Overblown wartime biopic of controversial American general George S. Patton (George C. Scott – Dr Strangelove, The Hustler), Patton is a celebration of a self-obsessed megalomaniac that can be hard to stomach.

From a military family of wealth, Patton grew up privileged. Complex, arrogant, profane, Scott commands the screen as he embodies the war hero who fell from grace. A brilliant tactician, he helped better Rommel in North Africa but refused to toe the line of the Allied High Command. It’s long suffering colleagues such as General Omar N. Bradley (Karl Malden – On the Waterfront, A Streetcar Named Desire) who attempt to deal with ego in their midst as the American clashes with his British counterpart, Field Marshall Montgomery.

Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner (The Boys From Brazil, The Planet of the Apes) and written by Francis Ford Coppola, Patton runs for almost three hours and covers just two years of Patton’s rise, fall and D-Day re-emergence. It’s a stodgy, bloated ride dealing with a man so in his element in the theatre of war.

Nominated for 10 Oscars in 1971 – best cinematography, soundtrack, special effects; won 7 – including best film, actor, director, adapted screenplay.

Rating: 50%


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