Attack (1956) - Rotten Tomatoes

Attack (1956)




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It is easy to see why the US Army refused to cooperate in the production of Attack. Based on the Norman Brooks play The Fragile Fox, this searing war film is a powerful indictment against a military system which protects even its most incompetent of officers. Eddie Albert plays a posturing but hopelessly inept infantry captain, whose misdeeds are covered up by his colonel Lee Marvin. Albert has strong political connections in the US, and Marvin hopes to take advantage of this after the war. Lieutenant Jack Palance has sworn to kill Albert with his bare hands if the officer bungles another mission. Albert orders Palance and his men into an untenable position on the battlefields of Belgium--and then, true to character, is too cowardly to send backup troops, leaving Palance's men to their fate. By sheer strength of will, Palance, whose arm has been shattered by an enemy tank, drags himself to the cellar where Albert is billeted and attempts to rid the world of the terror-stricken captain. Palance dies before he can keep his promise, but when the craven Albert makes an effort to surrender himself and his men to the Germans, he is shot down by lieutenant William Smithers. The rest of the men conspire to cover up Smithers' "crime" by claiming that Albert died from enemy fire, but Smithers proves to be less willing to prevaricate than his fellow soldiers. Though most filmgoers are mesmerized by Eddie Albert's virtuoso performance as a snivelling yellow-belly, director Robert Aldrich claimed that Albert gave his best reading during rehearsals, and that what ended up on film was nowhere near as powerful as it might have been. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
United Artists

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Jack Palance
as Lt. Joe Costa, Fox Co.
Eddie Albert
as Capt. Erskine Cooney
Lee Marvin
as Lt. Col. Clyde Bartlett, CO, White Battalion
Richard Jaeckel
as Pvt. Snowden
Robert Strauss
as Pvt. Bernstein
Buddy Ebsen
as Sgt. Tolliver
William Smithers
as Lt. Woodruff
Jon Shepodd
as Cpl. Jackson
James Goodwin
as Pvt. Ricks
Jimmy Goodwin
as Pfc. Ricks
Steven Geray
as Short German
Peter van Eyck
as Tall German
Louis Mercier
as Old Frenchman
Strother Martin
as Sgt. Ingersol
Ron Mc Neil
as Pfc. Jones
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Critic Reviews for Attack

All Critics (6)

Aldrich's blunt and ferocious existentialism

Full Review… | November 21, 2014

Look, it's very impressive.

Full Review… | May 13, 2014
At the Movies (Australia)

One of Robert Aldrich's best films, this dark, grim, cynical portrait of infantry warfare in 1944 Belgium is extremely well acted by Jack Palance, Lee Marvin, Eddie Albert and the rest of the male cast.

Full Review… | July 29, 2010

It seems like film noir told as a war drama.

Full Review… | April 8, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Aldrich conduz com segurança a tensão crescente da narrativa, e conta, ainda, com a forte presença de Palance. Os únicos problemas residem nos prolixos minutos finais e no personagem de Albert, que acaba se tornando muito caricatural.

September 18, 2003
Cinema em Cena

Audience Reviews for Attack

One of Robert Aldrich's best films, this dark, grim, cynical portrait of infantry warfare in 1944 Belgium is extremely well acted by Jack Palance, Lee Marvin, Eddie Albert and the rest of the male cast.

Greg Wood
Greg Wood

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 Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Must see, simply an outstanding, incredible WWII flick. High drama as the incredible Jack Palance, a courageous officer who can't get help from another officer (Eddie Albert) when his men is in trouble. Not so much a war film, but a study in courage and lack of it. SEE the entire film here: SEE the trailer here: [img][/img] Europe 1944: Fragile Fox is a company of American G.I.s based in a Belgian town near the front line. They are led by Captain Erskine Cooney (Eddie Albert), a man who appears to be better at handling red tape than military strategy. Cooney is a natural coward who freezes under fire and cannot bring himself to send more men into battle to reinforce those already under attack.-- wikipedia Lee Marvin, the colonel that keeps his buddy Albert can't seem to take the war effort. Vowing revenge if unsupported again, Palance leads his men into battle, only to find Albert denies the troops needed again. [img][/img] Lee Marvin Eddie Albert the object of everyone's contempt for lack of courage under fire. Usually Albert played comedic or light dramatic roles. Not this one. He is cryin' his eyes out when the pressure rises against him. Probably the role of Albert's career life. [img][/img] What a gem of a WWII human interest flick. Lots of action, lots of drama. A most intriguing, engrossing film which is in black and white. Jack Palance is undeniably the most forcerful lead actor in this moving piece of film history. Lee Marvin is his typical best as the senior officer in command. [img][/img] Eddie Albert, an officer put in command of an outfit he has neither the ability or courage to lead, is outstanding as a cowardly mess. His fate is sealed as he continues to be a less than capable officer.Eddie Albert is a cowardly captain, Lee Marvin a crooked colonel, and Jack Palance a diligent lieutenant as a small platoon fights its way back from the front in director Robert Aldrich's searing WWII drama. [img][/img] RT reviews just like you: 100% This movie has some of the finest performances you'll ever see from Jack Palance, Eddie Albert and others. 100% Robert Aldrich at his finest NOTES: 1 "A cynical and grim account of war", the film is set in the latter stages of World War II and tells of a front line combat unit led by a cowardly captain clearly out of his depth and a tougher subordinate who threatens to do away with him. As the official trailer put it: "Not every gun is pointed at the enemy!" 2 The film won the 1956 Italian Film Critics Award. [it should have won more than that!] 3 Director Aldrich is quoted, "The Army saw the script and promptly laid down a policy of no co-operation, which not only meant that I couldn't borrow troops and tanks for my picture - I couldn't even get a look at Signal Corps combat footage." [img][/img] Cast Jack Palance Eddie Albert Lee Marvin Robert Strauss Crew Director: Robert Aldrich Producer: Robert Aldrich Associate Producer: Walter Blake Cinematographer: Joseph F. Biroc Set Decorator : Glen Daniels Composer: Frank De Vol Art Director: William Glasgow Editor: Michael Luciano Screenplay: James Poe [img][/img]

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monsieur rick

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