One of the greatest screen biographies ever produced, this monumental film runs nearly three hours, won seven Academy Awards, and gave George C. Scott the greatest role of his career. It was released in 1970 when protest a... more »gainst the Vietnam War still raged at home and abroad, and many critics and moviegoers struggled to reconcile current events with the movie's glorification of Gen. George S. Patton as a crazy-brave genius of World War II. How could a movie so huge in scope and so fascinated by its subject be considered an anti-war film? The simple truth is that it's not--Patton is less about World War II than about the rise and fall of a man whose life was literally defined by war, and who felt lost and lonely without the grand-scale pursuit of an enemy. George C. Scott embodies his role so fully, so convincingly, that we can't help but be drawn to and fascinated by Patton as a man who is simultaneously bound for hell and glory. The film's opening monologue alone is a masterful display of acting and character analysis, and everything that follows is sheer brilliance on the part of Scott and director Franklin J. Schaffner. Filmed on an epic scale at literally dozens of European locations, Patton does not embrace war as a noble pursuit, nor does it deny the reality of war as a breeding ground for heroes. Through the awesome achievement of Scott's performance and the film's grand ambition, Patton shows all the complexities of a man who accepted his role in life and (like Scott) played it to the hilt. --Jeff Shannon« less
Fox provides an Outstanding DVD Special Edition for "Patton"
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 05/30/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Patton" offers one of the great marriages of actor and role with George C. Scott's riveting portrayal of the notorious American tank commander. As a film biography "Patton" forgoes the rise of the celebrated general and merely hints at his ironic death because of injuries suffered in a traffic accident, focuses entirely on his military career commanding troops in North Africa, Sicily and France during World War II. The strength of the script by Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund H. North, as well as of Scott's performance, is that the paradoxes of Patton are completely embraced. Not even Patton's loyal cadre of staff officers can keep him from shooting off his mouth every time there are reporters around, but then neither German Field Marshall Rommel or English Field Marshall Montgomery can beat him on the battlefield. Karl Malden's performance as General Omar Bradley is just as solid as Scott's, presenting a man whose personality is the complete antithesis of Patton. Viewers find themselves identifying with the German captain who is the intelligence expert on Patton and arguably the only person in the film who really understands or respects the American general. But the more I watch "Patton," the more I am very impressed with the battle sequences of director Franklin J. Schaffner ("Planet of the Apes," "Pappillon"), which were staged live and full-scale without special effects of miniatures. Schaffner provides not just the large spectacle of a desert tank battle, but smaller and equally memorable moments, such as a soldier falling dead in the snow. "Patton" deserved its Oscars.In terms of extra features on this DVD, the second disc features the 1997 50-minute retrospective documentary, "The Making of Patton: A Tribute to Franklin J. Schaffner." Recent interviews with the cinematographer, composer, etc., are blended with audio interviews of Schaffner and Scott from 1970, newsreel footage of Patton, along with clips and publicity stills from the film make a fitting tribute to the late director. The audio commentary on the first disc is really more of a lecture on Patton by Charles M. Province, the author of the book "The Unknown Patton" and founder/president of the General George S. Patton, Jr. Historical Society. Province more than adequately fills in what the movie leaves out about Patton's life. On the second disc Jerry Goldsmith's Oscar nominated musical score is presented in stereo, including alternate takes and a series of radio spots. You certainly have to appreciate what Fox has put together here: This is a "Special Edition" DVD priced as a regular DVD, a real treat for those of us who remember being mesmerized by George C. Scott giving that profanity laced opening speech standing in front of that giant American flag."
Why the Sabotage?
M. Bonet | Pawling, NY | 01/06/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I have always loved the movie "Patton". It is a true classic and a treasure in cinema. I give 3 stars to this special edition because of the following reasons. I cannot understand why 20th Century Fox chose to add the Documentary "Ghost Corp" which seems to want to imply that Patton abandoned the XX Corp and particularly the 94th Infantry deliberately with no reason. Horrible incidences happen in war, this one happened because Patton was on his way north to fight a little annoyance called THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE!, also he was going to rescue the 101st Airborne surrounded by German Forces at Bastogne from being ANNIHILATED!. In the documentary "The making of Patton" there is a clip from Oliver Stone stating that the movie "Patton" was responsible for Nixon invading and bombing Cambodia, which, according to Oliver Stone, forced the Khmer Rouge to kill millions of Cambodians. He states that only two movies he knows of ever influenced history; "Patton" and of course his movie "JFK". Naturally his (Oliver Stone)'s movie was in a good way. "Patton" just caused destruction and death. My view of this is that 20th Century Fox wanted to be politically correct and shield itself from anyone anywhere at anytime thinking that they would glorify war. I have never ever heard of a single person thinking seriously that the movie "Patton" glorified war. Whoever thought that at Fox is an idiot and obviously does not think much of the audiences' intelligence that watched "Patton". Oliver Stone is simply pitiful. He wishes that he could make a movie that would live in people's hearts like "Patton" does. He will never touch that greatness, his films will never obtain that level of affection in people's hearts. People don't love "Patton" because it is a war picture. We love it because it is great, it resonates in our hearts and it gave us an image of a complex man and the great men around him who sacrificed, bled, and accomplished heroic deeds. It is positive and gives us hope, unlike the depressing, hopeless, and disposable garbage that Oliver Stone puts out."
Best DVD edition yet!
R. Monteith | Ft. Lauderdale, FL United States | 05/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Fox "Cinema Classic Collection" edition of PATTON offers a far superior picture transfer than the previous THX edition. The new image looks to be from actual 65mm elements and is far less grainy than the old transfer, which looks to have been from 35mm dupes. However, sometimes colors are a little unstable in new image, with often pinkish hues and reddish flesh tones, but most of the time the picture looks fine. The soundtrack seems the same as the old edition, which was just fine. All of the extras from the previous edition have been retained, and the new commentary by screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola is interesting."
The Single Best War Biography Ever Filmed!
Barron Laycock | Temple, New Hampshire United States | 07/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When this movie was released, it was almost immediately recognized as one of the finest, most accurate and most sensational biographies ever filmed. The unique integration in "Patton" of such fine acting, such a wonderful script, and the filming itself combined to make this a gorgeous film to watch, be entertained with, and also learn from in terms of its historical value as an absolutely superb depiction of a most controversial man and his times. All that said, this is a movie best enjoyed with the kind of visual clarity, terrific cinematography, and matchless Technicolor it offers by way of DVD technology. George C. Scott gives the performance of a lifetime as the ego-drive, brilliant, and iconoclastic Patton, marvel of the U.S Army, a man the Germans are convinced is far and away the single best General the Allies have, and they watch him convinced he is the only logical centerpiece for American plans for the impending invasion of Europe. Of course, they didn't understand the politics of the day, or the degree to which Patton was his own worst enemy. Yet the progress of the story on the screen convinces the viewer of the accuracy of the German command's judgments of him; he is at once bold, brilliant, and innovative, willing to improvise as he goes along to seize the opportunity of a given moment, attempting to grab hold of the ever-present chaos of the situation to transform it into an asset he can employ to gain advantage and win the engagement. Such men as Patton (and MacArthur and others) are uniquely suited for war; they do not ordinarily fare well or survive with much public acclaim during less extreme and bloodcurdling times. The fact that Eisenhower, for example, succeeded so well as President is probably due more to the fact that he was less a battlefield commander and leader of "desperate men in combat" like Patton than he was a superb organizer and a natural politician. The movie "Patton" is an investment in both great entertainment and a colorful, dramatic, and educational video you can share with your sons and daughters to help them understand better the chaos, contradictions, and cruelties of war. Enjoy!"
"One of those men born to be a soldier."
Mike Powers | Woolwich, ME USA | 09/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Patton" is one of the best and most honored war films of all time. (8 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, 1970.) I first saw this magnificent movie in the summer of 1970, and have since then viewed it countless numbers of time on videocassette. It remains to this day one of my one of my all-time favorite films of any genre! It faithfully tells the story of General George S. Patton, one of the most colorful and controversial military leaders in American history. Patton is imbued with superb acting, an excellent screenplay, reasonably good historical accuracy, and some of the most authentic and stirring battle scenes I've ever seen in a movie. Based upon General of the Army Omar N. Bradley's memoirs "A Soldier's Story," and the book "Patton: Ordeal and Triumph" by Ladislas Farago, this film chronicles Patton's military career from early 1943, when he assumed command of the U.S. Army II Corps, to his relief from command of the Third Army in late 1945. Many of the most important events in Patton's checkered career are covered in some detail: his resurrection of II Corps after its disastrous defeat by the Germans at Kasserine Pass in the North African desert; II Corps' subsequent victory, under his leadership, over units of Rommel's Afrika Corps at El Qatar; Patton's command of the U.S. Seventh Army during the Sicily campaign, and his slapping of an army private suffering from battle fatigue; his relief from command, and his attempts to extricate himself from possibly being sent home in disgrace; and, his leadership of the Third Army, where he led the Allied drive across France and into Germany in one of the most successful campaigns in U.S. military history. Patton's penchant for "putting his foot in his mouth" proved his ultimate undoing. As World War II ended, and the victorious allies began to reward their successful generals with promotions and honors, Patton was relieved - yet again - from a military command for his ill advised remarks, and for his failure to adhere to U.S. government de-Nazification policies. The acting in Patton is superb throughout. George C. Scott certainly deserved the Best Actor Academy Award he won (but refused) for his portrayal of Patton. He dominates nearly every scene with his brilliant portrayal of "Old Blood and Guts." Scott's "Patton" is a man of masks. For example, in the opening scenes, we see Patton the stone-faced, profane, passionate warrior, a man bent on intimidating nearly everyone around him to his implacable will for victory. During his exile from command, Patton dons the mask of contrite penitent; and during his drive through France, Patton becomes a buddy to the common soldiers who made up Third Army. Karl Malden portrays General Omar Bradley, and gives probably his best performance of any film in which I've seen him. He imbues Bradley's character with the great intellectual ability, down-to-earth "common soldier" demeanor, and no-nonsense approach in dealing with Patton (both as subordinate and superior) for which Bradley is noted by historians. Other performances of note include: Michael Bates as the vain, priggish Montgomery; Paul Stevens as Patton's sycophantic aide Charles Codman; and Edward Binns as the gruff, testy General Walter Bedell Smith. Because of the gorgeous photography throughout the film, I highly recommend viewing Patton in widescreen format. The difference between widescreen and TV formatting, either on DVD or VHS, is astounding.Patton is a movie which will hold the viewer spellbound start to finish, mainly due to the dramatic intensity of Scott's and Malden's performances, and the realistic battle scenes. This outstanding film is one to be savored by anyone who loves a sumptuously produced and well acted war movie."