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Battleground (1949)

Cast: Van Johnson, Van Johnson, John Hodiak, more...
Director: William Wellman, William Wellman
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Warner Home Video
Genre: War, WWII
Running Time: 118 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    see additional details...

Synopsis
Incoming MGM production head Dore Schary ramrodded Battleground into the studio's schedule over the virulent protests of MGM boss Louis Mayer. The result was an award-winning box-office hit, as well as the beginning of the end of Mayer's power. This dramatization of the battles of Bastogne and the Bulge in the waning days of World War II concentrates on a single infantry unit. Van Johnson and John Hodiak are the ostensible stars, but the film is stolen by James Whitmore as the cigar-chomping, battle-stained sergeant. Also appearing is Ian MacDonald as General McAuliffe, whose legendary response to the Nazi's suggestion that the Americans surrender consisted of a single four-letter expletive: "Nuts". Whitmore's final scenes of near-delirium before the relief troops arrive are unforgettable. Battleground tries within MGM limits to be wholly realistic, though it is slightly compromised by the scripters' inability to use Army profanity, and by pointless subplot involving actress Denise Darcel. The film doesn't hold up as well as such wartime efforts as The Story of GI Joe or Walk in the Sun, but in 1949 Battleground was regarded as an important milestone in the field of truthful, de-glamorized combat flicks. Please avoid the colorized version: this is a black-and-white subject if ever there was one. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • Vintage Cartoon Little Rural Riding Hood
  • Vintage Featurette Let's Cogitate



GreenCine Member Reviews

Crap by Kswessler June 25, 2004 - 1:51 PM PDT
12345678910
3 out of 6 members found this review helpful
Van Johnson sucks! That's really all you need to know about this movie. The moron's performance is peppered with goofballery that would have certainly gotten him fragged in any proper army.
Now, of course WWII movies are generally a little goofy, that's acceptable and even expected. But Johnson's character is a total dipshit. Johnson's craptacular shadow large enough to cover any merits this movie may have had.




GreenCine Member Rating
12345678910

(Average 7.29)
17 Votes
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The Best of 1949
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As many of 1949's best films remind us, the socially and (to some extent) economically tumultuous immediate post -WWII years were definitely not the "good old days"
75to81

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