Published on April 8th, 2008 | by Chris1
Battle of the Bulge (1965)
I went into Battle of the Bulge thinking, "Alright! A nearly three-hour long epic docu-drama on the battle!"
And, unfortunately, I couldn't have been more wrong. I'm not really sure what this movie was supposed to be. When I think of the real Battle of the Bulge, I don't think of the things that were portrayed in this movie. I think of the poor slobs stuck out in the forest freezing their you-know-whats off, practically starving, and being pounded by German artillery.
I don't think of huge, and largely unbelievable tank battles that look like something out of the Revolutionary war. Funny, not until I started writing this did I find that my opinion matched some of the others out there....
...that this was a Western in war-movie clothing. To top it off, the thing is largely dull and uninteresting. We're treated to long and wholly sanitized scenes of gunfights and tank battles, which remind you (painfully) so much of the old western movie cowboy and indian battles. Right down to the over-dramatic and bloodless deaths. If I had a nickel for every schmuck who overacted his death in this movie...well, I'd have enough change for the beer I should have drank beforehand.
To top it off, from what I can tell, few of the events portrayed in the film atually happened. Sorry, guys. Sure there is a visit to the heinous Malmadey massacre, the infiltration by Nazis in GI disguises, McAuliffe's "NUTS" reply... and I suppose they got the strategic aspect of the push more-or-less correct. But the entire reliance on the tank corps. in the film, deciding the entire offensive in one battle at one location, and the introduction of so many fictional characters and situations was just a bit odd.
Not to mention that the entire operation in this movie lasts but a couple of days. Stranger still is Lt. Col. Kiley (Henry Fonda) and his sole observations. Surely not. And I can't not mention the bumbling and out-of-place comic relief (but not that comical anyhow) of Sgt. Guffy (Telly Savales.) His tank's annhiliation, but still drivable, and hey he survives without a scratch!! Um, no.
Sigh. It's just unfortunate I suppose. Battle of the Bulge seems to have been created to appease some sort of studio's need for an "action epic" rather than any kind of factual or believable integrity. I mean, at the very least you could have found someplace that *looked* like it was covered in a foot of snow. Some places in the film did, but most were just merely muddy, and a lot of spots there were still leaves on the bushes. And only at the outset of the picture do we get a feel for the cold and nasty conditions.
I will say that about the only interesting part of the film relates to (the fictional) Col. Hessler's (Robert Shaw) assistant, Cpl. Conrad (Hans Christian Blech.) His falling out with Hessler over the context of the war and how men like Hessler's character are the problem, could have given this picture a lot more depth. Unfortunately it was only briefly touched on, and his throwing down of his rifle at the end should have meant so much more.
Battle of the Bulge could have been a timeless classic, but instead winds up on my B-movie list, having more in common with Cavalry-vs.-Comanche pictures than any war movie. At least they got typecast Nazi Karl-Otto Alberty to play a role as the poor German infantry commander wrapped around Hessler's pinkie.
(P.S.) And what is the deal with the OVERTURE and EXIT MUSIC plates? Yet another aspect of the film that screams it took itself way too seriously! On actually good movies this is awesome. Here not so much.)
Battle of the Bulge
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The German offensive in December 1944 became the basis for this all-star Hollywood take on the Battle of the Bulge. Henry Fonda is an officer who predicts the assault, Robert Ryan and Dana Andrews are Army brass skeptical of his intuitions, and Robert Shaw (his hair dyed yellow and his eyes glinting with malice) is a German officer leading the tank attack...
DVD InformationBinding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 2.20:1
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Brand: Warner Brothers
Manufacturer: Warner Home Video
Original Release Date:
- Henry Fonda
- Robert Shaw
- Robert Ryan
- Dana Andrews
- George Montgomery
- Nazi Panzer forces stage a last-ditch Belgian front offensive that could turn the tide of WWII. Henry Fonda, Robert Shaw and Robert Ryan in the spectacular recreation of a crucial campaign.Year: 1965Running Time: 170 min. Format: DVD MOVIE Genre:ACT
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Surprisingly good quality Blu-ray edition. The movie itself, not perfect but a big-budget classic,
This review is from: Battle of the Bulge [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)Two of the four stars are credited to the Blu-ray edition. For a movie this old, the Dolby Digital 5.1 sound and the surprisingly bright and crisp picture, especially on the outdoors scenes should make it an almost mandatory upgrade from the DVD edition.
As for the movie itself... yes we all know that the Battle of the Bulge did in fact take place and that the Germans bet on the bad weather making the US air support near impossible. In fact, they premised their battle plan on bad weather. Strangely, the movie treats us with nearly 2.5 hours of mostly outdoor scenes done under mostly bright, crystal-blue skies after the German general explains that their surprised offensive was made possible by a couple of days of very bad weather. And it's not a low-budget movie, in fact, it was one of the more expensive war movies made in the 60's.
From an acting standpoint, more than Henry Fonda, Telly Savalas or Charles Bronson, this is Robert Shaw's performance. He is... Read more
Watched as a kid and it brings back good memories for me,
This review is from: Battle of the Bulge (DVD)
Watched as a kid and it brings back good memories for me. My Dad was a WW2 Air Force Veteran and he and I spent quality time watching this and other movies in this era. He did not talk about much of his experiences but once in awhile he'd relate something while watching movies with me. Enjoyed
Both sides put up a damn good fight but only on side could win,
This review is from: The Battle of The Bulge (Amazon Video)
Both sides put up with horrendous weather conditions. W e were caught totally off guard even tho we had reports of enemy activity in the
area. Both sides put up a damn good fight but only on side could win. The 101st. Abn. Div proved that
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Summary: Battle of the Bulge could have been a timeless classic, but instead winds up on my B-movie list, having more in common with Cavalry-vs.-Comanche pictures than any war movie. At least they got typecast Nazi Karl-Otto Alberty to play a role as the poor German infantry commander wrapped around Hessler's pinkie.