Sunday, August 31, 2008


Franklin Schaffner, 1970 (8.7*)

Best Picture (AA, GG)
AFI Top 100
This epic biopic has been called 'one of the great war films', and 'a glorification of killing'. Some say that you see it as either pro or anti-war based on your own inclinations. However one stands on war, it can't take away from the fact this this is one of the finer depictions of war history on film, as George Scott delivers a performance for all-time. Future director Frances Coppola co-wrote the Oscar®-winning screenplay, based on two biographies of Patton, including the memoirs of Gen. Omar Bradley, played in the film by Karl Malden.

It’s said one reason George C. Scott refused his Oscar® for this biopic is because he hated "Blood and Guts" George Patton so much. It’s apparent from this war epic that Gen. Patton was sort of a misguided hero, yet an army moving, battle winning leader of men nonetheless. Scott was never better, and this movie spared no expense in recreating his famous drive through Europe, often moving his army 100 miles in 2 days. Maybe a little heartless, and down a star for excessive patriotic propagandizing, this film is still excellently crafted, one of the best on World War II. 7 Oscars

Patton was a firm believer in reincarnation; in this film they have him make a side trip ton an ancient battle site in north Africa, where Patton connects to past life memories. He wrote this poem about reincarnation, "Through a Glass Darkly", and these stanza are quoted in the film:

Through the travail of the ages,
Midst the pomp and toil of war,
Have I fought and strove and perished
Countless times upon this star
So as through a glass, and darkly
The age long strife I see
Where I fought in many guises,
Many names, but always me


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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