From Academic Kids

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DVD cover of Patton

Patton is a 1970 biographical film which tells the story of General George Patton's commands during World War II. It stars George C. Scott, Karl Malden and Michael Bates.

There were several attempts to make the movie, starting in 1953. The Patton family was approached by the producers for help in making the film. They wanted access to Patton's diaries and input from the family members. By coincidence, the day they asked the family was the day after the funeral of Beatrice Ayer Patton, George Patton's widow. After that, the family was dead-set against the movie and refused to give any help to the filmmakers.

Due to a lack of help from the family, Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund H. North wrote the film from two biographies: Patton: Ordeal and Triumph by Ladislas Farago and A Soldier's Story by Omar Bradley. It was directed by Franklin J. Schaffner.

Scott's performance as Patton won him an Academy Award for Best Actor (which he famously refused, stating that the Oscars were "a meat parade"), and has been called "one of the great performances of all time". Roger Ebert has said, Patton is not a war film so much as the story of a personality who has found the right role to play. Scott's theatricality is electrifying. As Patton he always stands up in his Jeep, loves making speeches, grandstands, plunges into the action to personally goad his men, even directs traffic. There is a touch of the manic about him. He seems to have no personal life.... his heart-to-heart talks are with himself. He seems formidably well-read, lecturing his subordinates on the history of the battlefields, the lessons of Napoleon, the experiences of earlier leaders who came this way. He has a classical quotation for every occasion. "You son of a bitch," he gloats after outsmarting Rommel, "I read your book!"'

The film won six additional Academy Awards, for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Picture, Best Sound and Best Writing, Story and Screenplay Based on Factual Material or Material Not Previously Published or Produced. It was nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Effects, Special Visual Effects and Best Music, Original Score.

A made-for-television sequel, The Last Days of Patton, was produced in 1986. Scott reprised his title role. The movie was based on Patton's final weeks after being mortally injured in a car accident with flashbacks of Patton's earlier life.

In 2003 the United States Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.


Patton's Speech

One of the most famous parts of the movie, the speech was both inspirational and shocking for its clear anti-political correctness (written, produced and released during the Vietnam War) and was was based on historical research:

I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.
Men, all this stuff you've heard about America not wanting to fight, wanting to stay out of the war is a lot of horse dung. Americans, traditionally, love to fight. All real Americans love the sting of battle.
When you were kids you all admired the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, big league ball player, toughest boxer. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost and will never lose a war, because the very thought of losing is hateful to Americans.
Now, an army is a team. It lives, eats, sleeps, fights as a team. This individuality stuff is a bunch of crap. The bilious bastards who wrote that stuff about individuality for the Saturday Evening Post don't know anything more about real battle than they do about fornicating.
Now we have the finest food, equipment, the best spirit, and the best men in the world. You know, by god I, I actually pity those poor bastards we're going up against, by god, I do. We're not just going to shoot the bastards; we're going to cut out their living guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We're going to murder those lousy Hun bastards by the bushel.
Now, some of you boys, I know are wondering whether or not you'll chicken out under fire. Don't worry about that. I can assure you that you will all do your duty.
The Nazis are the enemy. Wade into them. Spill their blood. Shoot them in the belly. When you put your hand into a bunch a goo that a moment before was your best friend's face, you'll know what to do.
Now there's another thing I want you to remember: I don't want to get any messages that we are holding our position. We're not holding anything. Let the Hun do that. We are advancing constantly and we're not interested into holding onto anything except the enemy. We're going to hold onto him by the nose and we're going to kick him in the ass. We're going to kick the hell out of him all the time and we're going to go through him like crap through a goose.
Now, there's one thing that you men will be able to say when you get back home. And you may thank God for it. Thirty years from now when youre sitting around your fireside with your grandson on your knee, and he asks you what did you do in the great World War II? You won't have to say, "Well, I shoveled shit in Louisiana."
Alright, now you sons-a-bitches, you know how I feel. I will be proud to lead you wonderful guys into battle anytime, anywhere.
That's all.



  • At the end of the movie, Patton is nearly run over by a cart and says, "Imagine, after all I've been through, imagine me going out like that!". In December 1945, Patton was injured in a freak vehicle accident and died a few weeks later.
  • The movie writers of Patton's famous speech actually had to tone down Patton's actual words and statements.

External links


ja:パットン大戦車軍団 pl:Patton (film) pt:Patton (filme)


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