Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Attack! (1956)

Dir: Robert Aldrich

I have to believe that the title of this film has held it back from being considered one of the greatest war pictures ever made. It follows the Fragile Fox company as they are sent on different missions during World War II that never go well since they are led by the cowardly Capt. Cooney (Eddie Albert). It's an interesting premise that this Captain can't fit in anywhere. His superior (Lee Marvin!) knows he's a liability and doesn't want to send him up to a desk job and his company (led by Jack Palance) is ready to revolt against him knowing that each mission may lead to death by incompetence. It's a film that's beautifully shot and directed with stark black & white photography. The dialog is intelligent and restrained with Buddy Ebsen delivering one of the all time great lines, "If ever a man deserved to die it's that putrid piece of trash lying there on the ground." Palance is also a force of nature that takes on a tank by himself using a bazooka and a grenade!! This one has it all, the futility of war, despair, compromise, and more importantly, not-compromising.


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