Battleground

1949

Action / Drama / War

21
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 82%
IMDb Rating 7.5 10 5827

Synopsis


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January 10, 2017 at 09:20 AM

Cast

Ricardo Montalban as Roderigues
Bill Erwin as Warrant Officer
James Whitmore as Kinnie
Richard Jaeckel as Bettis
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
828.56 MB
988*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 58 min
P/S 1 / 6
1.76 GB
1472*1072
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 58 min
P/S 3 / 14

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jiml-40678 9 / 10

Liked by veteran

This was the only WWII movie my father ever said he liked. He didn't watch many or say much about the war but he went out of his way to say that this movie was accurate and on point regarding the interaction between the characters. He died prior to the release of "Saving Private Ryan". 45th Infantry Division.

Reviewed by jsk32870 6 / 10

There's a reason why it's 'forgotten'

Many reviews here mention the seeming tragedy that this film has been 'forgotten' or 'underappreciated' by the public...and I have to say...'it's forgotten for a reason'...and the reason is, it's just not that good. As another reviewer mentioned, there is much discussion in the film about frivolous things like homemade pie, the token southern guy with the twang/accent and various minutia from the home front. And....that's about 90% of this colossal bore. It's one thing to develop the characters, it's another to devote the entire film to said 'development' (which, I have to say, was ineffective anyway. Who really cares about the guy constantly chattering with his false teeth? This is supposed to be funny? Try tedious and juvenile).

"Battleground" trades as a war film (read the film's title again), but it's as much a war film as "Macbeth" is a murder mystery. It's not a war film. It's more like "A day in the life" drama that happens to be set in Bastogne in December '44. And they picked a rather sappy group of schleps to profile, unfortunately. I found almost none of these characters interesting in the least; no heroes, no villains, almost no one with whom I can relate, or even sympathize; just a bunch of lackluster stiffs. The character played by Ricardo Montalban was really the only one I found to be genuine, personable or relatable.

The film won an Oscar for B&W cinematography, which was quite good I have to say. But did anyone else notice the 'snow' often looked more like white sand than it did snow? As this was filmed on a sound stage, I'm sure it was sand. Anyone who has walked in both snow and sand knows the difference in textures, and this was not snow. Also, if it is so bitterly cold, where is the condensation when the men breathe? It was not there, for the scenes either indoors or out, which gives the film another serious hit on the 'realism' front.

The film is not all bad, it has some moments. It reminded me of "Destination Tokyo," another 'war film' heavy on character development at the expense of plot that bordered on criminal. And like "Tokyo," it's not terrible but it's certainly not memorable. I can safely put it on the 'don't care to ever see this again' list. 6/10.

Reviewed by jacobs-greenwood 8 / 10

An essential World War II drama about the Battle of the Bulge

Directed by William Wellman, and written by Robert Pirosh, this essential war film details the plight of the US Army's 101st Airborne Division, trapped in the Ardennes Forest near Bastogne, Belgium during the "Battle of the Bulge", created by the Germans last ditch Panzer tank advance during World War II. Pirosh (who wrote from his own experiences) received a Best Writing Oscar for his Story & Screenplay; Paul Vogel's B&W Cinematography also won an Academy Award. The film, director Wellman, John Dunning's Editing, and Supporting Actor James Whitmore were also nominated.

This "soldier's story" begins by establishing the relationships between the veteran Army personnel whose job is nearly done, such that they are about to venture to Paris for some rest and relaxation before going home, that have just been joined by some of their replacements. Under Sergeant Walowicz's (Bruce Cowling) and Sergeant Kinnie's (Whitmore) command are Pfc. Holley (Van Johnson), and Privates Jarvess (John Hodiak), Roderigues (Ricardo Montalban), Stazak (George Murphy), Spudler (Jerome Courtland), Standiferd (Don Taylor), Kippton (Douglas Fowley), Hansan (Herbert Anderson), Bettis (Richard Jaeckel), and Garby (James Arness). Privates Layton (Marshall Thompson) and Hooper (Scotty Beckett) represent the replacements, the latter joining another company in which he is killed shortly after the action begins. Thompson's character serves as the narrative voice, the story being told through his eyes. Layton is at first the innocent, optimistic rookie who's looking forward to the experience, which inevitably changes him into a cigarette smoking, cynical veteran.

Though there is the requisite amount of action in this war movie, it's the human stories of the men themselves, and their relationships to one another, which gives this film its strength, and has an impact on the viewer. Each of the soldiers have their distinguishing characteristics: Whitmore's tobacco spitting Sergeant is hobbled by frozen feet; Johnson's Holley tries to enjoy the moment as much as possible and eventually finds himself promoted when Walowicz is injured; Jarvess is annoyed by those who don't take everything as seriously as he, including his foxhole mate; Roderigues is the ethnic character from Los Angeles who's never seen snow until it covers their encampment; Kippton has false teeth which he clicks, clacks, and even "loses" on occasion, conveniently; Hansan initiates their defense in a foggy battle during which he is injured and then taken to a supply-less medical facility in the city; the ever present war film actor Jaeckel has a minor role as the Company's cook; and Pop Stazak finds himself surrounded in the forest as he receives his paperwork to confirming his civilian status. Leon Ames plays a brief, but memorable role as the Chaplin who gives the men their Christmas prayer amidst the conflict, during a time when their plight seems hopeless.

The Germans are shown rather briefly, and primarily as English speaking soldiers posing as Americans to infiltrate the Allied lines. After they've surrounded the 101st Airborne Division, some German Officers carrying a white flag are shown to be confused after receiving the U.S. Army Commander's message of "nuts!" to their request for his surrender.

Knowing what happens in the end is to know your history.

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