, which was featured on the film's poster. The review is included on the Rotten Tomatoes page, but has since been taken down and was not archived.[17]

Robert Koehler wrote a negative review of the film for Variety. Koehler found "Scheider put body and soul into the project", but "Newton’s film is simply mediocre stuff, choppy and uncertain, with hints of ambitious ideas that fail to gather steam".[18]

Stephan Pape of Common Sense Media gave the 2022 version of the film two stars out of five, noting it "begins with a really interesting premise", but "the movie is undermined throughout by its substandard, somewhat cheap revenge-plot element".[19]


Despite the mixed reception, Iron Cross received the Remembrance Award at the Museum of Tolerance International Film Festival in 2010. Rabbi Marvin Hier called it "the most important film since Schindler's List".[20] At the Boston Film Festival, Joshua Newton received the Visionary Award and Alexander Newton won Best Young Actor.[4][12]


The negative review from Variety prompted a lawsuit from Calibra Pictures, LLC, the film's production company. According to the lawsuit, Calibra and Variety had an exclusive media partnership in which Calibra signed a $400,000 contract for Variety to provide Iron Cross with an Academy Award campaign. The lawsuit alleged that after Calibra paid Variety $226,000, the negative review was "effectively destroying the promotion to distributors and any chance for award nominations for the 2009-2010 awards season".[21]

In the lawsuit, Calibra sought damages for breach of contract, fraud, deceit, and unfair business practices.[22] Variety countered with a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that it was a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP). The motion to dismiss was granted by the California Superior Court in 2010.[23] Calibra appealed the decision, but the California Courts of Appeal upheld the dismissal in 2011, finding that Calibra's allegations lacked legal merit and "Variety had a virtually unfettered right under the First Amendment to choose what to print regarding the film and it did not waive that right in the advertising contract between the parties". Variety was awarded $57,474 in attorneys' fees and costs and was entitled to recover its attorneys' fees and costs from Calibra.[24]

Joshua and Alexander Newton filed a lawsuit against Meta Platforms, Inc. in 2022 after Facebook banned advertising of the film. The Newtons are seeking $700 million, citing breach of contract, fraud, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.[25]


No home releases were made of the film until 2022. An official reason has not been given for this home media absence, but it is believed the lawsuit turned away distributors and Calibra filed for bankruptcy after losing the lawsuit in 2012.[26] The rights for the film are currently owned by BBE Production, Ltd., a company established in late 2020 by Alexander Newton.[27] Listed as a related company to BBE Production is Iron Cross Productions Ltd., which is considered active, but dormant.[28]

The film was released to home media in 2022 exclusively through MovieKey, a digital platform created by MovieFarm, the current distributor.[29]


Official trailer.

External Links


  1. [1] Retrieved 09 Apr '21
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 [2] Retrieved 09 Apr '21
  3. [3] Retrieved 09 Apr '21
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 [4] Retrieved 13 Apr '21
  5. [5] Retrieved 13 Apr '21
  6. [6] Retrieved 13 Apr '21
  7. [7] Retrieved 13 Apr '21
  8. [8] Retrieved 23 Dec '22
  9. [9] Retrieved 09 Apr '21
  10. [10] Retrieved 13 Apr '21
  11. [11] Retrieved 13 Apr '21
  12. 12.0 12.1 [12] Retrieved 13 Apr '21
  13. [13] Retrieved 13 Apr '21
  14. [14]
  15. [15] Retrieved 23 Dec '22
  16. [16] Retrieved 09 Apr '21
  17. [17] Retrieved 09 Apr '21
  18. [18] Retrieved 09 Apr '21
  19. [19] Retrieved 23 Dec '22
  20. [20] Retrieved 13 Apr '21
  21. [21] Retrieved 09 Apr '21
  22. [22] Retrieved 09 Apr '21
  23. [23] Retrieved 09 Apr '21
  24. [24] Retrieved 09 Apr '21
  25. [25] Retrieved 23 Dec '22
  26. [26] Retrieved 09 Apr '21
  27. [27] Retrieved 04 Apr '22
  28. [28] Retrieved 04 Apr '22
  29. [29] Retrieved 23 Dec '22