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Battle of the Bulge [HD DVD] (1965)

Henry Fonda , Robert Shaw , Ken Annakin  |  NR |  HD DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (552 customer reviews)


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• IMPORTANT NOTICE: This high-definition disc will only play in an HD DVD player. It will not play in a standard-definition DVD player, Blu-ray player, or PS3.

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Product Details

  • Actors: Henry Fonda, Robert Shaw, Robert Ryan, Dana Andrews, George Montgomery
  • Directors: Ken Annakin
  • Writers: Milton Sperling, Philip Yordan, John Melson
  • Producers: Dino De Laurentiis, Milton Sperling, Philip Yordan, Sidney Harmon
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen
  • Language: English, German
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 15, 2007
  • Run Time: 167 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (552 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000OIOS56
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #305,829 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Battle of the Bulge [HD DVD]" on IMDb

Editorial Reviews

The German offensive in December 1944 became the basis for this all-star Hollywood take on the Battle of the Bulge. Henry Fonda is an officer who predicts the assault, Robert Ryan and Dana Andrews are Army brass skeptical of his intuitions, and Robert Shaw (his hair dyed yellow and his eyes glinting with malice) is a German officer leading the tank attack. Shaw is certainly the most compelling thing about the film, especially in his philosophical debates with ambivalent underling Hans Christian Blech. Elsewhere, the movie jumps around to sidebar stories (cowardly James MacArthur becomes a leader, wheeler-dealer Telly Savalas falls in love) while messing around with the historical facts of the battle. There are interesting episodes, such as the Malmedy massacre of American POWs and the Germans' use of English-speaking spies, but overall Battle of the Bulge has the feeling of having been patched together from different scripts. On the physical level the movie comes up short, with the Spanish locations rarely suggesting the wintry misery of the battle, and the use of models and studio sets highly inadequate. A number of war films from this era are compelling on their own terms, but in the wake of Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers, this one looks antique. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
162 of 174 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New DVD BULGE has all the FAT put back in! May 3, 2005
Format:DVD
The issue of the DVD today has yielded a few surprises. There is some interesting material included in the DVD with the Theatrical Trailer, Interviews with the Director and Robert Shaw and also a short Black and White film is shown on how it was filmed including footage of the German military advisor who insured an accurate detailing of uniforms, events, etc. in this basically fictitious account of the famous battle of world war 2. Now what needs to be said is that this is a polished transfer of the widescreen film. The overture is put back and all of the extras that were usually cut. Including the "Panzerlied" gathering of tank commanders that is sometimes missing from television broadcasts as well as the "save the son but shoot the father" scene. The musical score by Frankel is one of the best made in a war film presentation in a full orchestra by the New philharmonic. They have restored the original soundtrack to the DVD and it is impressive for a movie that was made in the 60's. Someone cared about putting this one back together and it shows! Graphics, scenery, etc. are all very impressive. Although this movie was panned as to accuracy as far as the situation, it is a very entertaining movie and is well remembered by everyone who saw it in the movies when it was released. Seeing it again now, it is as if I were back in that movie house and as if time had not moved on. A GREAT release! Worth it to any fan of this film.
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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Restored to its Former Glory on DVD December 26, 2000
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE is a great war movie. It contains everything you could hope to find a cinematic military classic: Action, tank battles, outstanding pyrotechnics, superb cast, and wonderful soundtrack. Before I continue I want to make it clear that movie THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE should not be confused with the historical Ardennes Offensive. THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE is essentially an action-packed cowboy and indian movie with the Americans as the cowboys and the Germans as the indians. If you watch the film with this understanding you will enjoy it much more.

For the first time, possibly ever, the complete film is presented on DVD in wide-screen. Scenes that have been missing for decades have been restored to the film. Now you can see Lt. Col. Hessler marching between the parked rows of tanks, Hessler's introduction to the English-speaking commandos, the Belgian sniper scene, Charles Bronson's confrontation with Robert Shaw in Ambleve, and the lieutenant (James MacArthur) and his sergeant watching the German advance from a snowy hilltop.

This version is truly wide-screen. In fact, when I premiered this new DVD release, with myself as the sole audience (as my family immediately fled the room), I was amazed at the width of the picture. During my first screening of this edition, I tended to pay more attention to what was going on to the right and to the left of the main characters. This additional perspective, in many ways, makes this almost a new movie.

The DVD is equipped with special features. The movie trailer has been restored and includes alternate takes and dialogue that were not included in the original film. Additionally included are two black and white featurettes on the making of the film.
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131 of 156 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great picture and audio commentary make Blu-Ray a good buy September 23, 2004
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
BLU-RAY REVIEW
I am updating this review (Dec. 9, 2008) to address the Blu-Ray edition of this movie which I feel is worthy of praise. In addition to a very impressive 1080p high definition picture which has nice contrast, vibrant colors and a fantastic level of detail (just witness the Christmas tree and flags in the first scene between Henry Fonda and Robert Ryan), the Blu-Ray also boasts a scene specific audio commentary featuring Director Ken Annakin and actor James MacArthur.
The two are obviously very good friends and the commentary strikes a nice balance between technical details, preproduction and filming background and friendly chatter. I found it enjoyable.
The Blu-Ray also transfers over the two vintage featurettes and theatrical trailer found on the DVD, but the addition of the audio commentary and the superior high definition picture makes this an easy recommendation for an upgrade from the subpar DVD format.
I read the concerns over "fogging"n some of the previous reviews and did not notice it on my Blu-Ray, except in instances when it was obviously a deliberate decision. For the most part this is an impressive presentation. For those wanting the check out the HD picture, the high definition premium commercial-free TV channel HDNet Movies has been showing "Battle of the Bulge" in HD recently.

In the 1960s it seemed to be all the fashion for a host of big name actors to appear in World War II movies. From THE LONGEST DAY to THE GUNS OF NAVARONE, THE DIRTY DOZEN, THE GREAT ESCAPE and BATTLE OF BRITAIN every big name actor made his appearance in big epic war pictures commemorating a war that, at that time, was still fresh in the memories of many.
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41 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DVD Please ! December 26, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This is a classic war movie. Though lacking historical realism, its still an enjoyable film. Lots of tanks anyway. Big name actors (Fonda, Bronson, Andrews, Shaw, Savalas, and the like). Not really about the real Battle Of The Bulge, it takes some of the events from that famous battle and remolds it into a kinda 'what-if' story about a German armoured spearhead that launches an attack to cut off Allied forces, to buy time to build the new jet aircraft and nuclear weapons and win the war. Names of characters are all fiction.
What really disappoints me is that a lot of footage (at least 20 minutes worth) has been cut out from the original print. Please, Warner, release the FULL version on DVD!
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