24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
"death and the general, arm in arm",
This review is from: The Last Days of Patton (DVD)
Anyone wanting to see "Patton" Part II in this film will be very disappointed; the films are different in pacing, outlook, and genre, and it is to George C. Scott's credit that he could portray both parts with equal skill, and perhaps this one was the hardest, to keep our interest (and I found it to be a fascinating film) while lying paralyzed in bed.
In the 1970 "Patton", the general was in his prime and at his best, with a sense of purpose...once the war was won, his reason for living came to an end, and he could not handle the political aspects of "winning the peace", with the constant pressure of having to present the "politically correct" stance towards the media; in many ways this is a timely film to watch, as the reconstruction phase of Germany was similar to present day Iraq, with chaos and some of the former regime clinging on to remnants of power, and a media bent on finding fault with the process.
After a tragic car accident, in which General Patton was paralyzed from the neck down, it was a matter of waiting out the final hours. The script by William Luce is poignant and often poetic, and the acting by the entire cast excellent. The two women in his life are played with sensitivity, his wife by Eva Marie Saint, and mistress by Kathryn Leigh Scott. Many scenes are recalled from his youth in flashback (Ron Berglas plays the young Lt. Patton), some of it quite touching.
Others of note in the cast are Murray Hamilton as his good friend Gen. "Hap" Gay, Ed Lauter as Dr. Lt. Col. Paul Hill, and Richard Dysart as Gen. Eisenhower.
Filmed on location in England (the countryside shots are lovely), and directed for television by Delbert Mann, this is a serious film on a serious subject, and one many of us have been faced with, whether with an ailing parent, or the eventuality of our own passing. General Patton confronted his destiny with courage, and the love of a patient, strong woman, and said "dying has always intrigued me...I'm not afraid, only curious".
This is way above average TV fare, with a brilliant performance by Scott, and total running time is 146 minutes.