194 of 209 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
"Patton" offers one of the great marriages of actor and role with George C. Scott's riveting portrayal of the notorious American tank commander. As a film biography "Patton" forgoes the rise of the celebrated general and merely hints at his ironic death because of injuries suffered in a traffic accident, focuses entirely on his military career commanding troops in North Africa, Sicily and France during World War II. The strength of the script by Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund H. North, as well as of Scott's performance, is that the paradoxes of Patton are completely embraced. Not even Patton's loyal cadre of staff officers can keep him from shooting off his mouth every time there are reporters around, but then neither German Field Marshall Rommel or English Field Marshall Montgomery can beat him on the battlefield. Karl Malden's performance as General Omar Bradley is just as solid as Scott's, presenting a man whose personality is the complete antithesis of Patton. Viewers find themselves identifying with the German captain who is the intelligence expert on Patton and arguably the only person in the film who really understands or respects the American general. But the more I watch "Patton," the more I am very impressed with the battle sequences of director Franklin J. Schaffner ("Planet of the Apes," "Pappillon"), which were staged live and full-scale without special effects of miniatures. Schaffner provides not just the large spectacle of a desert tank battle, but smaller and equally memorable moments, such as a soldier falling dead in the snow. "Patton" deserved its Oscars.
In terms of extra features on this DVD, the second disc features the 1997 50-minute retrospective documentary, "The Making of Patton: A Tribute to Franklin J. Schaffner." Recent interviews with the cinematographer, composer, etc., are blended with audio interviews of Schaffner and Scott from 1970, newsreel footage of Patton, along with clips and publicity stills from the film make a fitting tribute to the late director. The audio commentary on the first disc is really more of a lecture on Patton by Charles M. Province, the author of the book "The Unknown Patton" and founder/president of the General George S. Patton, Jr. Historical Society. Province more than adequately fills in what the movie leaves out about Patton's life. On the second disc Jerry Goldsmith's Oscar nominated musical score is presented in stereo, including alternate takes and a series of radio spots. You certainly have to appreciate what Fox has put together here: This is a "Special Edition" DVD priced as a regular DVD, a real treat for those of us who remember being mesmerized by George C. Scott giving that profanity laced opening speech standing in front of that giant American flag.
466 of 510 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2011
Very first thing! There is only one version of Patton on Blu-Ray you should get if you want a proper transfer. Follow this link if you're not already on the correct product: Patton [Blu-ray]
If you're not sure you're linked on the correct one, it's the one with a full upper torso shot of Mr. Scott with the American flag hanging behind him. That's the remastered version. All versions with half his face off to the right with a gray/white background are the older, waxy transfer.
Second thing. To those who waited with me for the remaster, all I can say is WOW! It looks beautiful. Detail is strong and the image is once again alive. You can find comparison screen shots of the two version over at blu-ray.com. Their review of the remaster also explains their error in giving such high marks to the first blu-ray pressing of the film.
Only read on if you're either bored or don't fully know what the deal is with the two different versions.
Now that Amazon has combined all Patton reviews to be displayed on all versions of the film, I will sum up my original review of the 40th Anniversary Digi-Book Blu-Ray Edition to encompass a more, `in general' tone. To those wondering why so many people found my review helpful, it was because I researched and found important information about that particular release and felt a duty to inform all future Patton Blu-Ray purchasers that the 40th Anniversary, Digi-Book edition was in fact the same, horrible, DNR mess that had been available on Blu-Ray for a few years prior, just in new packaging. But the biggest reason for my review was that I knew (thanks to Bill Hunt at The Digital Bits) there was a properly re-mastered version being worked on and I felt a need to inform people so that if they wanted a good transfer, they would need to wait a bit. Now that my review is visible on all versions, I can see how it would frustrate people to read everything I had written, from the original review to all the updates on the progress of the re-master. So I shall summarize and make it more appropriately broad in an attempt to be more helpful to everyone.
Now, about the film. Patton is a classic among classics. This is perhaps one of George C. Scotts best performances of his career. And although the film has many inaccurate accounts for the sake of artistic liberties (what true story film doesn't?), all the way to the end with the `all time' ox cart dodge, the performances and cinematography are what make this movie a timeless classic. Yes, it is slow. At least for today's ADD, plot line spoon fed, 3D with no actual depth loving audiences. But to those who prefer story to gimmicks, I would call it "paced", and not slow. This is a dialog heavy film. Do not go into it thinking otherwise. And it is long. But not dull. George C Scott even won an Oscar for his performance and famously rejected it stating that he did not feel he was in competition with other actors and had this to say about the Academy Awards, "The whole thing is a goddamn meat parade. I don't want any part of it."... This film is almost like a very well directed, greatly acted, stage production. Accept the set pieces are amazing, real, and captured on a now rarely used 70mm film stock. So if you are interested in a summed up version of who General Patton was and his incredibly important role in winning WWII, than this would be the film to watch. So good in fact, that they've never attempted an actual remake of it...yet (studios, please don't).
On to the Blu-Ray issues mentioned above. If 50% of this movies awesomeness is the beautiful cinematography, than no one should be subject to a sub-par version of this film on the PQ front. What I want to do here is give everyone yet another heads up. At this time, the version linked above is the only version of Patton you should purchase on Blu-Ray. All others, the original release a few years back, the 40th Anniversary Digi-Book edition, and even the copy in the 4-Pack War Movie collection, should be avoided at all costs as they are all the same, awful, waxy looking transfer that was done when few people fully realized what Blu-Ray should be used for in the HD market.
In Blu-Ray's infancy, studios often tried to get rid of all film elements that made a movie look less "HD" by today's standards of things being shot digitally. I believe they felt that if there was any grain or softness to a film, it would make people think it was not an HD master and possibly make people not want to jump to Blu-Ray. The fact is, anything shot on film will have grain. It's one of the many elements that give film a life and character of it's own. And even though Patton was filmed on 70mm film, meaning a much finer grain structure than typical film stock, the studio decided to wipe all grain off of the image for the first pressing anyway (known as DNR, or Digital Noise Reduction). DNR is why we get a `waxy' appearance on faces and other objects on screen on some Blu-Ray discs. Much like a moving wax museum. Much of the detail is lost due to this process as well. I'm not sure why, but some people still like this. But to film purists who want a movie to look as it looked while in the theaters, this is unacceptable. Unless it's Pixar, people shouldn't look waxy. This is exactly what happened with the original pressing(s) of Patton on Blu-Ray.
Thankfully, not only have studios realized that Blu-Ray and an HD displays true role should be to accurately represent the original work as best as possible, but the complaints were heard about Patton as well and a re-master has been in the works for a few years now. It was released on November 6th of 2012. If you are looking for a version of Patton that is true to it's original intent and look, than that version is the only one you should get.
Yes, this may have gotten long. But trust me, not nearly as long as the original post, which I will be archiving in the comments section.
And once again, if you're purchasing Patton on Blu-Ray, be sure it's this version and this version only: Patton [Blu-ray]
P.S. I am leaving my stars low because the title my review is specifically linked to is the Digibook edition.
72 of 78 people found the following review helpful
When this movie was released, it was almost immediately recognized as one of the finest, most accurate and most sensational biographies ever filmed. The unique integration in "Patton" of such fine acting, such a wonderful script, and the filming itself combined to make this a gorgeous film to watch, be entertained with, and also learn from in terms of its historical value as an absolutely superb depiction of a most controversial man and his times. All that said, this is a movie best enjoyed with the kind of visual clarity, terrific cinematography, and matchlessTechnicolor it offers by way of DVD technology.
George C. Scott gives the performance of a lifetime as the ego-drive, brilliant, and iconoclastic Patton, marvel of the U.S Army, a man the Germans are convinced is far and away the single best General the Allies have, and they watch him convinced he is the only logical centerpiece for American plans for the impending invasion of Europe. Of course, they didn't understand the politics of the day, or the degree to which Patton was his own worst enemy. Yet the progress of the story on the screen convinces the viewer of the accuracy of the German command's judgments of him; he is at once bold, brilliant, and innovative, willing to improvise as he goes along to seize the opportunity of a given moment, attempting to grab hold of the ever-present chaos of the situation to transform it into an asset he can employ to gain advantage and win the engagement.
Such men as Patton (and MacArthur and others) are uniquely suited for war; they do not ordinarily fare well or survive with much public acclaim during less extreme and bloodcurdling times. The fact that Eisenhower, for example, succeeded so well as President is probably due more to the fact that he was less a battlefield commander and leader of "desperate men in combat" like Patton than he was a superb organizer and a natural politician. The movie "Patton" is an investment in both great entertainment and a colorful, dramatic, and educational video you can share with your sons and daughters to help them understand better the chaos, contradictions, and cruelties of war. Enjoy!
54 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2006
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
The Fox "Cinema Classic Collection" edition of PATTON offers a far superior picture transfer than the previous THX edition. The new image looks to be from actual 65mm elements and is far less grainy than the old transfer, which looks to have been from 35mm dupes. However, sometimes colors are a little unstable in new image, with often pinkish hues and reddish flesh tones, but most of the time the picture looks fine. The soundtrack seems the same as the old edition, which was just fine. All of the extras from the previous edition have been retained, and the new commentary by screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola is interesting.
91 of 113 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2007
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I have always loved the movie "Patton". It is a true classic and a treasure in cinema. I give 3 stars to this special edition because of the following reasons. I cannot understand why 20th Century Fox chose to add the Documentary "Ghost Corp" which seems to want to imply that Patton abandoned the XX Corp and particularly the 94th Infantry deliberately with no reason. Horrible incidences happen in war, this one happened because Patton was on his way north to fight a little annoyance called THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE!, also he was going to rescue the 101st Airborne surrounded by German Forces at Bastogne from being ANNIHILATED!. In the documentary "The making of Patton" there is a clip from Oliver Stone stating that the movie "Patton" was responsible for Nixon invading and bombing Cambodia, which, according to Oliver Stone, forced the Khmer Rouge to kill millions of Cambodians. He states that only two movies he knows of ever influenced history; "Patton" and of course his movie "JFK". Naturally his (Oliver Stone)'s movie was in a good way. "Patton" just caused destruction and death. My view of this is that 20th Century Fox wanted to be politically correct and shield itself from anyone anywhere at anytime thinking that they would glorify war. I have never ever heard of a single person thinking seriously that the movie "Patton" glorified war. Whoever thought that at Fox is an idiot and obviously does not think much of the audiences' intelligence that watched "Patton". Oliver Stone is simply pitiful. He wishes that he could make a movie that would live in people's hearts like "Patton" does. He will never touch that greatness, his films will never obtain that level of affection in people's hearts. People don't love "Patton" because it is a war picture. We love it because it is great, it resonates in our hearts and it gave us an image of a complex man and the great men around him who sacrificed, bled, and accomplished heroic deeds. It is positive and gives us hope, unlike the depressing, hopeless, and disposable garbage that Oliver Stone puts out.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2000
Format: VHS TapeVerified Purchase
"Patton" is one of the best and most honored war films of all time. (8 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, 1970.) I first saw this magnificent movie in the summer of 1970, and have since then viewed it countless numbers of time on videocassette. It remains to this day one of my one of my all-time favorite films of any genre! It faithfully tells the story of General George S. Patton, one of the most colorful and controversial military leaders in American history. Patton is imbued with superb acting, an excellent screenplay, reasonably good historical accuracy, and some of the most authentic and stirring battle scenes I've ever seen in a movie.
Based upon General of the Army Omar N. Bradley's memoirs "A Soldier's Story," and the book "Patton: Ordeal and Triumph" by Ladislas Farago, this film chronicles Patton's military career from early 1943, when he assumed command of the U.S. Army II Corps, to his relief from command of the Third Army in late 1945. Many of the most important events in Patton's checkered career are covered in some detail: his resurrection of II Corps after its disastrous defeat by the Germans at Kasserine Pass in the North African desert; II Corps' subsequent victory, under his leadership, over units of Rommel's Afrika Corps at El Qatar; Patton's command of the U.S. Seventh Army during the Sicily campaign, and his slapping of an army private suffering from battle fatigue; his relief from command, and his attempts to extricate himself from possibly being sent home in disgrace; and, his leadership of the Third Army, where he led the Allied drive across France and into Germany in one of the most successful campaigns in U.S. military history.
Patton's penchant for "putting his foot in his mouth" proved his ultimate undoing. As World War II ended, and the victorious allies began to reward their successful generals with promotions and honors, Patton was relieved - yet again - from a military command for his ill advised remarks, and for his failure to adhere to U.S. government de-Nazification policies.
The acting in Patton is superb throughout. George C. Scott certainly deserved the Best Actor Academy Award he won (but refused) for his portrayal of Patton. He dominates nearly every scene with his brilliant portrayal of "Old Blood and Guts." Scott's "Patton" is a man of masks. For example, in the opening scenes, we see Patton the stone-faced, profane, passionate warrior, a man bent on intimidating nearly everyone around him to his implacable will for victory. During his exile from command, Patton dons the mask of contrite penitent; and during his drive through France, Patton becomes a buddy to the common soldiers who made up Third Army.
Karl Malden portrays General Omar Bradley, and gives probably his best performance of any film in which I've seen him. He imbues Bradley's character with the great intellectual ability, down-to-earth "common soldier" demeanor, and no-nonsense approach in dealing with Patton (both as subordinate and superior) for which Bradley is noted by historians. Other performances of note include: Michael Bates as the vain, priggish Montgomery; Paul Stevens as Patton's sycophantic aide Charles Codman; and Edward Binns as the gruff, testy General Walter Bedell Smith.
Because of the gorgeous photography throughout the film, I highly recommend viewing Patton in widescreen format. The difference between widescreen and TV formatting, either on DVD or VHS, is astounding.
Patton is a movie which will hold the viewer spellbound start to finish, mainly due to the dramatic intensity of Scott's and Malden's performances, and the realistic battle scenes. This outstanding film is one to be savored by anyone who loves a sumptuously produced and well acted war movie.
51 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2008
I have to agree with the very few that have called Fox on its despicable job with the picture quality on Patton.
I give the film four stars (in case you were thinking i'm just being mean and unhelpful) and the Blu-ray one. In case you didn't red those others (and there should be MANY more critical reviews of this movie's quality), here it is in a nutshell.
You've been duped.
Oh no it isn't great picture quality. The remaster is AWFUL.
Have you heard of DNR, or Digital Noise Reduction? Film has grain. 70mm film has less noticeable grain due to its large negative size. The thing is, picture detail cannot be separated from the grain and the chemical reaction when the film is exposed.
Because people want to see things looking 'clear' and 'high-def' like HD video and digitally originated cg/3d movies, the studios are 'scrubbing' the pictures electronically to get rid of the grain. They also use a technique called 'edge enhancement' to artificially sharpen the picture by increasing areas of high contrast like edges. So what you get is a halo effect around the edges, and/or LOSS of fine details because when you erase the grain, you erase the high-frequency detail. Detail on chemical film is inseparable. Look at Karl Malden - where are the pores of his skin? HD, and certainly the original 70mm film, is capable of showing this. Now go and look at Patton again. Just atrocious. You've been robbed and don't even know it. Compare it to another 'war' movie, Blackhawk down. THAT's detail and picture quality. Yes Patton is older, but it was shot on 70mm and there should be plenty of detail so you can actually compare the two differently aged films.
Look at Jennifer Connelly's face in Hulk where you can see pores and fine hair, peachfuzz and so on. Then look at something like the Dark City BD, where it's been erased (even though she's younger there!). In Sweeney Todd, the worst thing is they only applied the DNR around the nose and cheeks/under the eyes. See how 'blurred' it looks! They didn't even put grain back over the top to match the rest of the picture - and the most ridiculous thing of all is that in Sweeney Todd Depp and Carter are SUPPOSED to look drawn and tired and lined! It's just ludicrous! And they DON'T do it to other characters! Look at Depp's face in the Pirates movies. THAT'S what you should be seeing, colour grading and tone aside.
I won't even start on how many filmmakers use coarser grain to make the tone/film literally more 'gritty'. On purpose.
DNR is the devil, to be melodramatic about it. I'm not buying Patton on BD until they 'fess up and 'unfix' the thing. HD and Blu-ray are supposed to let you see a film as ACCURATELY to the original as possible. Not this rubbish.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2001
George C. Scott is Gen. George S. Patton Jr. To many Americans, he has become the famous general. Never has an actor been cast better than this. I am a big fan of Gen. Patton and I have read many books about his life. This movie is a great portrayal of his life. However, it is important to know that the consultant for this movie was Gen Omar Bradley who had no love for Patton.
The opening speech of the film is, in my opinion, the greatest few minutes in movie history. It's funny to note that as colorful as the language is in the opening speech, the director had to tone it down from Patton's original speech. From this opening scene until the wonderful closing scene at the windmills this movie is perfect in every way. The battle scenes are very good even if you consider that they were done in the 1970's, years prior to the computer generated special effects of today.
This movie won 7 Acadamy Awards including best picture and best actor for George C. Scott. The soundtrack for this movie is also fantastic and will run through your head for some time after watching the movie. Have I said that this movie is the greatest ever? I can't say it enough and I hope everyone takes the 3 hours needed and savors this movie.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 1999
World War II produced a long array of military stars, i.e. MacArthur, Eisenhower, Bradley, Clark, Nimitz, Montgomery, Rommel, etc. But for sheer animal magnetism and bravado, none could overshadow Gen. George Patton.
What endeared Gen. Patton to his troops was his willingless to expose himself to the line of enemy fire, unlike other "office generals". That he pushed his troops almost beyond the limit of human endurance is without question. But that could be excused by his belief that aggressiveness in the battlefield saves more human lives in the long run and hastens the end of the war.
George Scott's portrayal of Gen. Patton was of monumental proportion, it was an actor in his element. From the general's gentle side and diplomatic tact when he was in his best behavior to his thunderous, manic explosion when he was at the height of his fury, Scott got it all! No one could have done a better job portraying the unpredictable, egoistical, brilliant general.
The realistic recreation of battle scenes and the accurate depiction of war characters, like Gen. Omar Bradley and others, make this film a must for historians and history buffs alike, and put this film in the list of best war movies ever made.
The only irony of it all is, Gen. George Patton, a true warrior in the tradition of the samurai, had to die in a "non-warrior" way - - - a paralyzed and pitiful figure in a hospital after a car accident when the war was practically over.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
There are a plethora of reviews of the movie, but my review is mostly a comparison of the BD vs DVD version. I won't discuss its merits as movie.
I saw Patton as a child in a theatrical release. But since, I've seen it also on VHS tape, 2 DVD versions and finally BD, as different releases were made.
This movie is stellar in BD. It is closer to what I recall as a child in terms of detail available on a large CinemaScope style screen. The sound does not have 5.1 imaging, but its clear and crisp, with dynamic range to make the explosions boom into your living room, while still hearing the dialog among the characters. You'll hear more instruments in the musical soundtrack that are muffled by the lower resolution DVD and VHS sound tracks.
The quality of the transfer is so good, it compares favorably against the just released Star Trek 2009. Patton looks like it was filmed just yesterday.
Having seen several versions it was amazing to see details I've never seen before.
In the opening address of the troops against the American flag, you can see Patton sweat big beads under his neck as his speech progresses. The weave pattern on unit insignias are detailed on uniforms, the amputated limbs among dead soldiers in the opening post battle scene after Kasserine are more ghastly, appreciate the texture of desert sand and its transitions to land as it becomes mixed with gravel, appreciate different types of plants and cacti on the grounds, see a supposed "dead" body flinch as scorpions crawl on his skin, or read the details on prop newspapers read by Montgomery about Patton in Palermo.
In the scene were Patton meets his his new aide after Jensen is killed, you can make out the building's all wood interiors, including lacquer on doors, 1940 era electric light switches with external wiring snaking on the walls, see the notes on the sheet music during the wine-dine session as Patton plans the attack on Sicily, appreciate different clothing materials on all the characters such as woven cotton belts, leather in holsters, cotton ammo cases and bandoleers, to the rust on the toilet seat bowls in the lavatory as Monty plans his Sicily attack.
Its more anachronistic to see 1960s era tanks substitute for 1940 era models, if you know the WWII period technology well. The jeeps used are the larger 1950s version versus the smaller, and lithe 1940s jeep. The vehicle paint strokes and uneven metal forging are so real I felt I was at the Aberdeen tank museum in Maryland, than seeing a movie. In the scene where a US column is blocked by a cart pulled by stubborn mules, you can easily make out paint over rust in the vehicle Patton is on just before shooting the mules.
The movie also comes with a DVD extras disk that contains the same material as the extras disk in the 2 disk DVD edition.