- Patton (film)
name = Patton
image_size = 200px
caption = "Patton" film poster
Franklin J. Schaffner
Frank Caffey Frank McCarthy
writer = Biography ("Patton: Ordeal and Triumph"):
Memoir ("A Soldier's Story"):
Omar N. Bradley
Francis Ford Coppola Edmund H. North
George C. Scott Karl Malden
Karl Michael Vogler
Fred J. Koenekamp, ASC
Hugh S. Fowler
Twentieth Century FoxFilm Corporation
February 4, 1970
runtime = 170 minutes
country = USA
language = English
budget = $12,000,000
gross = $61,749,765 [ [http://www.allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=1:37460 Allmovie Gross] ]
followed_by = "
The Last Days of Patton"
amg_id = 1:37460
imdb_id = 0066206
"Patton" (UK: "Patton: Lust for Glory") is a 1970 biography drama
war film, which tells the story of General George S. Pattonduring World War II. It stars George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Michael Bates, and Karl Michael Vogler. It was directed by Franklin J. Schaffnerfrom a script by Francis Ford Coppolaand Edmund H. North, and photographed in 65mm Dimension 150 by Fred J. Koenekamp, with a music score by Jerry Goldsmith.
"Patton" won seven
Academy Awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture.
The opening monologue, delivered by Scott with an enormous American flag behind him, remains an iconic and often quoted image in film. Despite the rise of the Vietnam protest movement and a decline in interest in World War II movies, the film became a success and an American classic. [cite news | first=Nathan | last=Rabin | coauthors= | title=Patton |date=
May 24, 2006| publisher= | url=http://www.avclub.com/content/node/48785 | work=AV Club | pages= | accessdate = 2007-01-07 | language = ]
In 2003, "Patton" was selected for preservation in the United States
National Film Registryby the Library of Congressas being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
The film documents the story of General
George S. Patton( George C. Scott) during World War II, beginning with his taking charge of demoralized American forces in North Africaafter the Battle of the Kasserine Pass, leading them to victory at the Battle of El Guettar. He then participates in the invasion of Sicily and races against the equally egotistical British General Bernard Law Montgomery to capture the Sicilian port of Messina.
After he beats Montgomery into the city, Patton is relieved of command for slapping a shell-shocked soldier in an Army hospital. This incident, along with his tendency to speak his mind to the press, gets the general in trouble and he is sidelined during the invasion of Europe. Later, he begs his former subordinate, General
Omar Bradley( Karl Malden), for a command before the war ends. He is given the U.S. Third Army, and distinguishes himself by rapidly sweeping across France and later relieving the vital town of Bastogneduring the Battle of the Bulge. Later, Patton smashes through the German " West Wall" and drives into Germany itself.
The movie depicts some of Patton's more controversial actions, for example his remarks following the fall of Germany, casually comparing many
Nazis to American Republicans and Democrats, and remarking to a British crowd that America and Great Britainwould dominate the post-war world, which the press finds insulting to the Russians. He also believes in reincarnation, while remaining a devout Christian. At one point in the movie, during the North Africa campaign, Patton takes his staff on an unexpected detour to the site of the ancient Battle of Zama. There he reminisces about the battle, insisting to Omar Bradley that he was there.
George C. Scottas General George S. Patton. :: Rod Steigerwas offered the role, but turned it down, saying that he did not want to glorify war. After viewing the completed film, he said that refusing the role was the biggest mistake of his career.Fact|date=May 2008
Karl Maldenas General Omar Bradley
*Stephen Young as Chester B. Hansen
Michael Strongas Hobart Carver
*Michael Bates as General Bernard Law Montgomery
Frank Latimoreas Henry Davenport
Morgan Paullas Richard N. Jensen
Karl Michael Vogleras Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
Siegfried Rauchas Captain Steiger
Richard Münchas Alfred Jodl
John Doucetteas Lucian Truscott
*Paul Stevens as Colonel
Charles R. Codman
Ed Binnsas General Walter Bedell Smith
Jack Gwillimas General Harold Alexander
Scott's performance won him an
Academy Award for Best Actorin 1971. He famously refused to accept it [ [http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,306200,00.html Entertainment Weekly] ] --the first actor, though not the last, to do so.
The film won six additional
Academy Awards, for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Picture, Best Sound and Best Writing, Story and Screenplay Based on Factual Material or Material Not Previously Published or Produced. It was nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Effects, Special Visual Effects and Best Music, Original Score.
2006, the Writers Guildof America selected the adapted screenplay by Francis Ford Coppolaand Edmund North as the 94th best screenplay of all time. The screenplay was based upon the biographies "A Soldier's Story" by General Omar Bradley, and "" by Ladislas Farago.
The "Best Picture" Oscar is on display at the George C. Marshall Museum at the
Virginia Military Institute, courtesy of Frank McCarthy (Producer).
Popular online film critic
James Berardinellihas called "Patton" his favorite film of all time. [ [http://www.reelviews.net/top100/1.html James Berardinelli review] ]
Some journalists Who|date=September 2008 criticized the patriotic dimension of the film and maybe its propaganda for the Vietnam war, even accusing Nixon of having decided to go on with the war after having watched the film. But according to some,Who|date=September 2008 there is no sense finding any patriotic meaning in this film, since it is centered on the character of Patton and his will to be a true conqueror like the ones he admired in history. Or|date=September 2008
Patton family objections
There were several attempts to make the movie, starting in 1953. The Patton family was approached by the producers for help in making the film. They wanted access to Patton's diaries and input from family members. By coincidence, the day they asked the family was the day after the funeral of Beatrice Ayer Patton, the general's widow. After that, the family was dead set against the movie and refused to give any help to the filmmakers.
Because of this,
Francis Ford Coppolaand Edmund H. Northwrote the film from two biographies: "Patton: Ordeal and Triumph" by Ladislas Faragoand "A Soldier's Story" by Omar Bradley. In 2005, Patton's wife's "Button Box" manuscript was finally released by his family, with the posthumous release of Ruth Ellen Patton Totten's book, "The Button Box: A Daughter's Loving Memoir of Mrs. George S. Patton." [ [http://www.washtimes.com/books/20050723-092118-1294r.htm Washington Times - Gen. Patton's wife, a New York citizen ] ]
"Patton" opens with Scott's rendering of Patton's famous military IPAudio|Pattonintro.ogg|"Pep Talk" to members of the Third Army, set against a huge American flag. The movie writers had to tone down Patton's actual words and statements throughout the film in order to get a PG rating; in the opening monologue, the word "fornicating" replaced "fucking" when criticizing the "
Saturday Evening Post" newspaper. Also, Scott's gravelly voice is practically the opposite of Patton's, which was high-pitched and somewhat nasal.
When Scott learned that the speech would open the film, he refused to do it, as he believed that it would overshadow the rest of his performance. Director Franklin J. Schaffner lied and assured him that it would be shown at the end. It was shot in a basement room.
All the medals and decorations shown on Patton's uniform in the monologue are authentic replicas of those actually awarded to Patton. However, the general never wore all of them in public. Patton wore them all on only one occasion, in his backyard in Virginia at the request of his wife, who wanted a picture of him with all his medals. The producers used a copy of this photo to help recreate this "look" for the opening scene. Also, the ivory-handled revolvers Scott wears in this scene are in fact Patton's, borrowed from the Patton museum.
The iconic opening scene has been parodied in numerous films, political cartoons and television shows. In "", Sheila Broflovski gives a speech to US troops at a
USOshow, urging war with Canadain front of an American flag. In " Small Soldiers", action figure Major Chip Hazard stands in front of a jigsaw puzzleof the American flag and recites phrases from Patton's speech along with other military phrases in a nonsensical way. In " Jackass 2.5", Johnny Knoxvilleand the rest of the Jackass, dressed in military attire, giving the introduction to the movie in front of a giant American flag; in the outro, Johnny gives an inspirational speech about the events of the film in the same manner (before a party breaks out). Harvey Korman, playing Patton, parodies the speech in an episode of " The Carol Burnett Show". In the deleted original ending of the 1986 musical " Little Shop of Horrors", chorus girls Crystal, Ronette and Chiffon foretell America's doom while posed before a glittering version of Patton's flag backdrop.
The entire film was shot in
Spain, except for the scene in Tunisiawhere Patton visits Carthaginianruins, and the scene at the dedication of the welcome center in Knutsford, England, which was filmed at the actual site. The scenes set in Africa and Sicily were shot in the south of Spain, while the winter scenes in Belgiumwere shot near Madrid(to which the production crew rushed when they were informed that snow had fallen). In one scene, a supposedly " Arab" woman is selling "pollos y gallinas" (chickens and hens) in Spanish.
"Patton" used very few actual World War II vintage tanks, except in archival newsreel footage. The film's tanks were supplied by the Spanish Army, which assisted the production. They included
M41 Walker Bulldog, M46 Pattonand M47 Pattontanks for the American side, M24 Chaffeetanks for the British, and M48 Pattontanks for the Germans. Of these machines, only the Chaffee had served in World War II, although not for the British. In reality, General Patton commanded a mixture of M-4 Shermans, M-5 Stuarts, and, very late in the war, M-26 Pershings. However, at the time of the filming, the only armed forces still to use the Sherman tanks were the Israeli Defense Forces(in highly modified postwar versions), the Yugoslav People's Army, and several Latin American nations.
CASA 2.111airplanes were also used in several scenes. These were heavily modified versions of the German Heinkel He 111, which had been used extensively by the Luftwaffe in World War II. They can be recognized by their engine nacelles, which have a prominent airscoop directly under the propeller, whereas the Heinkel's airscoop was set further back.
In addition, 1950s M38 Jeeps can be seen, and 1960s M35 cargo trucks were used (for both American and German trucks).
A map of Europe shown in the background in one scene displays post-war national boundaries.
While serving to illuminate the tension between Patton and Montgomery, there was no competitive race between the two to capture
Messina. Montgomery actually suggested on July 24 that Patton take Messina since he was in a better position to do so.
George Patton is shown in one scene prematurely pinning on insignia as a
Lieutenant General, before the rank was confirmed by the United States Senate. Patton's service recordindicates that he only referred to himself as a Lieutenant General after signing the official commission from the Department of the Army (Source: NPRC).
The tactically indecisive
Battle of El Guettaris portrayed as a complete American victory.
In one scene, Patton incorrectly cites Frederick the Great as saying, "L'audace, l'audace, toujours l'audace!" ("Audacity, audacity - always audacity!") This actually originated with
made-for-televisionsequel, " The Last Days of Patton", was produced in 1986. Scott reprised his title role. The movie was based on Patton's final weeks after being mortally injured in a car accident, with flashbacks of Patton's life.
North African Campaign
Battle of the Bulge
The Last Days of Patton"
* [http://www.americanrhetoric.com/MovieSpeeches/moviespeechpatton3rdarmyaddress.html Opening Speech from the Movie in Text, Audio and Video] from AmericanRhetoric.com
* [http://www.westholmepublishing.com/id18.html Patton: Ordeal and Triumph by Ladislas Farago]
* [http://www.pattonhq.com/homeghq.html The Patton Society Homepage (Life of the General)]
* [http://www.pattonhq.com/speech.html The history of the famous Patton speech]
* [http://www.bob-west.com/PATTON-SPEECH.html The real Patton speech]
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