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Attack
Attack
Actors: Jack Palance, Eddie Albert, Lee Marvin, Robert Strauss, Richard Jaeckel
Director: Robert Aldrich
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Military & War
NR     2003     1hr 47min

There's dissension in the ranks during the Battle of the Bulge! Oscar¬(r) winner* Jack Palance and Oscar¬(r) nominee** Eddie Albert star in this "tightly directed" (Leonard Maltin) and "gritty film [that] packs a wallop" (...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Jack Palance, Eddie Albert, Lee Marvin, Robert Strauss, Richard Jaeckel
Director: Robert Aldrich
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Classics, Military & War
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
Format: DVD - Black and White,Full Screen - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 05/20/2003
Original Release Date: 10/17/1956
Theatrical Release Date: 10/17/1956
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 47min
Screens: Black and White,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, Spanish, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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Movie Reviews

Fine War Drama--Unfortunate Title.
peterfromkanata | Kanata, Ontario Canada | 07/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This film is almost 50 years old, yet it still packs a wallop for viewers. I called the title "unfortunate", because it implies that this is an action movie--of course, it is much more. There are certainly battle scenes, and they are grim and realistic--no John Wayne heroics here. At the same time, the opening credits indicate that "Attack" is based on a play--so much of the film is dedicated to character development by some excellent actors.

The Nazis are the enemy, but these American GIs have another enemy within their midst--a cowardly, villainous commanding officer who has a well-deserved reputation for letting his men down. Some good soldiers lose their lives because of this officer's incompetence and indecision. In this role, Eddie Albert gives a wonderful, unforgettable performance. Later in his career, "Green Acres" may have given him more financial security, but it was obviously a waste of a huge talent.

As the brave GI who must report to a drunken coward, Jack Palance is rivetting in one of his best performances--his confrontation scenes with Eddie Albert really sizzle with animosity. Messrs. Palance and Albert are well supported by great character actors like Robert Strauss, Richard Jaeckel and the recently-departed Buddy Ebsen. Eddie Albert's commanding officer is played by Lee Marvin--and with Lee Marvin, "commanding" is the word ! Unfortunately, the Marvin character is just as corrupt, and self-serving in his own way as the man he supervises.

As I said earlier, this is a war movie that makes you think--it is not intended to merely entertain. I would not call it anti-war--there is no question that the Nazis here, mostly SS, are evil. To emphasize the point, we learn that Robert Strauss' character is Jewish, and how he would be treated if captured by the SS. Most of the American soldiers are depicted as brave, honest, dedicated men, laying their lives on the line every day. Nevertheless--as "Attack" shows us-- sometimes people are put in positions of authority for reasons that have nothing to do with merit--whether it is the military, in business, government or other fields of endeavour. In this case, of course, it is a problem that costs lives. It is a powerful message.

The DVD is nice--clear B & W picture--the sound is mono--the price reasonable.

Bottom line--a fine, thinking person's World War II drama, that deserves a higher profile.

A sad footnote dated 10 November 2006. Mr. Jack Palance just passed away--an Oscar-winner and one of the most formidable presences to ever grace the silver screen."
The Great Jack Palance
mackjay | Cambridge, MA | 08/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Long on several "lost film" lists, "Attack" is at last available on video. There are several reasons to see this film. It is a forerunner of so many grim, realistic movies that treat the subject with intelligence ("Men In War", "Pork Chop Hill", "Platoon", "The Thin Red Line"). It is brilliantly directed (many scenes are almost unbearable in their naked dramatic truth). And it contains several performances that demand attention.The conviction of Eddie Albert's playing of the cowardly Lieutenant may come as a surprise to those unaware of his talents. Lee Marvin also delivers a solid characterization, as do most of the other supporting players. But the main feature of this film is the astonishing portrayal of Lt. Costa by Jack Palance. The kind of immersion in a role that Palance exhibits here is rare. It is the kind of performance that seems more like "being" than acting. A number of close-ups of Palance's face deliver a frisson of emotional intensity and truth that are rare and wonderful in the cinema of any period. In fact, Palance helps to demonstrate, in this picture, why "war films" should exist as a genre. The condition of war, of combat in particular, serves to foreground, polarize and intensify emotions and moral convictions. It can call into question the very nature of humanity. Just what is the price of a human life? What do we as humans mean to one another? When do concepts like 'bravery' and 'cowardice' cease to have meaning?"Attack" is a small film, great in its impact."
War Brings Out the Best or the Worst in Some
gobirds2 | New England | 06/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Director Robert Aldrich's contribution to American cinema has seemed to diminish over the years since his untimely death. ATTACK was one of his better films. I remember seeing it many years ago and it was quite realistic and graphic for its time. The chiseled face of Jack Palance as the dutiful Lt. Costa is still vivid in my mind, as is Eddie Albert's performance as the cowardly Capt. Cooney. This is a grim and hard boiled film with an engaging plot that really questions the reason why man must die in war and who ultimately bears the responsibility for sending combatants to their deaths. This film contains outstanding performances by all including Lee Marvin, Richard Jaeckel, Buddy Ebsen, Robert Strauss, William Smithers, Strother Martin and Peter Van Eyck. Cinematographer Joseph Biroc's photography is stark bringing a feeling of hopelessness and despair to this film about men in war. A very good DVD."
A Lost Classic
Steven Kuroiwa | San Francisco, CA USA | 07/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I saw this movie because I am a fan of Jack Palance and have wanted to see Robert Aldrich's "Attack" for many years. "Attack" is on my personal list as one of the Ten Greatest Movies. This film is badly underrated. I have never seen a better World War II film. I am disappointed that this film is not better known by the moviegoing public.In wartorn Europe, incompetent Army Captain Eddie Albert endangers his troops and Army Lieutenant Jack Palance stands up to him.Adding to the credibility of "Attack" is a cast that actually fought in World War II. Unlike many present day war films that feature performers who lack even peacetime military experience, "Attack" features actors with genuine combat experience: Jack Palance, Eddie Albert, and Lee Marvin. The film realistically captures the desperation and tension of military combat. Viewers empathize with the trauma and pain felt by the characters.The film also features great performances from its leading actors. Jack Palance is one of Hollywood's most underrated performers. After more than forty years in the entertainment business, Palance would finally win an Oscar for "City Slickers"(1991) but "Attack" is the movie for which Palance should have received this honor; Palance wasn't even nominated for this picture. Perennial villain Palance proved that he could play a good guy(Or certainly a great antihero) in an unforgettable movie. Eddie Albert, who would become best known for TV's "Green Acres" and "Switch," proves that he could give a serious dramatic performance in a movie. Albert's cowardly and neurotic Captain Cooney is one of the screen's great villains. Buddy Ebsen(Another future TV star) also gives a fine supporting turn. I plan to see this movie again. Well-recommended."