Patton [The Movie]

Summation: Unrealistic battle scenes using non-period weapons

Rating: 3 out of 5

If there is one thing I cannot abide about historical re-enactments is when they are phoney. In this case they were phoney in every sense of the word from the use of the same non-period tanks to represent both the German & the American tanks. Furthermore the battle drills of the Germans in their attack on the Americans in Tunisia displayed an amateurish attempt at non-martial tactics. Underwhelming & unconvincing.

This detracted from an otherwise excellent portrayal of the dramatis persona viz the bloody minded but historically literate Patton. The treatment of the effective, unpretentious but uninspiring Omar Bradley was also superb. The rivalry between Patton & Montgomery is well re-enacted. It displays the eccentric Montie as a vain pompous person but true to life.

The demise of Patton’s career due to the slapping on a shell-shocked soldier in Sicily shows the weakness of his character which would not tolerate weakness. Patton’s sense of destiny combined with a driven personality resulted in this career limiting action.

On eventually being re-appointed to active command in France in 1944, his commanding officer was none other than Omar Bradley himself. It was probably only Patton’s desire for martial glamour & glory just as the ancient Achilles once did, that overcame his natural dislike for this situation

Another irritating aspect of this Blu-ray edition was the inclusion of the words INTERMISSION in the video. How unprofessional? Again another irritation.

The final death of Patton is not dealt with in the video despite it occurring in Germany at the war’s end. An American truck driver overtaking on a blind corner smashed into Patton’s jeep, severely injuring him. Patton died a week later. Instead the movie alludes to this collision by showing a wagon slide back almost killing Patton. Again another question arises. Why not show the real thing instead of an historical inaccuracy?

Apart from the poor & unconvincing battle scenes, the character portrayals are accurate & provide one a sense of the man. A movie on his bête noir Montgomery or the unpretentious Bradley would be insipid in comparison. Patton revelled in the ideal of his destiny in the martial sense & it is that otherworldly quality, destroyed on the fields of the Somme in WW1 which make Patton an interesting person.

My hope is that the eventual remake of this all-too-human drama will ultimately not only accurately portray Patton & his contemporaries but also portray the battle scenes more realistically.


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