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4.7 out of 5 stars
Patton (40th Anniversary Limited Edition) [Blu-ray Book]
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Showing 1-10 of 256 reviews (4 star)show all reviews
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2006
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Patton is an all time favorite of mine. I have now owned five video incarnations of this movie, from Magnetic Video VHS to CBS/FOX VHS to widescreen laserdisc to the THX DVD 2 disc edition to this latest edition. Here is the bottom line comparing the two DVD editions: This new edition's color is slightly better than the previous THX edition. This edition shows a bit more of the bottom of the frame, but a bit less of the left side. This edition's sound is markedly better than the THX edition. However the THX edition has a MUCH sharper video transfer...the best examples are the details visible in the closeups of Patton's right arm saluting the camera and the medals on his uniform, all at the beginning of the movie. You can count the hairs on his hand and see many more medal details in the THX edition. So Fox has yet to put together the definitive video transfer, which will hopefully be corrected when they finally release this in (whichever) high definition format.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2003
Format: DVD
Don't be mistaken: this classic war movie is not so much about war as it is about a man: General George S. Patton, arguably America's greatest Second World War combat general. Based on two books about Patton ("Patton: Ordeal and Triumph" by Ladislas Farago and "A Soldier's Story" by General Omar Bradley), the movie explores the war within his soul, and the temperament that was his undoing and yet brought him unprecedented success. Limited to his military career between early 1943 and late 1945, it's more of a character study than a biography. But with a running time close to three hours, it's a character study with tremendous depth.
Several aspects of his character are highlighted.
1. Patton was fiercely competitive. His race to beat British Field Marshall Montgomery to Messina and then to Berlin becomes a prime motivator for success, even if he needs to sacrifice men to achieve his personal ambitions.
2. Patton loved war and thrived on the heat of battle. While his compatriot General Omar Bradley did his job because he was trained to do it, Patton did it because he loved it. "I love it, God help me, I do love it more than my life." Patton had no political ambitions, and his only fear was that the war would have no role for him: "All I want to do is command an army in combat." As his German opposites observed, "The absence of war will kill him."
3. Patton was a passionate military historian. His love for military battles of the past constantly becomes evident: "Patton is a 16th century man, a romantic warrior lost in contemporary times."
4. Patton was intensely religious. He believed in both God and reincarnation, and was convinced that the lines of history were in place for him to achieve great things, and that God would enable him to fulfil his destiny - "The last great opportunity of a lifetime and I'm left out of it? God will not allow it to happen." Yet his fierce religious fervour towards God was juxtaposed by his profanity towards men. He frequently blasphemed, one incident in particular bringing out these conflicting qualities, when in reply to a question about the regularity of his Bible reading, Patton remarks "Every God-damned day." It's been said that the raw language typical of Patton is even toned down in the movie (he supposedly once said "You can't train a platoon without using profanity"). Yet his inclination toward profanity is not excused, but is presented as part of a larger problem he had in controlling his tongue.
5. Patton was inspirational. He knew it was natural for soldiers to fear battle, and combated this with a fierce military discipline that made the soldiers fear him instead. "They'll lose their fear of the Germans ... I hope to God they never lose their fear of me." "I won't have cowards in my army." The inspiring and bloodthirsty monologue that opens the movie with Patton dwarfed by the American flag is unforgettable: "No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."
6. Patton himself lacked the discipline he expected of his soldiers. His moments of lax self-control led him to say and do things that got him into serious trouble with both his superiors and allies.
These last aspects are especially important. The movie almost has the aura of a convincing documentary, because it paints Patton with his virtues and vices. This is one of the movie's strengths: it portrays Patton as he was, with both strengths and weaknesses, without openly glorifying or condemning them. Director Franklin J. Schaffner stated in 1970 "We are not defending General Patton, and we are not attacking General Patton. We are really telling the true story of one of the most fabulous and interesting characters that I have ever observed in action." More than anything else, it's a serious study of his complex character. This war within the man overshadows the war outside the man. Patton was his own worst enemy, his big mouth frequently getting him into trouble, and resulting in him being relieved from his command on more than one occasion. Great as he was, he was not without weaknesses, but his failings are shown without excusing them. In fact, Patton's weaknesses were the reason Eisenhower opted to advance General Omar Bradley ahead of Patton, although Patton was always his first choice when a brash military leader on the field was needed for a particularly bold mission. Despite his weaknesses, Patton was truly inspirational to those who served beneath him and the importance of his contribution to the Allied success is undeniable.
At times the story goes beyond the man, with a broader focus on the war effort. First Patton and Montgomery vie for success against Rommel in Sicily, and then again in Europe. But the war scenes are always on a large scale, with wide angle shots of explosions, tanks and masses of infantry, rather than individual experiences of horror. In the end, it is not the world war that is center stage, but the complex character of the man Patton, and the war between his passions. George C. Scott's performance as Patton is brilliant and one of the memorable performances in cinema. It's not surprising that the movie went on to win seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It has that epic "Lawrence of Arabia" feel, and it serves of a lasting testament to the confusing personality of a strange yet important military leader: Patton himself. -GODLY GADFLY
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2005
Format: DVD
The version of the movie on VHS and on DVD differs from the theatre release in an important respect: the one complete battle scene shown (in north Africa). The version of the battle in the original movie was designed to show Patton's skill as a field commander, and it illustrated perfectly the tactic which Patton called, "Hold him by the nose and kick him in the butt." This tactic was actually invented by Themistocles in the battle of Salamis in the second Greek war against the Persians. It involves faking a frontal assault, then faking a rapid retreat to lure to enemy into a careless attack, then launching a surprise attack on the enemy from the side. Each step of this tactic was illustrated in the movie: Patton's tanks attacked, then stopped and rapidly pulled back. Seeing that, the Germans rushed forward full speed, not seeing Bradley laying behind a bank on the side. Bradley then attacked. Patton's tanks stopped and rushed forward again in attack. The Germans were being hit from two sides, an untenable position. They were severely damaged and those that remained retreated.

Obviously, some later film editor was afraid the public would regard it as cowardice for the American tanks to stop and pull back as though running away. This editor completely butchered the battle scene until all you have is a mishmash of explosions, cannons firing, etc.

It is too bad that filmmakers and editors think the American public is so stupid that they won't be able to follow the logic of this classic battle tactic. As far as I know, at the time the film was released, no one mistook the import of this scene.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2003
Format: DVD
"Patton" remains one of the most ambitious WWII films ever mounted. The film's grand battles and outstanding visual effects are complimented by George C. Scott's performance as George Patton, who gave us all a taste of what it's like to lust for war. The DVD features a fine digital transfer of the film (the dialogue is overshadowed by sound effects at times, and this is the only reason I don't give it a full five stars), complete with an intermission brake, as well as theatrical trailers for this film, the epic D-Day film "The Longest Day," and the ill-conceived "Tora! Tora! Tora!" The DVD also features a commentary track by a Patton historian! I recommend this DVD to all those who love war films.
Movie Grade: A+ (5 Stars)
DVD Grade: A- (4 Stars).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Patton is undoubtedly one of the greatest biography films ever made. The screenplay is flawless, and George C. Scott gives one of the most impressive performances I have ever seen. Karl Malden also did a terrific job as Omar Bradley. I cannot say that this is a war movie at all. It is really a movie about a warrior. Never is the reality of war depicted, it is given to you through Patton's eyes. I would highly recommend everyone to see it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2006
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Yes, an outstanding movie, but there are apparently some bad transfers in this edition. On an HD 50" widescreen the images were slightly grainy & not sharp. As originally presented in 70 mm Patton had outstanding visual clarity completely absent from the dvd I purchased from Amazon. Other dvd's in my collection played on the same equipment have markedly superior picture quality.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2014
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
In this case, the added features tell a story almost as interesting as the main character of the film biopic. The problem faced by the people backing the movie Patton, was how to retain the legitimate, military hero that was General Patton while appealing to a Viet Nam era anti-war America.

Many of the people most closely tied to the book and film script had firsthand knowledge of the contributions General Patton made to the swift collapse of German defenders in the months between the Normandy Invasion and the Battle of the Bulge. The historic success of Patton's leadership sped the end of the Nazi fantasy that their Ardennes counter offensive would result in a German victory. These were truths worthy of a dramatic movie to honor a man of honor.

However the market in which this movie would compete was one that had tired of conventional WWII movies and leery of patriotic clichés and puffed up be-medaled egotists.

The resulting movie was one promoted Gen George Patton as a man with two sides. One, a writer of poetry, believer in reincarnation, utilizing acting and bluffing to beat the system ... Two, a super patriot, fearless in his defiance of all of America's enemies, including temporary allies (the Soviets) and willing to drive his men at any expense to achieve victory.

Most people comment on the opening speech as one of the most iconic scenes in Hollywood history. This is a market decision and therefore not to be refuted. Even Actor George Scott, felt that this opening would set too high of a standard from his total role to succeed. For myself one of the most important quotes, and most of the Patton's dialogue has historic roots, to General Bradly is more telling of the real General's attitude about war.

Bradley confronts Patton over his egotistical need to beat General Montgomery in the invasion of Sicily. Patton's reply is to ask Bradly to consider how many additional Americana might have died if they had not been pushed to achieve faster results. Part of Patton's warrior genius was in understanding that war can be wasteful of human unless fought in the manner most likely to force the enemy to surrender at a minimal cost to your own.

Of the side to Patton not important to this movie, I mention the importance of his letters to his wife. In many of these we become aware of the real human. The letters make plan his prejudices, many unsupportable, and his humanity. A more nuanced and less bombastic movie would still prove that this was an American worthy of our respect.

Also left out of the movie are one minor action by Patton to recover Allied prisoners including one of his in laws which failed in tragic proportions (this action is discussed in the movie extra features). Patton's involvement in the Huertgen Forest Campaign, where he was not in overall command, but neither his role nor the ultimate success of the action reflected the movie's sense of an unstoppable Patton. There are also more than a few opinions of Patton's role in and failure to appreciate the problem of the Siegfried Line. My point is that Hollywood had its story to sell and history its own debates.

The movie Patton succeeds in staring its two sides of the historic General Patton. The included features add a lot to your appreciation of the living person. Overall Patton is a worthy night of entertainment. It set a much higher standard for war time biopics and is a great addition to the library of those seeking a chest thumping, America the Mighty experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
It's to the much-deserved credit of the underrated George C. Scott--simply brilliant here--and director Franklin Schaffner that the celebrated general of "Patton's" title comes across more the tragic hero and less the right-wing nutjob, especially considering that the film debuted in 1970. "Patton" is worth a look for that bit of storytelling finesse alone, but the film offers much more, effectively examining both the highs and lows of the headstrong general's World War II days. Though it lacks the poetic grandeur of epics like "Lawrence of Arabia" or "How the West Was Won," "Patton" nonetheless operates on a big scale, and Scott's larger-than-life portrayal is never obscured by the production's legions of soldiers or frequent changes of scenery. The script, co-written by Francis Ford Coppola, stays focused on the professional aspects of Patton's life--his devotion to duty, command, and career--and wisely avoids bogging down with diversions into romance or family life. Some might find such an approach imbalanced, but most viewers will likely enjoy the "purity" of what is, for lack of a better term, a satisfying "guy's story." Look for Karl Malden in a great supporting role as Omar Bradley, and enjoy Jerry Goldsmith's bombastic score, rivaled only by John Williams' Indiana Jones overtures. Still, "Patton" is not without faults. Military buffs may bemoan some technical inaccuracies, such as using tanks that don't fit the historical period; at times, the characterizations devolve into caricature, especially that of British General Montgomery; and some of Patton's borderline psychotic behavior--his various rages and obsessions with dreams and reincarnation--seem too easily dismissed as colorful idiosyncracies. The DVD itself is rather bare for a film that received many Oscars, perhaps the biggest flaw of all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This was indescribeable!!!It had action, laughs, and the screenplay was done by FRANCIS FORD COPPELA!!!THE MASTER!! THIS film is in my top ten list along with When Trumpets Fade,Saving Private Ryan,The Longest Day, Battle of the Bulge,and Platoon!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2003
Format: DVD
First, it's long.
But I didn't realize that until the "intermission" came across the screen.
Second, it has so many great lines that Patton used in his life, that you could be a veritable source of military aphorisms just by watching this movie (did I just write "plethora?").
I watched this immediately after finishing the even longer Band of Brothers series. It was interesting to see two views from the same side, especially of the Battle of the Bulge. It also goes to show how much technology has come. Many of the scenes in Patton are pretty cheesy. The battle scenes are distant as to show the entire battle, but have no focus. The Battle of Kasserine Pass in the movie is one such example where it looks like little toy electric tanks moving and every few seconds a soldier self-combusts. Additionally, the snow scenes in Patton during the Battle of the Bulge are extremely bad and a bit too fake.
But dang, its all about the acting, isn't it? That is exactly what makes this movie. That is why I give it a better rating, and am not even basing it off of visual effects, though they can be a bit distracting at times.
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