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as Pop Stazak
as `Kipp' Kippton
as Abner Spudler
as William J. Hooper
as Jim Layton
as Lt. Teiss
as Gen. McAuliffe
as German Lieutenant
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Critic Reviews for Battleground
Though shot on the back lot, William Wellman's Oscar-nominated recreation of Battle of the Bulge is one of the better WWII movies, serving as blueprint for later Vietnam War films.
Sterling, memorable WWII classic directed by Wellman.
Audience Reviews for Battleground
An infantry unit fights in the Battle of the Bulge.
This is a claustrophobic, character-driven war film that proves that very little in modern-day film is original as there is a lot of Platoon and even a dose of Full Metal Jacket in Battleground's plot construction and character development. The center of the film is the characters who take a while to get to know, but once the film gains momentum in the second act, they become real human beings under extraordinary circumstances who complain about their lack of big picture knowledge of war strategy and each other.
Overall, while I didn't like the film's pace and thought the characters took too long to delineate themselves, I can't deny that this is a good, foundational film in the canon of war movies.
A war movie that's not a fighting movie., This film tells one story of the many companies who fought in the "Battle of the Bulge", the WWII battle in the Ardennes Forest of Belgium in Winter 1944.
While the film has several exciting battle sequences, its main focus is on the men who are doing the fighting. Van Johnson, Marshall Thompson, James Whitmore and John Hodiak lead the cast, all believeable as wearied soldiers who want nothing more than to go home.
I have a special fondness for this film because my grandfather fought in Battle of the Bulge, and it's interesting although painful to see what kind of conditions he endured.
And -- for future reference -- I'm told by people who know better that the film "Battle of the Bulge" is crap and not even close to what really happened out there. This one is the one to see. And to get the full picture, check out Band of Brothers, a 10-part HBO mini-series, based on the a book written by a man who was there.
If you've seen the landmark mini-series Band of Brothers then you've seen a gritty, less stylized version of William Wellman's Battleground. Considering the era (late 1940s), Wellman does a nice job of using Hollywood's standard glorification of combat to frame the atrocities of war. He tried to lighten the dark feel of the picture by adding elements of humor but they seem strange and out of place (because they ARE). Post-WWII studio films were meant to be animated recruiting posters and Battleground is no exception. Still, if you can manage to shovel aside the heaps of propaganda you'll see glimpses of the more cynical, less benign attitude toward war that was about to impact military genre films.
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