Patton (movie)

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Patton
Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner
Produced by Frank Caffey
Frank McCarthy
Written by Biography (Patton: Ordeal and Triumph):
Ladislas Farago
Memoir (A Soldier's Story):
Omar N. Bradley
Screenplay:
Francis Ford Coppola
Edmund H. North
Starring George C. Scott
Karl Malden
Michael Bates
Karl Michael Vogler
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Cinematography Fred J. Koenekamp, ASC
Editing by Hugh S. Fowler
Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Release date(s) United States February 4, 1970
Running time 170 min
Country United States
Language English
Budget $12,000,000
Money made $61,749,765[1]


Patton (UK: Patton: Lust for Glory) is a 1970 movie about United States Army General George S. Patton, and his role in the Second World War. Patton starred George C. Scott in the title role, and it was released by 20th Century Fox. The movie became very popular, and won an Academy Award for Best Picture in 1971. A sequel, The Last Days of Patton, appeared in 1986, also starring Scott.

Beginnings[change | change source]

Patton's widow was approached not long after her husband died (after an automobile accident), with an offer to make a Hollywood movie about Patton's life and career. His family did not agree right away, and it was many years before they approved a dramatic movie to be made. The movie's screenplay was based on a well-written biography of General Patton, Patton: Ordeal and Triumph, and A Soldier's Story, a memoir by General Omar N. Bradley, who served with Patton.

Storyline[change | change source]

The story covers the time from the American defeat at the Battle of the Kasserine Pass in North Africa during 1943, when Patton was sent to take command, through his victories in Africa and Sicily, his time as a "decoy" before D-Day, The Battle of the Bulge, and his last weeks, after the war was over in 1945.

The movie did not give much time to showing combat and battles, but explained Patton's role in several important battles and campaigns. It also showed his character as a person, as a soldier, and as a leader. Patton made good choices, such as appointing Omar Bradley to assist him, and bad choices, such as striking soldiers physically when they showed fear or cowardice, or giving his personal opinions to the media, when they differed widely from what the Allied commanders expected. The movie showed a mix of both bad and good things about Patton.

Reception[change | change source]

The movie appeared nearly twenty-five years after Patton died. American attitudes toward war, toward fighting, and toward the military had changed in many ways. The Vietnam War was happening at the same time the movie was made and shown. The older generation, who had fought in World War II or helped out on the home front, tended to support the war and the draft, which made young American men join the Army to fight. Younger people, who did not remember World War II or were born after it ended, were mostly against the war in Vietnam. Patton gave older and younger viewers a look back at an American war hero and leader, and it gave them things to think and talk about together.

References[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]

Preceded by
Midnight Cowboy
Academy Award for Best Picture
1970
Succeeded by
The French Connection