Friday, June 4, 2010

History in Film: Patton

How can I write a blog on history and not write about my favorite historical movie of all time Patton. Released in April of 1970 it is the quintessential film on the life of George S. Patton and on World War II.

From beginning to end this movie captures your attention in learning about the life of an American soldier who saw himself more as an Old World romantic of war than a modern day military genius. I have to admit that numerous times throughout the film the dialogue and action can be dry, however it is in those moments that you learn most about the personality and leadership of Patton.

Dramatic license is always taken with a biographical film however overall the accuracy of the events that occurred is unmatched. Patton and Bradley were not as close of friends as the film portrays to the viewer, in fact he was probably closest with Eisenhower. Many of the tanks and military equipment were not vintage World War II. Overall the film does a wonderful job at capturing the story from beginning to end with dignity and respect.

Roger Ebert was quoted referencing to George C Scott's performance as Patton, "It is one of those sublime performances in which the personalities of the actor and the character are fulfilled in one another." One would have to place Scott's portrayal of Patton as one of the most genuine and realistic performances of a real life character in American film history. His performance was rewarded in 1971 when he received Best Actor at the Academy Awards. The film also won six additional Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director.

If you have not seen this movie I highly suggest you spend a weekend watching it from beginning to end. You will not regret it.

Entertainment Rating - 4 out of 5
Historical Value - 4 out of 5

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