(out of 5)

 soars in this fascinating biopic of General George S. Patton.  He makes a name for himself after a successful 1942 campaign against Rommel in North Africa that turns America’s fortunes around, then plays ego games with the British in his subsequent campaign in Sicily.  The general’s eccentric personality, which includes frequent references to battles of antiquity (he firmly believes in reincarnation and ties the two interests together regularly) combined with his often ruthless treatment of his soldiers eventually earns him a dubious name in the public eye: Patton has great respect for physically wounded soldiers, but, to him, shell shock is merely the whining of cowards.  His cruelty to a psychologically worn-out soldier inspires a public outcry and has the American army wondering whether or not they want to sacrifice lives to what they feel are the irresponsible whims of an egomaniac, a situation which is not helped by Patton’s frequent gaffes in public speeches and interviews.  What you might fear would be a bland historical pageant in the vein of Tora! Tora! Tora! is actually a complex look at a fascinating personality who is both captivating and repulsive, and Scott is marvelous for his lack of fear at portraying it all.  Francis Ford Coppola, whose directorial career had yet to take off, contributes to the magnificent dialogue, which makes as deep an impression as the crisp, gorgeous cinematography and magnificent set design.

USA, 1970

Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner

Screen story and screenplay by , , based on factual material from Patton: Ordeal and Triumph by , and A Soldier’s Star by

Cinematography by

Produced by 

Music by

Production Design by ,

Film Editing by

Cast Tags:  

Academy Awards
Best Actor (George C. Scott as “General George S. Patton Jr.”)
Best Art Direction (art direction: Urie McCleary, Gil Parrondo; set decoration: Antonio Mateos, Pierre-Louis Thevenet)
Best Directing (Franklin J. Schaffner)
Best Film Editing (Hugh S. Fowler)
Best Picture (Frank McCarthy, producer)
Best Sound (Douglas Williams, Don Bassman)
Best Writing (Story and Screenplay–based on factual material or material not previously published or produced) (Francis Ford Coppola, Edmund H. North)

Best Cinematography (Fred Koenekamp)
Best Music (Original Score) (Jerry Goldsmith)
Best Special Visual Effects (Alex Weldon)

Golden Globe Award
Best Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama (George C. Scott)

Best Motion Picture-Drama
Best Director (Franklin J. Schaffner)

BAFTA Award Nominations
Best Actor (George C. Scott)
Best Sound Track

Directors Guild Award
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures (Franklin J. Schaffner)

National Board of Review Awards
Best Film
Top Ten Films
Best Actor (George C. Scott)

National Society of Film Critics Award
Best Actor (George C. Scott)

New York Film Critics Award
Best Actor (George C. Scott)

Writers Guild Award
Best Drama Written Directly For The Screen


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