"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Movie Review: Patton (1970)

Hello, everyone!

I hope that you are all staying safe! I have another movie review for you today, to squeeze one last on in while it is still April! I have been trying to watch a lot of Best Picture winners (Award given from the Oscars), and today I will be talking about the 1970 one! It was rather long, and not really my favorite but I'll let you read my review before I get ahead of myself.

My guarantee: On ALL of my reviews there are NO spoilers unless I give you warning. This is spoiler free.

Patton (1970):
Based on: The true story of George S. Patton Jr. Along with Patton: Ordeal and Triumph - by Ladislas Farago & A Soldier's Story - by Omar N. Bradley.
'"Where were we?"
"We were talking about a simple old soldier."'
World War II is fully on and is raging across Europe. The U.S. has gotten involved and General George Patton, while under General Eisenhower, is in charge of hundreds of soldiers. His temper keeps knocking him down as he gets in trouble for various things, but he continues to plow on and comes up with strategies that seem impossible, but he pulls them off. The opposing side watches him constantly. Has war gotten into him?
"There's one big difference between you and me, George, I do this job because I was trained to do it, you do it because you love it."
Genre: War, Biography, Drama.
Length: approx. 172 minutes.
Costumes: 7, standard army uniforms, nothing extra.
Script: 4, there is a lot of swearing, name calling, and name taken in vain in here. I know that it is all supposed to be about Patton's "character" but yikes, there's a lot.
"Compared to war, all other forms of human endeavor shrink to insignificance."
Directed by: Franklin J. Schaffner.
Written by: Francis Ford Coppola, Edmund H. North, Ladislas Farago, & Omar N. Bradley.
George C. Scott as General George S. Patton Jr.. "I'm my favorite general."
Karl Malden as General Omar N. Bradley.
Michael Bates as Field Marshal Sir Bernard Law Montgomery.
Edward Binns as Major General Walter Bedell Smith.
Lawrence Dobkin as Colonel Gaston Bell.
Stephen Young as Captain Chester B. Hansen.
Michael Strong as Brigadier General Hobart Carver.
Frank Latimore as Lieutenant Colonel Henry Davenport.
Lionel Murton as Third Army Chaplain.
Morgan Paull as Captain Richard N. Jenson.
Karl Michael Vogler as Field Marshal Erwin Rommel.
James Edwards as Sergeant William George Meeks.
David Bauer as Lieutenant Gen. Harry Buford.
John Barrie as Air Vice-Marshal Sir Arthur Coningham.
Richard Muench as Colonel General Alfred Jodl.
Siegfried Rauch as Captain Oskar Steiger.
Paul Stevens as Lieutenant Col. Charles R. Codman.
Gerald Flood as Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder.
Jack Gwillim as General Sir Harold Alexander.
Peter Barkworth as Colonel John Welkin.
David Healy as Clergyman.
John Doucette as Major General Lucian Truscott.
Tim Considine as Soldier.
(I know, this cast looks huge, but I can't put a face to most of these names. Maybe only about five of them?)
Cinematography: 7, it is war, so a lot of explosions and things, which can get old, but there were some things that I thought was interesting. The most famous is the opening scene where it is Patton standing addressing soldiers with a huge flag behind him. I wasn't as impressive as I had expected, but okay.
Cinematography by: Fred J. Koenekamp.
Music: 7, I really like it, but it was hardly used! We got it during the opening and a little at the end, but that's pretty much it. I feel like if they added it more it would have given a bigger punch.
Music by: Jerry Goldsmith.
Quotes: 6, I was able to write several down, but since I watched this movie I haven't wanted to use any.
"Give George a headline and he's good for another 30 miles."
Oscars won: 7: Best Picture, Best Actor (it won, but George C. Scott refused the award), Best Director, Best Story and Screenplay Based on Factual Material or Material Not Previously Published or Produced (well, that's a long category title), Best Sound, Best Art Direction, & Best Film Editing.
Content: 7, there are scenes with blood, some disgusting descriptions, smoking, death and killing. Being a war movie, you rarely can get away without those things, and there were some gruesome parts.
"It's too bad jousting has gone out of style."
Originality: 6, I don't know, I'm kind of burned out on war movies right now (I had been watching a lot of them). On all of the others there were bits that I liked, but with this...everything seemed like I'd seen it before, just not drug out to almost 3 hours. It is based on the real life of Patton, which was interesting to know about it now.
Good For: George C. Scott fans, anyone looking to watch all of the Best Picture winners, anyone who likes this genre.
Age Range: This is rated GP (which is equivalent to PG), and while the war elements aren't that bad, there is a ton of swearing. Maybe bump it up to PG-13 just for that. Plus, I don't know how many kids would be interested in this (I'll admit, it was pretty boring to me).
Overall Score: 5.
Bonus thoughts:
Sigh, I don't even know what to say about this. I don't like comparing movies to others (who am I kidding? I love to do that! This is why I'm a critic!) but that's what I'm going to do. The other two Best Picture winner war movies that I saw near this were The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) (I loved this one! A review will be coming!) and Lawrence of Arabia (1962) (was interesting, and I have thoughts).
All of these focus on the idea of how war can corrupt you. But, this one didn't do it as well.
My dad always talks about how great an actor George C. Scott is and wants me to agree with him, but I can't because I've only seen him in two movies (I have a system on who can be my favorite actor, a post on this is coming. Man, I have a lot of posts I need to get cracking on!) and from what I've heard of him, he's not really acting. He refused the Oscar for Best Actor claiming that the Oscars were "a two-hour meat parade, a public display with contrived suspense for economic reasons." His words, not mine. That sounds like Patton, so it doesn't sound like he was acting. It was an interesting character, of how Patton was so fascinated with history, and how he claimed to be a rather religious man but twisted what he thought was "God's will" into his own. One part he says that he has to be part of this war because God made him for this. This is actually the same fault and motivation that one of my favorite villains Claude Frollo (from The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)) has, so it was interesting to see a whole movie about him.
It's not a bad movie by any means! I just am spoiled because I saw such other good ones first, hehe. You'll probably be surprised by this based on my ranting, but there were a few parts that touched me. My favorite part was General Omar N. Bradley, we was so great! He was there so you could compare his character arc to Patton's. He is such a sweet guy, I really liked him. You are probably beginning to see my pattern of how minor characters are almost always my favorite...
Overall, I'm glad that I can cross it off of my list, but I don't ever plan on seeing it again.

Your turn! Have any of you seen Patton (1970)? If so, I would love to discuss what you like and dislike about it! For the rest of you, what is your favorite Best Picture winner? Thanks for reading!



  1. War movies are great in moderation----although that could be said for any genre. Balance is good.
    I haven't seen this one, actually, but it looks interesting.

    1. Exactly! That's one of my mom's mottos. Yeah, I think if I watched a ton of science fiction or romance movies in a row I'd get tired of them, too.
      I didn't know anything about Patton, so it was educational!


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