Patton / George C. ScottAFI Rank: #89
Year Released: 1970
Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Actors: George C. Scott
I've seen Patton several times and each time it has the power to move me. Here is a man who is quite complex, who certainly had his flaws but also helped the Allies win World War II with his seat-of-the-pants intelligence and bravery. He was certainly far from PC. At the same time, he had deeply seated ideas about honor and bravery.
There are amazing moments in here which are a far cry from modern "blue screen" computer generated scenes. You can feel the heat rising off the desert, feel the mix of emotions as the starving locals strip the dead bodies of their clothing. You get the sense of the sludge and despair of troops bogged down in combat. Patton isn't just craving glory - he actually does care about the soldiers who are stuck. He doesn't preach at them from a high mountain. He jumps down into the thick of it and shoulders the burden with them.
Yes, I understand that Patton wasn't always making the best decisions. On the other hand, the scene with the donkeys blocking the convoy stands out to me. You could feel sorry for the donkeys he shot - and you also can scream that someone should have done it long before he got there, to save the men from dying! He cuts through the red tape and does what he feels needs to be done. In most cases he's right.
Highly recommended for anyone who wants a fairly balanced view of what war can really be like. It's not just glory and power. It's also about hard decisions and getting caught up in political and press-created confusion.
George C. Scott richly deserves all the kudos for the intense effort he put into nailing this complex character.
Male vs Female Actors
Yes this is a war movie - but I don't think there is a single female actress on the screen anywhere with maybe the exception of one nurse in a hospital who murmurs something. Surely there were other females around somewhere?
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AFI Top 100 Film Listing
Male vs Female Actors in the AFI Top 100
The Bechdel Test in the AFI Top 100