Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Patton (1970)

It's 1943 in North Africa and General George S. Patton (George C. Scott) leads the American Army to victory and becomes one of the Army's most valued commanders. But the war hasn't been won yet and before it's over, he will become a controversial and polarizing figure but always marching to his own drum. One of the best movie biographies ever made. I'll be the first to admit that I don't know beans about Patton so I don't know how historically accurate the film is so I can only judge it on its own cinematic merits. Based on two books, a Patton biography and Omar Bradley's (played here by Karl Malden) memoirs, this is an "epic" movie bio (it runs 3 hours) but unlike say, GANDHI, the director Franklin Schaffner has given the film a stunning visual sheen (the cinematographer is Fred J. Koenkamp) that helps justify its epic status. The screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund H. North allows for a richly layered and complex view of Patton. I suppose some will see him as a "war monger" but the script gives him an almost mythic warrior like status. We may be repelled at times yet can't help but admire him. And towering above everything is George C. Scott's brilliant performance, one of the best performances by an actor to grace the screen. It's impossible to imagine the film without him as his performance is a very part of the film's fabric. With Edward Binns, James Edwards, John Doucette, Tim Considine and Karl Michael Vogler.

No comments:

Post a Comment