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« on: July 04, 2008, 08:34:33 PM »


"Patton" tells the tale of General George S. Patton, famous tank commander of World War II. The film begins with Patton's career in North Africa and progresses through the invasion of Germany and the fall of the Third Reich. Side plots also speak of Patton's numerous faults such his temper and habit towards insubordination. Faults which would, eventually, lead to his being relieved as Occupation Commander of Germany.

Happy 4th of July everyone! I thought I'd recommend the perfect film to watch if there was one on this day. "Patton" is an outstanding look into the life of the famous General. George C. Scott's performance is nothing short of brilliant.



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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2008, 05:24:01 AM »

Patton used to by absolute favorite movie as a kid. I loved George C. Scott's over-the-top portrayal of Patton, the ultimate badass.

It's one of the best war films/biopics ever made, and its portrayal of the lead character is quite interesting. It's not quite admiring, nor is it scathing; it pretty much presents Patton as he was, without a lot of comment. The movie isn't explicitly anti-war, but it shows the horror and cost of warfare effectively enough - something which Patton seems unable to comprehend.

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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2008, 10:16:41 AM »

I loved George C. Scott's over-the-top portrayal of Patton, the ultimate badass.

You summed it up right there. Afro

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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2008, 12:10:29 PM »

it pretty much presents Patton as he was
In fact, the filmmakers fudged everything (a la LoA); there's a pretty good doc on the current 2-disc DVD that does a good job of contrasting the movie w/ history (although they forget to mention the real Patton's high, squeaky voice). One point that interests me a lot is that the film depicts Patton as a maverick who was willing to ignore or even disobey orders; not true of the man in life (for example, his run to Messina, shown in the film as taken on Patton's own initiative, was in fact countenanced by his highers). But a war film released in 1970 undoubtedly had to show a hero who was bucking the establishment.

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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2008, 11:01:00 AM »

 I'd only seen parts of this before, but watched it all the way through this weekend for the first time.  I'd recently read Jeff Shaara's WWII books which use Patton as a main character, a lot of the same things were in the book and movie.  Groggy's review is dead-on, it doesn't really take sides when it comes to the personality of George Patton, it presents the good and bad and lets the viewers decide how they want to feel about the character.  One of my only complaints are the battle scenes.  All very well done, but because we don't know any of the soldiers taking part in the battle it loses some of the emotional effect.

 My favorite scene was toward the end, Patton reading the chaplain's prayer for clear weather as the final Allied advance on Bastogne begins.  All of the action is at night with Patton's voiceover reading the prayer.  Very cool, very powerful scene.  Really liked this one.  8.5/10 Afro 

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« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2010, 01:08:05 PM »

I watched this again last night, so I might as well post my review:

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Franklin J. Schaffner's Patton (1970) is one of the greatest and most iconic war films of the last fifty years. A complex exploration of a flawed and fascinating man, the movie succeeds on many levels, from epic spectacular to thoughtful war film to complex character study. Like most biopics, the movie rises or falls on its protagonist, and in this regard, Patton succeeds with flying colors. It simultaneously celebrates and damns Patton as a great military hero and a man out of step with his time, and George C. Scott's incredible performance turns him into a film icon.

May 1943. American forces are engaging in their first battles in the European theater of World War II, being humiliated by the better-armed, better-trained German Afrika Korps under Erwin Rommel (Karl Michael Vogler) at Kasserine Pass. Flamboyant, eccentric, foul-mouthed General George S. Patton (George C. Scott) is brought in to whip the American II Corps into shape. Patton shows an aggression and tactical daring that makes him invaluable to the Allied armies, but his eccentricities and egomania get him into trouble with his superiors time and again. Made into a punching bag by the press, a scapegoat for Army failings, Patton balances military glory with public relations disasters - much to the chagrin of his second-in-command (and later commander) Omar Bradley (Karl Malden), who has the unenviable task of keeping Patton in line through Africa, Sicily, and France.

It's easy to see why Patton has such wide and enduring appeal. In its apparent celebration of a badass who views war as the ultimate, undying glory, it has an obvious appeal to war movie buffs and conservatives - and young, impressionable history/film buffs like yours truly circa 1998. On the other hand, it simultaneously sees him as a posturing, bellowing caricature of militarism with no sense of reality. The script by Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund H. North is careful in its portrayal of Patton, building him to absurd proportions while keeping him human, shying away from neither the positive nor negative of his complex personality. The film makes few overt anti-war statements, allowing the gory, unromantic reality of modern war to contrast Patton's gung-ho speeches and bluster.

Patton is, as a German officer (Siegfried Rauch) calls him, a "magnificent anachronism". A man with an outdated sense of chivalry, remarkable eccentricities (wearing an ivory-handled pistol, writing poetry, musing over reincarnation) a horribly vulgar and blunt manner of expression, and incredible vanity, he is a man who gets things done, and he expects to be honored on the basis of his undeniable talents. In twentieth century coalition warfare, however, it's not that easy. The concerns of his Allies, particularly British Field Marshall Montgomery (Michael Bates), are as big an obstacle as the German Army. Seemingly trivial incidents - his slapping of a shell-shocked soldier (Tim Considine), implicitly insulting Russians while speaking at a woman's club in London - cause more damage to Patton's reputation than any of his battlefield actions. Trapped by his own antiquated notions of warfare and glory - which are themselves demolished by political realities and the carnage around him - Patton can only seek solace in his anachronistic view of warfare and honor: "God help me, I do love it so." Like so many soldiers before him, Patton lives and dies by the sword; his post-war life will be short and unsatisfying, as the film's epitaph notes: "All glory is fleeting."

Schaffner handles the film effectively, providing a plethora of striking images and iconic moments: the oft-parodied opening, with Patton giving a bellicose speech before a huge American flag; Patton exchanging gunfire with a duo of German bombers; the recitation of a "fair weather prayer" as American troops are slaughtered in Bastogne; a German battle map dissolving into ash. Battle action is mostly restricted to brief montages of troops on the move, with a major set-piece battle at the forty-five minute mark, but its well-handled enough to make an impression. Fred Koenenkamp's cinematography is beautiful, providing the larger-than-life mis-en-scene necessary to contain such a flamboyant figure. Jerry Goldsmith provides one of his very best scores, with the instantly recognizable echoing trumpets and soaring march themes among the most recognizable music in film history.

George C. Scott gives a career-defining performance. His turn as the manic Buck Turgidson in Kubrick's Doctor Strangelove was a good trial run, but he makes Patton into something else entirely. Scott captures all the facets of his complex character, handling both the broad caricature and the subtle humanity and introspection with equal skill. Regardless of fidelity to historical record, Scott makes the role his own, capturing Patton's every tic, all of the complexities, contradcitions and anguish inherent in the man. It is simply one of the most remarkable performances in film history.

The supporting cast are mostly foils to Scott. Karl Malden (On the Waterfront) gets the juiciest supporting role as Omar Bradley, Patton's devoted yet frustrated friend who is in every way his opposite. Michael Bates (Frenzy) portrays Montgomery as a broad, almost Monty Python-esque caricature of the British general; smaller roles by Jack Gwillim (Lawrence of Arabia), Edward Binns (North by Northwest) and James Edwards (The Manchurian Candidate) are more effective. The German cast - Karl Michael Vogel, Siegfried Rauch - acquit themselves well.

Patton is one of the best biopics and war films of all time. In its depiction of a tortured, complex man standing astride the crossroads of history, it has rarely been bettered.

http://nothingiswrittenfilm.blogspot.com/2009/11/patton.html

The movie also makes use of a lot of Almerian locations, which should be identifiable to SW buffs. Especially for me, watching this just after FAFDM. The El Guettar battle is in the desert (Tabernas, I think?) used in the El Paso scenes of FAFDM, and Patton's Tunisian HQ seems to be Agua Caliente spruced up a bit.

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