- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Worth Seeing Again
- David H.
This is an honest and realistic look at war without the cussing and gore. Adhering to the motion picture production code of its time, it follows a group of soldiers during The Battle of the Bulge. The characters are not always heroic because this movie is about their fight for survival. Leonard Maltin and others complain the characters lack depth, but in this case less is more. Thank goodness, there is no one from Brooklyn and the speeching is saved for one scene near the end. Producer Dore Schary deserves credit for sticking with this project and bringing it to fruition because this is a film worth seeing again.
A WWII film with a Vietnam feel
This is one of my favorite films about WWII. It is very unusual for such a film. In movies about that conflict, the men doing the fighting are typically shown as being gung-ho, fighting for God, country and the American way. Here, the soldiers have attitudes more common to the Vietnam era. "Pfc" means "praying for civilian." All they want to do is get the thing over with so they can get the hell out of the army and go back to the real world. The food stinks and the commanders don't know what they are doing. You just don't see that in movies about WWII. Can anybody picture John Wayne as one of the soldiers in this unit?
battleground helmet emblems
The white "card suit" stencils on the sides of the soldier's helmets in the film are accurate. The WWII 101st Airborne Division used the different suits to identify their three parachute infantry (diamonds, hearts, and spades) and one glider infantry (clubs) regiments. A white "tic" at either the twelve, three, six or nine o'clock positions around the suit indicated Headquarters, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Battalions, respectively. The soldiers in this film wear the club suit of the 101st's 327th Glider Infantry Regiment, with a "tic" at the nine o'clock position, indicating they belong to that regiment's 3rd Battalion.
Does anyone recognize the helmet emblem...3 leaf clover w/ dash on 1 leaf, any leaf...?
- Chuck D
What sets up the great scene when Kinnee sees his shadow is the preceding scene when the men, in solo close-ups from their singular foxholes, fix bayonets. You can feel the dread, the finality of the battle advancing upon them.....Then the sun comes out and the T-bolts strafe the Hun back to the Rhine!
A fine war movie and a classic I've seen often over the past 60 yrs. My only irritation is the oft time hebephrenic "acting" of Van Johnson who appears to be "on" something. Sorry. He's distracting.
A classic of course, I want to thank Craig for putting the cadence call in writing. I could never remember all the lines. I'm sure Jody was proud of his war effort contribution!
- Russell Raphaely
Best sound of M-1 rifle firing and ejection of clip of ammunition. Similarly reproduced also in Saving Private Ryan
- Bruce C
A timeless classic headed up with an outstanding cast depicting true heroes at a criticaltime in the European Theater of WW II. Tracing these guys steps across Europe becamea workable theme in movies of its kind in latter years. One of the hardest times faced in US Military history without question; with their supplies being diverted, leaving them on the front lines without, further complicated by weather elements. Thankful TCM has patriotically kept it alive for the remembrance of those brave soldiers who exemplified the word valiant.Not forgetting the film work itself!
battleground directed by William Wellman in 1949
This is a great war movie, the problem is I cannot find when it will be shown on T C M
- Dashiell B.
An great war film showing the agony & humour of the men involved at the Battle of the Bulge. Good performances, especially from Whitmore in an Oscar-nominated performance, but the characters weren't deep enough. Won Academy Awards for original screenplay & cinematography, recreating Bastonge on the MGM lot. Directed with honesty, showing no glorification of the reluctant heroes. I give it a 4/5.
One of the all-time great war films, with a cast to match. My father-in-law lost his leg at the Battle of the Bulge and all of these men were exceptionally brave. The humanity displayed by the soldiers in this film is what sets the film apart from others. The men really did scream in pain and in horror during the siege at Bastogne. They were starving and thirsty while they were being set upon by the German army. Hardened leaders went to great lengths to stifle their own emotions while they tried to help their men. I particularly liked James Whitmore's performance here and he was justifiably nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in this role. Echoing the statement that "War is hell!" - this film lays it out in spades. There is no sugar-coating the horror of it all. Each time we decide to go to war, I feel everyone should be forced to see this particular film. Perhaps, just perhaps, we wouldn't view war as romantic but as the terror it truly is.
The Best of all time
- Jack P
I'm a war movie addict, and Battleground is the best of all time.
- Joe Smith
This is one of my favorite World War II movies. My father and many of his contemporaries that I knew fought in WWII and were of that generation and the actors in this movie were clearly of the WWII generation. Their mannerisms, the way they spoke, etc., spoke to me of reality more than more modern films. The scene where Holly almost ran away, knowing of an escape route and also knowing he could flank the enemy, but not knowing what he was going to do until Layton came up is one of the greatest scenes in war movies. Another is near the end when Kinny saw his shadow. Great movie.
- Joe Musick
I was a member of the 101st in Vietnam. This great movie shows why us Screaming Eagles have so much pride in our brothers, past and present, This movie is a "MUST SEE".
Without a doubt the best WWII movie made. Van Johnson and Whitmore were fantastic.
One of the best films of WWII, However the film didn't show that the 101st Airborne had to be rescued by Patton's 3rd Army at Bastogne
I happened on this incredible movie mere hours after saying farewell to troops of the 101st. They are still the BEST!
- woody brew
and if you think van johnson was good in this, you should have seen him in that episode of "nanny and the professor"! say, can anyone tell me what ricardo montalbon was spitting out in that hand to hand combat scene? was that supposed to be the german's nose or something?
Love This Movie
I can't count how many times I've seen this movie, but this is one of the best World War II pieces ever made IMO. William Wellman's direction is spot on. Van Johnson and James Whitmore give strong performances as did the supporting cast. There are so many memorable moments, but I always get misty when Whitmore's Kinnie sees his shadow and exclaims "It's shinin'!" and when Johnson's Holley says to Kinnie "Hey, Kinnie - what ever happened to Jody?" and the squad marches back to Bastone singing that great marching song..."You had a good home but you left...You're right, Jody was there when you left... You're right!Your Baby was there when you left... You're right!Your baby was lonely - as lonely as could be ... Until Jody provided company!Ain't it great to have a pal...Who works so hard to keep up morale!You ain't got nothing to worry about...He'll keep her happy till I get out!You won't get out until the end of the war... In nineteen hundred and seventy-four!
- j. mallon
I have seen this movie quite a few times and after seeing it again last night, I enjoyed it once again. One of the things that makes the movie so good is the ensemble cast, including one of my favorite actors, Van Johnson.
The Best of Van Johnson
- B. Shaffner
How does one begin to rate what was the greatest of all the great MGM Stars, Van Johnson? He certainly made an impact, and a difference in the lives of girls, teens and pre-teens (as I was) during the WWII years, and beyond. There was really no one else but Van who approached the ideal of All-American Boy, and, of course, his role in the greatest of the WWII movies, "Battleground," clinched the title. All of us who lived through that era were just really lucky to have had a character like Van Johnson to look up to and have as an American ideal! Thanks, Van, for all you meant to us!!! Yours, Bobbie
This is one of the great classic war movies - and I've grown up watching a lot of them. The cast and crew did a remarkable job, and the mini basic training that they attended, really shows through. I'm a huge Van Johnson fan, and out of all his movie's that I've seen, this is my favorite.
Excellent war movie
If interested in seeing a entertaining war movie this is the one to watch. Nothing glorius in war. Just realism and death and citizen soldiers trying to do their duty and stay alive.
Thanks to Wellman, cast, crew, all involved for giving us a sense of the dignity and courage of the infantry in that war. Van Johnson, George Murphy, Jimmy Whitmore were top actors, but don't seem to have been acting here.
German attack at the railroad tracks
- Dennis Vavra
I never knew the importance of that scene until last week when I read in a book titled Bastogne, that if it were not for an emergency request for reinforcements from the 101 to guard that railroad area that was previously overlooked by the generals; Bastogne would have fallen.
Battleground wind academy awards
- W Perkins
No where in your writeup about 'Battleground' is there a mention of the Academy Awards which this movie earned.It should be included about the filming technique that was used, in that ALL of the actors (the top guys included) attended a 'short' basic training session (similar to the way they prepared for the Speilberg's/Hanks' movie 'Band of Brothers').I have seen this movie at least once a year since it was originally issued !