Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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Lots of good performances and direction. And if anyone ever had any doubt, Palance proves here that he was a first-rate actor. My only real complaint is the finale in the cellar was over the top and drawn out.
Surely one of the greatest American war films of all time.
The best thrilling movie ever made!
"Attack!" is a really interesting anomaly of a war film from 1956. It's cynical tone is quite noir influenced, as is its low budget confines and stark lighting. Palance and Albert are both effective as two men pushed to insanity for opposing reasons. It's not the last word in war films, but it's a worthy watch that adds to the conversation.
Awesome WW 2 movie where the entire cast shines. Jack Palance is fantastic, and Lee Marvin excels.
When I see these old movies I think of the term "war machine." All black & white war movies have an oily texture and a non-romantic and genuine disgust for war. When the battle scenes play out; the characters, the scenery, and the battle itself all feel like parts of the same machine -- and the soldiers are the gears of war. There's also an added sense of grim realism because you associate it with actual black & white war footage which always seems more raw.
I really liked Attack. It was simple and exciting and my kind of story. Running around kicking ass is fun and all, but my favorite part of action films is when the actors are boxed into a corner and they need to use their brains to get out. Not a whole lot happens in the movie, but it keeps a well-timed and consistent pace, the characters are people you can root for, and Eddie Albert's mental break down adds an extra layer of complexity to the story. There's also a revenge element to the story that was pretty wild. The guy wants revenge so bad he endures getting run over by a tank.
Another neat thing about the movie is how it's like modern warfare. WWII movies are generally about soldiers fighting their way forward while avoiding enemy fire. Modern warfare is more about sneaking around and hiding. It's interesting to note that if you read up on the Benghazi scandal involving Hilary Clinton it's a lot like this movie. I wonder if Hilary has daddy issues, too.
Strong little war film from director Robert Aldrich, which was produced without the support of the Department of Defense, which was the custom for most every Hollywood war film of the time. What separated this film from most war pictures is that it wasn't the usual "war is hell" type of anti-war film, but it took an even more cynical stance, telling the story of an incompetent and cowardly company commander, real-life war hero Eddie Albert, who rose to his rank through political connections and influence. His commanding officer, the great Lee Marvin, knows Albert is incompetent and is responsible for getting his men killed, but protects Albert so that Albert's politically connected father will help Marvin out after the war. It's a great set-up and the main character of the film is the battle hardened soldier played by Jack Palance who knows Albert is a danger to the company and has the respect of the other men, played by Robert Strauss, Richard Jaeckel and Buddy Ebsen. My only fault with the film is that Albert and Palance go too over-the-top by the end of the film, Albert becoming a complete snivelling weasle and Palance becoming an animal. Though this fits the film's overall theme that war has the capability to drive people to extremes, dramatically it plays out as a bit ridiculous. Still, this film has an amazing strong cast, some powerful theme (especially considering the time period), and some tautly directed action sequences.
Terrific turns by all the actors. Palance, Ebsen, Albert very impressive.
This movie had heaps of potential: the cowardly, inept company commander, the good platoon leader who hates him and the politically-minded, turn-a-blind-eye battalion commander, the friction, all set against a WW2 backdrop.
Unfortunately it does not live up to this potential. The characters are incredibly one-dimensional and stereotypical. No attempt is made on the parts of the actors to make them anything but this.
The plot is mostly okay, but gets overly preachy and idealistic towards the end.
Furthermore, as a basic war movie it doesn't measure up. Many of the military tactics and practices didn't make sense. Characters get unit designations wrong (eg at one point battalion and company are mixed up). And you have the usual US tanks-as-German tanks issues.
The only thing that sustains this movie is the frustration at the ineptness and cowardice of Captain Cooney (Eddie Albert) and whether justice will be meted out to him. That part was very intriguing and the reason I kept watching.
A tough action war drama focusing on unfit leaders in the army handing out orders to braver, stronger men lower down the ranks.
Jack Palance is on fine form in the role of a good man used as basically cannon fodder to Eddie Albert's borderline insane command, with Lee Marvin caught somewhere in between the two of them.
There is a fair amount of good action, but also some scenes that do come off as a little too dry and under paced, but overall it never really bogs down too much.
For good old Jack's great performance, interesting plot, good action, and fine production value, this is well worth tracking down, particularly war movie fans.