As a retired army officer and an adjunct history professor I thought it was important to review what I consider the best war movies depicting the challenges of leadership and the command of men.
The biopic “Patton” (George C. Scott), is one of the best movies depicting the remarkable and flawed career of one of America’s greatest military leaders; General George S. Patton, famous tank corps commander of World War II.. The movie examines this legendary leader’s career in North Africa and progresses through the invasion of Germany and the fall of the Third Reich. His reputation for exacting standards and constant harsh training techniques, including slapping soldiers who he thought were malingerers did not ingratiate him with his men and made him politically unpopular with the “brass.” However, it was those very traits that also made him a great leader that got more fight out of his men than any other commander in Europe! The movie ably shows how Patton’s battlefield genius garners him fear and respect from the Germans. When the movie shows how he is ridiculed by other generals for volunteering his corps to disengage from a pitch battle, turn it 90 degrees and in less then 72 hours move it 100 miles to relieve the “Battling Bastards of Bastogne” (101stAirborne Div.) it highlights all that was great in Patton as a military leader! That is why you should see this Oscar winning movie!
What did you think of this review?
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)...