AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Patton
Director: Franklin J. Schaffner (Dir)
Release Date:   1970
Duration (in mins):  170
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Cast: George C. Scott  (Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.)
  Karl Malden  (Gen. Omar N. Bradley)
  Michael Bates  (Field Marshall Sir Bernard Law Montgomery)
 

Summary: In 1943, after German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps has severely defeated American tank units in the Kasserine Pass, Tunisia, Gen. George S. Patton is sent to spearhead the U. S. sector of the North African campaign. His dramatic flair for leadership revitalizes the tank corps; an avid student of military history, he indulges his mystical belief in reincarnation and envisions the succession of great warriors and battles that have preceded him. Aided by his deputy commander, Gen. Omar N. Bradley, Patton scores a decisive victory over Rommel at El Guettar, which eventually leads to the German expulsion from North Africa. His next assignment is to lead the 7th Army into Sicily by taking Palermo, but instead he is ordered to protect the flank of his chief rival, British Field Marshal Montgomery, while Montgomery leads the attack. On his own initiative, Patton pushes forward and takes Messina, the island's main port and primary objective of the campaign, thereby intensifying his feud with Montgomery. Shortly thereafter, Patton visits a field hospital where, in a fit of rage, he slaps a weeping, battle-fatigued soldier; his action causes Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower to demand the general's public apology and to eventually relieve Patton of his command. In spite of his probation, Patton's worth as a decoy during a tour of the Mediterranean is acknowledged, and he eventually assumes leadership of the 3rd Army under the command of Bradley. He forces his men through an impasse at Normandy and comes to a dramatic rescue of the beleaguered 101st Airborne under siege at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. Patton pushes his troops all the way to Czechoslovakia where, with total victory imminent, he is ordered to allow Montgomery and the Russian troops to rout the already disorganized German army. At the war's end, Patton cannot refrain from insulting America's current ally, Russia; unable to make the transition to peacetime, he is removed from command and bids a sad farewell to his staff. 

Production Company: Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Director: Franklin J. Schaffner (Dir)
  Michael Moore (2nd unit dir)
  Eli Dunn (Asst dir)
  José López Rodero (Asst dir)
Producer: Frank McCarthy (Prod)
  Frank Caffey (Assoc prod)
Writer: Francis Ford Coppola (Scr)
  Edmund H. North (Scr--screen story)

Subject Major: Ambition
  Bastogne (Belgium)
  Battle fatigue
  General Omar Bradley
  Bulge, Battle of the, 1944-1945
  Combat
  Czechoslovakia
  Dwight D. Eisenhower
  El Guettar (Tunisia)
  Great Britain. Army
  Hospitals
  Alfred Jodl
  Kasserine Pass (Tunisia)
  Messina
  Military life
  Bernard Law Montgomery
  Normandy (France)
  Africa, North
  Palermo
  General George Patton, III
  Reincarnation
  General Erwin Rommel
  Sicily
  Tanks (Military science)
  Russia. Army
  United States. Army
  United States. Army Air Corps--101st Airborne Division
  United States Army--General Staff
  World War II

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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