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Oscars Challenge #81: Patton (1970) Movie Review

Remember that scene in one of the Jackass movies where the guys stood up and gave a speech, and behind them was a prominent American Flag? I never knew where it came from, even though I knew they did many parodies until I watched Patton.

Patton is an essential historical biographical film about the renowned U.S. General George S. Patton. Winning a year after the controversial X-Rated film Midnight Cowboy, the Academy seems to return to its roots.

Plot Overview

The movie begins with a couple of minutes of a monologue by George S. Patton, who talks to American troops about the significance of the victory and becoming a role model to other citizens.

The scene shifts toward his first encounter with German Troops in Africa, which ended up in an overwhelming defeat against General Erwin Rommel. Patton highly regards him because of his high-effective tactics to outwit his enemies and becomes his rival. He was reinstated as the new leader and began enforcing a routine around strict discipline and attitude towards his men. General Montgomery undermines the American troops to take the glory for himself. Patton became a regarded figure when he defeated the Germans in the Battle of El Guettar.

General Patton gets his inspiration from Roman Wars for his battle tactics which are uncanny but compelling. However, his strict attitude makes him unpopular to his superiors and other men.


I do not know if the real George S. Patton is similar to the actor who played him, George C. Scott, but he did a great job acting him. I remember his performance in Dr. Strangelove, and his role there and in this movie is almost the same, only funnier. He is like Peter O'Toole from Lawrence of Arabia, wherein the character and the actor become one.

I believe Patton is built upon telling the history of the man significant during the later stages of World War II. It doesn't sugarcoat the man and removes his flaws but tells it more suitably.

What I find not appealing about this movie is that it is almost three hours long. It is sometimes hard to watch biographical stories that are too long, especially if the pacing is relatively slow.

I greatly respect the movie and think it is essential if you want to learn more about the history and the person behind one of the most influential figures in World War II in the European Theater.

A good 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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