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Patton (film)

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Title: Patton (film)  
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Subject: 43rd Academy Awards, Jerry Goldsmith, Francis Ford Coppola, List of actors who have appeared in multiple Best Picture Academy Award winners, Franklin J. Schaffner
Collection: 1970 Films, 1970S Biographical Films, 1970S Drama Films, 1970S War Films, 20Th Century Fox Films, American Biographical Films, American Drama Films, American Epic Films, American Films, American War Films, Best Picture Academy Award Winners, Biographical Films About Military Leaders, English-Language Films, Film Scores by Jerry Goldsmith, Films About Armoured Warfare, Films Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, Films Featuring a Best Actor Academy Award Winning Performance, Films Featuring a Best Drama Actor Golden Globe Winning Performance, Films Set in Belgium, Films Set in France, Films Set in Germany, Films Set in Morocco, Films Set in Sicily, Films Set in the 1940S, Films Set in Tunisia, Films Shot in Algeria, Films Shot in Spain, Films That Won the Best Sound Mixing Academy Award, Films Whose Art Director Won the Best Art Direction Academy Award, Films Whose Director Won the Best Director Academy Award, Films Whose Editor Won the Best Film Editing Academy Award, Films Whose Writer Won the Best Original Screenplay Academy Award, George S. Patton, North African Campaign Films, Screenplays by Francis Ford Coppola, United States National Film Registry Films, War Epic Films, World War II Films, World War II Films Based on Actual Events
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Patton (film)

film poster
Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner
Produced by Frank McCarthy
Screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola
Edmund H. North
Based on

Patton: Ordeal and Triumph 
by Ladislas Farago

A Soldier's Story 
by Omar Bradley
Starring George C. Scott
Karl Malden
Michael Bates
Karl Michael Vogler
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Cinematography Fred J. Koenekamp
Edited by Hugh S. Fowler
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • April 2, 1970 (1970-04-02)
Running time
170 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $12.6 million[1]
Box office $61.8 million (United States)[2]

Patton is a 1970 American Karl Malden, Michael Bates and Karl Michael Vogler. It was directed by Franklin J. Schaffner from a script by Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund H. North, who based their screenplay on the biography Patton: Ordeal and Triumph by Ladislas Farago and Omar Bradley's memoir A Soldier's Story. The film was shot in 65mm Dimension 150 by cinematographer Fred J. Koenekamp and has a music score by Jerry Goldsmith.

Patton won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture.


External links

  • In 2005, Patton's wife's "Button Box" manuscript was finally released by his family, with the posthumous release of Ruth Ellen Patton Totten's book, The Button Box: A Daughter's Loving Memoir of Mrs. George S. Patton.Taylor, John M.; Taylor, Priscilla S. (July 23, 2005). "Gen. Patton's wife, a New York citizen". The Washington Times. 
  • Suid, Lawrence H. (2002). Guts & Glory: The Making of the American Military Image in Film. University Press of Kentucky. pp. 260–278. , and Other Heroes". The Green Berets and of public and critical response to the film; the discussion occupies most of the chapter, "13. John Wayne, Patton Suid's book contains an extended discussion of the production of  

Further reading

  1. ^ Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p256
  2. ^ "Patton, Box Office Information".  
  3. ^ Rabin, Nathan (May 24, 2006). "Patton". AV Club. Retrieved 2007-01-07. 
  4. ^ Cornwell, Rupert (2002-07-10). "Rod Steiger, 'brooding and volatile' Hollywood tough guy for more than 50 years, dies aged 77".  
  5. ^ Travers, Steven (2014). The Duke, the Longhorns, and Chairman Mao: John Wayne's Political Odyssey. Taylor Trade Publishing.  
  6. ^ D'Este, Carlo (1995). Patton: A Genius For War. New York: HarperCollins. pp. 466–467.  
  7. ^ D'Este, Carlo (2002). Eisenhower: A Soldier's Life. New York: Henry Holt & Co. pp. 403–404. 
  8. ^ a b c d Marshall, S.L.A. (March 21, 1970). "Great Georgie Redone". The Charleston Gazette 4: 4. 
  9. ^ ≠°Travers, Steven. The Duke, the Longhorns, and Chairman Mao: John Wayne's Political Odyssey."
  10. ^ Mitchell, George J. (1975). "The Photography of Patton". After the Battle (7): 38–43. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Fireball Forward - Rotten Tomatoes". Flixster, Inc. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  13. ^ a b Clemmensen, Christian. Patton soundtrack review at Retrieved 2011-04-22.
  14. ^ AFI's 100 Years Of Film Scores from the American Film Institute. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
  15. ^ "Patton".  
  16. ^ Maxwell, Barrie (November 8, 2012). "Patton (Remastered)". The Digital Bits. 
  17. ^ Roger Ebert (March 17, 2002). "Patton (1970)". Retrieved December 1, 2009. 
  18. ^ "#1: Patton". 
  19. ^ James Berardinelli. "Patton". Retrieved December 1, 2009. 
  20. ^ "Patton". Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  21. ^ Entertainment Weekly
  22. ^ "The 43rd Academy Awards (1971) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2011-08-27. 
  23. ^ "NY Times: Patton". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-28. 


See also

A made-for-television sequel, The Last Days of Patton, was produced in 1986. Scott reprised his title role. The film was based on Patton's final weeks after being mortally injured in a car accident, with flashbacks of Patton's life.


American Film Institute Lists

In 2006, the Writers Guild of America selected Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund North's adapted screenplay as the 94th best screenplay of all time.

It was nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects and Best Music, Original Score.[23]

The film won six additional Virginia Military Institute, courtesy of Frank McCarthy.

Scott's performance won him an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1971. He famously refused to accept it, citing a dislike of the voting and even the actual concept of acting competitions.[21] He was the first actor to do so.


Review aggregate website [20]

According to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's book The Final Days, it was also Richard Nixon's favorite film. He screened it several times at the White House and during a cruise on the Presidential yacht. Before the 1972 Nixon visit to China, then Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai specially watched this film in preparation for his meeting with Nixon.

[17] Online film critic James Berardinelli has called Patton his favorite film of all time[18] and " this day one of Hollywood's most compelling biographical war pictures."[19]

Critical response


The film made its Region A (locked) Blu-ray debut in 2008 to much criticism for its excessive use of digital noise reduction on the picture quality. In 2012, a remaster was released with much improved picture quality.[16] In June 2013 Fox UK released the film on Region B Blu-ray, but reverted to the 2008 transfer.

Patton was first released on DVD in 1999 featuring a partial audio commentary by a Patton historian. Then again in 2006 with a commentary by screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola and extra bonus features.

Home media

Patton was first telecast by ABC-TV as a three hours-plus color film special in the fall of 1972, only two years after its theatrical release. This was highly unusual at the time, especially for a roadshow theatrical release which had played in theatres for many months. Most theatrical films at that time had to wait at least five years for their first telecast. Another unusual element of the telecast was that very, very little of Patton's profanity-laced dialogue was cut (only two sentences, one of which contained no profanity, were cut from the famous opening speech in front of the giant U.S. flag).

First telecast


Disc Two
Disc One

2010 Intrada Records Album

[15][13] in 2010.Intrada Records in 1999, and a two-disc extended version through Film Score Monthly The original soundtrack has been released three times on disc and once on LP; through Twentieth-Century Fox Records in 1970; through Tsunami Records in 1992, through [14].top twenty-five American film scores's 250 nominees for the American Film Institute and was one of the Best Original Score nomination for Academy Award subsequently earned Goldsmith an Patton The music to [13] was composed and conducted by the prolific composer Patton The critically acclaimed score for


A sizeable amount of battle scene footage was left out of the final cut of Patton, but a use was soon found for it. Outtakes from Patton were used to provide battle-scenes in the made-for-TV film Fireball Forward which was first broadcast in 1972. The film was produced by Patton producer Frank McCarthy and Edmund North wrote the screenplay. One of the cast-members of Patton — Morgan Paull — appeared in this production alongside Eddie Albert, Ben Gazzara and Ricardo Montalban. The plot featured a general taking command of a U.S. infantry division with a high casualty rate, a reputation as a hard-luck outfit and a suspected traitor hiding in its midst.[12]

Use of footage

It has been noted that in the scene where Patton arrives to establish his North African command, a supposedly "Arab" woman is selling "pollos y gallinas" (chickens and hens) in Spanish, which is not normally spoken by local people in Tunisia (though it is in the north of Morocco, Spanish Protectorate from 1912 to 1956).

Most of the film was shot in Spain. One scene, which depicts Patton driving up to an ancient city that is implied to be Carthage, was shot in the ancient Roman city of Volubilis, located in Morocco. The early scene, wherein Patton and Muhammed V are reviewing Moroccan troops including the Goumiers, was shot at the Royal Palace in Rabat. One unannounced battle scene was shot the night before, which raised fears in the Royal Palace neighborhood of a coup d'état. One paratrooper was electrocuted in power lines, but none of this battle footage appears in the film. Also a scene at the dedication of the welcome center in Knutsford in Cheshire, England, was filmed at the actual site. The scenes set in Africa and Sicily were shot in the south of Spain (Almeria ), while the winter scenes in Belgium were shot near Segovia (to which the production crew rushed when they were informed that snow had fallen).[11]


All the medals and decorations shown on Patton's uniform in the monologue are authentic replicas of those actually awarded to Patton. However, the general never wore all of them in public and was in any case not a four-star general at the time he made the famous speeches on which the opening is based. He wore them all on only one occasion, in his backyard in Virginia at the request of his wife, who wanted a picture of him with all his medals. The producers used a copy of this photo to help recreate this "look" for the opening scene.

When Scott learned that the speech would open the film, he refused to do it, as he believed that it would overshadow the rest of his performance. Director Franklin J. Schaffner assured him that it would be shown at the end. The scene was shot in one afternoon at Sevilla Studios in Madrid, with the flag having been painted on the back of the stage wall.[10]

The film opens with Scott's rendering of Patton's speech to the Third Army, set against a huge American flag.[9] Coppola and North had to tone down Patton's actual words and statements in this scene, as well as throughout the film, to avoid an R rating; in the opening monologue, the word "fornicating" replaced "fucking" when criticizing The Saturday Evening Post. Also, Scott's gravelly and scratchy voice is the complete opposite of Patton's high-pitched, nasal and somewhat squeaky voice, a point noted by historian S.L.A. Marshall.[8] Yet Marshall also points out that the film contains "too much cursing and obscenity [by Patton]. Patton was not habitually foul-mouthed. He used dirty words when he thought they were needed to impress."[8]

The opening scene of the movie.

The opening

Omar Bradley served as a consultant for the film, though the extent of his influence and input into the final script is largely unknown. While Bradley knew Patton personally, it was also well known that the two men were polar opposites in personality, and there is evidence to conclude that Bradley despised Patton both personally and professionally.[6][7] As the film was made without access to General Patton's diaries, it largely relied upon observations by Bradley and other military contemporaries when attempting to reconstruct Patton's thoughts and motives.[8] In a review of the film, Brigadier General S.L.A. Marshall, who knew both Patton and Bradley, stated that "The Bradley name gets heavy billing on a picture of [a] comrade that, while not caricature, is the likeness of a victorious, glory-seeking buffoon. ... Patton in the flesh was an enigma. He so stays in the film. ... Napoleon once said that the art of the general is not strategy but knowing how to mold human nature. ... Maybe that is all producer Frank McCarthy and Gen. Bradley, his chief advisor, are trying to say."[8] Although reference is made to Allied Commander General Dwight Eisenhower throughout the film, he is not portrayed on screen. At the time of production, Eisenhower was still alive, but died in March, 1969, before the film was released.

In the end, screenwriters Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund H. North wrote the script based largely on the biographies Patton: Ordeal and Triumph by Ladislas Farago and A Soldier's Story by General of the Army Omar Bradley.

Attempts to make a film about the life of Patton had been ongoing for over fifteen years, commencing in 1953.[5] Eventually, the Patton family was approached by the producers for help in making the film. The filmmakers desired access to Patton's diaries, as well as input from family members. However, by unfortunate coincidence, the producers contacted the family the day after Beatrice Ayer Patton, the general's widow, was laid to rest. After this encounter, the family refused to provide any assistance to the film's producers.

Script preparation



The film ends with Patton walking his dog, a bull terrier named Willie, and Scott relating in a voice over that a returning hero of ancient Rome was honored with a triumph, a victory parade in which "a slave stood behind the conqueror, holding a golden crown, and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory ... is fleeting."

Patton has previously remarked to a British crowd that the United States and Great Britain would dominate the post-war world, which is viewed as a slight to the Russians. After the Germans capitulate, he insults a Russian officer at a celebration; fortunately, the Russian insults Patton right back, defusing the situation. Patton then makes an offhand remark comparing the Nazi Party to the political parties in the US. In the end, Patton's outspokenness loses him his command once again, though he is kept on to see to the rebuilding of Germany, with the disconcerting incident of a runaway ox-cart narrowly missing Patton foreshadowing the general's ignominious actual death in a car accident in December 1945.

Fearing he will miss out on his destiny, he begs Bradley, now promoted over him (due to Patton's 'exile' following the slapping incident), for a command before the war ends. He is given the Third Army by Eisenhower and distinguishes himself by rapidly sweeping across France until his tanks are halted by lack of fuel. He later relieves the vital town of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. He then smashes through the Siegfried Line and drives into Germany itself.

For this incident and for his tendency to speak his mind to the press, he is sidelined during the long-anticipated D-Day landings, being placed in command of the fictional First United States Army Group in southeast England as a decoy. German General Alfred Jodl (Richard Münch) is convinced that Patton will lead the invasion of Europe.

After North Africa is secured, Patton is involved in the slapping and threatening to shoot a shell-shocked soldier, whom he accuses of cowardice, in an Army hospital. He was ordered to apologize to the soldier he slapped and all of those in the tent at the time by Eisenhower (who is never seen onscreen). Patton took it further by apologizing to his entire command.

Patton is shown to believe in reincarnation, while remaining a devout Christian. At one point during the North Africa campaign, he takes his staff on an unexpected detour to the site of the ancient Battle of Zama. There he reminisces about the battle, insisting to his second in command, General Omar Bradley (Karl Malden) that he was there.

The film's beginning has General his speech to the Third Army), with a huge American flag in the background. The scene then shifts to North Africa at the start of 1943, where Patton takes charge of the demoralized American II Corps in North Africa after the humiliating defeat at the Battle of the Kasserine Pass. After instilling discipline in his soldiers, he leads them to victory at the Battle of El Guettar, the first American victory over the Axis, though he is bitterly disappointed to learn afterward that Erwin Rommel (Karl Michael Vogler), whom he respects greatly as a general, was not his opponent. Patton's aide, Captain Jenson, is killed in the battle. Shortly after the battle, a new member of his staff, Lieutenant Colonel Codman assures Patton that, though Rommel was absent, that if Patton defeated Rommel's plan, then he had defeated Rommel.



  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Production 3
    • Script preparation 3.1
    • The opening 3.2
    • Locations 3.3
    • Use of footage 3.4
    • Music 3.5
      • 2010 Intrada Records Album 3.5.1
        • Disc One
        • Disc Two
  • Distribution 4
    • First telecast 4.1
    • Home media 4.2
  • Reaction 5
    • Critical response 5.1
    • Accolades 5.2
  • Sequel 6
  • See also 7
  • Notes 8
  • Further reading 9
  • External links 10

as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant". Library of Congress by the National Film Registry was selected for preservation in the United States Patton and in 2003, [3]

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