Action / Drama / War

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 78%
IMDb Rating 7.5 10 3996


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May 29, 2015 at 12:20 AM



Lee Marvin as Lt. Col. Clyde Bartlett - CO, White Battalion
Jack Palance as Lt. Joe Costa - Fox Co.
Buddy Ebsen as Sfc. Tolliver - Fox Co.
Eddie Albert as Capt. Erskine Cooney
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
813.24 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 47 min
P/S 0 / 4
1.65 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 47 min
P/S 0 / 5

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca 7 / 10

A war film that buzzes and crackles with power

ATTACK! is a decent WW2 film made in a decade inundated with similar-looking pictures. It was an early feature in the career of director Robert Aldrich, who lends the film a touch of class missing in some of the cheaper genre efforts. The one thing that makes this film really stand out, though, is the effort to characterise the main players, rather than simply emphasising the action.

This is just as much a psychological thriller as it is a war film. For a lot of the running time, the characters are holed up in single locations and fighting each other rather than the enemy. The battle of wills between hero Jack Palance and coward Eddie Albert is quite electrifying, building to some truly nail-biting scenes at the climax that buzz and crackle with power. You don't often get to experience that in war films.

Palance is the real stand-out in this movie, finally getting the chance to play the hero after years of imposing henchman-type roles. He conveys his character's anguish very well and the bit where he tackles a couple of German tanks is incredible. Albert is well cast as his foe, and the likes of Lee Marvin, Robert Strauss, and Peter Van Eyck supply good supporting turns. ATTACK! is a film I'm surprised people don't know better because it's very impressive.

Reviewed by dglink 8 / 10

Lesser Known Aldrich Film Deserves Wider Audience

A trio of fine character actors head the cast of Robert Aldrich's low-budget war film, "Attack," which is set in Europe during World War II. Based on a play by Norman Brooks, the taut, tightly directed film depicts a struggle between heroism and cowardice, professionalism and incompetence, hard-earned rank through merit and unearned rank attained through personal connections. Among the American infantry assigned to establish observation posts are Jack Palance, whose Lt. Joe Costa is a tough, but compassionate soldier, whose bravery and leadership are unquestioned. Costa's superior officer, Capt. Erskine Cooney, played by Eddie Albert, was handed his rank because of his father's military connections; the cowardly Cooney is over his head both as a military strategist and as a commander of men. The third member of the lead trio is tough, wise Lee Marvin, who plays Lt. Colonel Clyde Bartlett, Cooney's superior.

Filmed in black and white by Joseph Biroc largely on sound stages and the studio back lot, the exterior battle scenes have a gritty feel, although the shadowy interiors often resemble a 1950's television drama. However, despite a B-movie budget, the performances throughout are excellent, including such other stalwarts as Richard Jaeckel and Buddy Ebsen, although Palance and Marvin are the standouts. Events lead to a moral dilemma, whose resolution will be fodder for much post-viewing discussion; whether or not the ending was dictated by the period in which the film was made is also debatable, because contemporary audiences may be more open to an alternate decision than those of the Eisenhower era. "Attack" is an excellent, if lesser known Aldrich film that deserves a wider audience, if only for the performances of Palance and Marvin.

Reviewed by tomsview 8 / 10

Three pronged attack – Palance, Albert and Marvin

I always remembered this intense war film with its blazing performances ever since I saw it in the late 50's.

During the fighting in Europe in 1944, tensions run high in a company of U.S. infantryman when the cowardice of the company commander, Captain Cooney (Eddie Albert), cause losses among his men. One of his platoon leaders, Lieutenant Costa (Jack Palance), threatens to kill him if he costs the life of one more man. But Cooney has the protection of his commanding officer, Colonel Bartlett (Lee Marvin), who hails from the same hometown. Everything comes to a head during a German counterattack.

It would be carping to find too much technical fault with this film, despite a small budget it looks good and the military action seems convincing, although the Russell Ranch used for the outdoor scenes seems about as open as the Russian Steppes.

Much is made of the fact that the unit involved is from the National Guard, which carries issues from the region back home in which it was raised, especially the relationship between Cooney and Bartlett. Of all the WW2 films from that time, "Between Heaven and Hell" starring Robert Wagner is the only other one I can think of where this was also a subject (Buddy Ebsen was in both films).

The internal conflict drives "Attack" as Cooney and Costa go over the edge with stunning performances from Palance and Albert.

Costa, although not without fear, overcomes it with a sense of responsibility to his men and the mission. Cooney on the other hand has never won the battle against fear; the way he makes excuses for his failures is wince-inducing.

The most balanced soldier is Lieutenant Woodruff who does his duty, but also has the moral courage to stand up for what he believes in – maybe he best represents those ordinary men who stuck to the job and won the war.

Eddie Albert actually served with distinction in WW2. "Attack" was made just 10-years after the war, and a number of the cast had served in the conflict: Jack Palance and Lee Marvin of course, but also Buddy Ebsen (Coast Guard), Richard Jaeckel (Merchant Marine) and Peter van Eyck (U.S. Army) – many of the staff behind the camera would also have served.

I think when we watch movies from that era; it adds another dimension knowing this. Those people invested a great deal of equity into films such as "Attack". In a way, WW2 movies from that period can never be remade with that same level of involvement.

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