Attack 1956

Attack!

Critics Consensus

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100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 6

78%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,358

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Movie Info

Lt. Joe Costa (Jack Palance) is a part of Fragile Fox Company, a National Guard unit sent to a Belgian town in the final stages of World War II. Costa harbors some serious doubts about the leadership abilities of Captain Cooney (Eddie Albert), a coward who only secured his position because of his ties to Lt. Col. Bartlett (Lee Marvin). Cooney's inexperience and his open contempt for Costa threaten the lives of his men as they draw closer to Battle of the Bulge.

Cast & Crew

Jack Palance
Lt. Joe Costa, Fox Co.
Eddie Albert
Capt. Erskine Cooney
Lee Marvin
Lt. Col. Clyde Bartlett, CO
Robert Strauss
Pfc. Bernstein
Richard Jaeckel
Pvt. Snowden
Buddy Ebsen
Sfc. Tolliver, Fox Co.
Jon Shepodd
Cpl. John Jackson, Fox Co.
Jim Goodwin
Pfc. Ricks
James Poe
Screenwriter
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Critic Reviews for Attack

All Critics (6) | Fresh (6)

Audience Reviews for Attack

  • Feb 01, 2009
    Jack Palance tries to lead an infantry company in the waning days of WWII. He battles tough German resistance and an enormously incompetent commanding officer (Eddie Albert). A classic anti-war film of the 1950's that's weakened a bit by a couple of one dimensional characters. Albert's extreme cowardice is countered by Palance's uber-heroics. Their conflict is so all-consuming it makes the German army seem minor and incidental.
    Randy T Super Reviewer
  • Feb 24, 2007
    Jack Palance gives the performance of his career as a tough lieutenant who loses one too many men because of the cowardice of his commanding officer Eddie Albert. Robert Aldrich went on to make many testosterone fuelled XY pleasers such as The Dirty Dozen and The Longest Yard, but Attack is a far more sophisticated, character driven affair. The theme of the moral ambiguity of a doomed anti-hero seeking revenge combined with some crisp black and white photography echo the stylistic hallmarks of Film Noir set within the arena of war. It examines the flaws of the chain of command where "lions led by donkeys" lose their lives because of the incompetence or cowardice of those they are forced to obey. Eddie Albert's weak willed and obsequious captain being the main culprit, but Lee Marvin's self serving Colonel who keeps a man he knows to be worthless in place for his own political needs shows corruption in the system in much the same way as Kubrick's Paths Of Glory. William Smithers also puts in a fine performance as the honest soldier trying to do what's right but finding himself caught between a rock and a hard place and the battle sequences are gritty and believable without being tainted by the usual associated macho bullshit that often comes with the genre. Something of a forgotten classic, Attack is the best war film you've never heard of.
    xGary X Super Reviewer

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