Saturday, December 27, 2014

516. Patton

Directed by Franklin Schaffer

I am really not a huge fan of war movies in general (little war humor there, which is always popular); however, I have to admit that this is one of the most well-acted, quotable films I have ever seen.

Patton starts with one of the most iconic scenes in movie history.  Patton addresses the 3rd Army, leading with these words: "Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country.  He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country." I was nervous when I started this movie that it would either be nauseatingly patriotic or drearily anti war.  Fortunately, we get a happy middle that seems a lot more real than previous (and future) entries on The List.

Still, this film is not without its faults.  It does tend to drag on for a bit; like I said before, war movies bore me quite easily.  I think it was slightly easier for me to watch since it was more about a man than a war.  Definitely worth a place in The Book.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

George C. Scott won the Oscar for Best Actor, but refused to accept it since he was fundamentally opposed to the idea of award shows.

John Wayne hoped to play Patton but was rejected by the producer.

Opening speech:


  1. OK, a slight surprise that you gave this one a fairly positive review... but I find myself in just about the same amount of agreement I did over MASH.

    I do know my military history fairly well, and know quite about this guy and the vents portrayed.
    As a Brit, I will complain about the slant that is pushed that patton knew how to win the war and Montgomery got it wrong. The jury of history is still out as to who had the best strategy, both in North Africa, Sicily and certainly post d-day. Montgomery, we are learning these days, was not as perfect as someone my age was brought up to believe... it is debatable he made errors.. but I beg to complain about him being portrayed as the arrogant idiot he is in this film..
    I will also become a geek for a moment to complain about the military hardware portrayed.. but must then remember that was all they had.. no CGI available to give the Germans German tanks..

    But I digress.. Yes, an OK film, and well worth a place in the book.

  2. Definitely worth a place in the book, but way too long.

  3. Agreed that it was a good move to make this be more about the man than the war. That made it way more interesting. My problem with this angle is just that it made it way less balanced than intended. While we learn a lot of his negative sides we never learn why he was supposed to be a great general. Based on what we do get I would say he was a crazy and dangerous person who should never have been given a command.