Year of release: 1970.
MPAA rating: PG.
Run time: 171 minutes.

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      "The 1970 hit movie and Best Picture academy award winner about General George S. Patton Jr. in World War II.  George C. Scott, bearing an uncanny resemblance to the famous general, portrays Patton from his entry into the war with II Armor Corps in North Africa to victory in Europe with the 3d Army.  Patton's triumphs and controversial incidents are covered in this feature and provide entertaining insight on this man whose name is almost synonymous with World War II.  While Patton rests in the elite ranks of other famous leaders, his flamboyant personality sets him apart from most and it is Scott's impressive capture of this that makes the movie shine.

      The movie is generally accurate.  Patton is credited with taking command of the II Armor Corps at a critical time just after a brutal defeat to the German Army in North Africa, and leading it to victory shortly afterward.  Patton advances to command of the VII Army and is successful in Sicily.  During the Sicily operation, Patton slaps a soldier in a field hospital for perceived malingering, resulting in his relief from command.  Eventually he's reinstated to command of the 3d Army in France and leads the breakout from Normandy when Allied forces were bogged down in the infamous hedgerows.  The most famous event occurs when he anticipates the German's Ardennes Counter-offensive, more famously known as the "Battle of the Bulge," and miraculously turns the 3d Army north in little time to defeat the Germans.

      There's artistic overplay of some historical details for dramatic effect such as being portrayed as almost running operations by himself when in fact he had talented staff and commanders who advised him well and carried out his orders.  A very interesting scene for speculation is after his fuel supplies have been redirected in 1944 to the invasion of the Netherlands [portrayed in the 1976 feature "A Bridge Too Far"] he is standing on the scorched earth of a recent tank battle and remarks to his aide that he could be in Berlin in ten days.

      PATTON is a three-dimensional bronze bust of World War II field general George S. Patton (George C. Scott) who wrote poetry, fired pistols at strafing fighter planes, and loved America with a lofty and historical zeal.  Tracing his personal rivalries with such generals as Rommel and Montgomery, his problematic treatment of his own men, and his nearly runaway contempt for diplomacy, the film triumphs as an enduring portrait of a complex and larger-than-life figure.  PATTON was recipient of 10 Academy Award Nominations and winner of eight, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor -- Scott, Best (Adapted) Screenplay -- Francis Ford Coppola/Edmund H. North.

      Overall an epic picture and one of a kind.  Other projects have attempted to follow this formula, but none came close to what was achieved in this movie."


      What can I say about this movie other than that it is simply the best World War II epic movie ever made?  Not until three decades later were any WW II films made that can be viewed as on par with this movie: those were the incredible film "Saving Private Ryan" in 1998, and the terrific miniseries "Band of Brothers" in 2003.  Both of these works are due in large part to the respectful artistry and reverant historical appreciation of Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg.

      "Patton" is spectacular in its grandeur and yet still respectful in its treatment of the carnage of war.  It rightfully honors the efforts and sacrifices of America's World War II soldiers and of their most colorful leader.  Watching this movie will make you proud and patriotic...  and it will make you wish that we had more leaders like Patton around today.


George C. Scott - General George S. Patton
Karl Malden - General Omar Bradley
Stephen Young
Michael Strong
Morgan Paull
Karl Michael Vogler
Michael Bates
Edward Binns
Lawrence Dobkin
John Doucette

Distributed by: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Producer: Frank McCarthy & Frank Caffey
Screenwriter: Francis Ford Coppola & Edmund H. North
Art Director: Gil Parrondo
Cinematographer: Fred Koenekamp
Composer: Jerry Goldsmith
Editor: Hugh S. Fowler
Production Designer: Urie McCleary
Source Writer: Omar N. Bradley & Ladislas Farago
Story: Omar N. Bradley


Academy Awards (1970):
Best Picture
Best Actor - George Campbell Scott
Best Sound - Don Bassman
Best Original Screenplay - Francis Ford Coppola
Best Director - Franklin J. Schaffner
Best Editing - Hugh S. Fowler
Best Original Screenplay - Edmund H. North
Best Sound - Douglas Williams

Acadeny Award Nominations:
Best Art Direction - Antonio Mateos, Pierre-Louis Thevenet & Gil Parrondo
Best Score - Jerry Goldsmith
Best Visual Effects - Alex C. Weldon
Best Cinematography - Fred J. Koenekamp
Best Art Direction - Urie McCleary

Directors Guild of America - 1970
Nominated for Best Director

Golden Globe - 1971
Best Actor - George C. Scott

National Board of Review of Motion Pictures - 1970
Best Actor - George C. Scott
Nominated one of Year's 10 Best Films

New York Film Critics Circle - 1970
Best Actor - George Campbell Scott
Nominated for Best Film - Franklin J. Schaffner (Director)

Recognized by the American Film Institute in 1998 as one of the 100 Greatest
American Movies.

Information gathered from numerous websites including:

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