- Apr 24, 2006
- Charlotte, NC
- Real Name
- Matt Hough
Patton (2012 Remaster) (Blu-ray) Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner Studio: 20th Century Fox Year: 1970 Aspect Ratio: 2.20:1 1080p AVC codec Running Time: 172 minutes Rating: PG Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English; Dolby Digital 5.0 English, 2.0 French, Spanish Subtitles: SDH
Region: A MSRP: $ 24.99
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Review Date: November 5, 2012
5/5 When the newly arrived American army suffers an embarrassing defeat in their first battle in North Africa in 1943, General George S. Patton (George C. Scott) is sent to get the troops into fighting shape. His strict military discipline and demanding requirements for all his troops quickly set things to right and his 7th Army Division begins its own triumphant march across Africa much to the growing displeasure of Britian’s Field Marshal Montgomery (Michael Bates) who had been enjoying his heroic victories against Germany’s Field Marshal Rommel (Karl Michael Vogler) and doesn’t want to share the glory. Patton’s rabid ambition to score victories and march to the fore of Allied generals in their push toward Europe brings him into conflict with Allied General Dwight Eisenhower, and when a couple of controversial incidents occur involving bad PR for the American efforts in the war, he’s relieved of duty and sent to London. Stung when his always subordinate General Omar Bradley (Karl Malden) gets promoted over him in organizing the final thrusts of the European operations, Patton is finally given a command – the 3rd Army which will head east across France toward Germany leaving the Axis powers quaking in their boots since Patton is the general they fear the most. The script by Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund H. North is a fair and seemingly very accurate accounting of the multi-faceted general: his raging ego, his thirst for recognition, and his absolute contempt for the weak or cowardly is counterbalanced by his tenderness toward fallen comrades and his love of his men along with his complete fascination with history and his total conviction about his own reincarnation. Director Franklin J. Schaffner only stages a few battles (four in all), but they’re corkers and are beautifully mounted and shot keeping interest high by not running on ad infinitum. But it’s the portrait of Patton away from the battles: in huts and bunkers, in hospitals and on terraces, in his jeeps and on battlefields where we really get to see his complexities in their full flowering that give this magnificent film its primary focus. And in George C. Scott’s towering performance, there’s no denying the general’s ubiquitous charisma. The opening monologue, perhaps the film’s most famous and familiar sequence, continues to reverberate decades after it was first shot and presented, but the actor is no less effective in all of his other moments: braying in his victorious moments, raging to the gods when he’s been relieved of duty and sits moldering away as a decoy against the Nazis, frenzied when berating soldiers who he feels don’t measure up to his standards, and grimacing through clenched teeth when having to be on his best behavior. The performance is one of the marvels of 20th century cinema, and it’s lost none of its effectiveness in all of the years since the film’s initial release. But there are other great actors on display as well. Karl Malden does a solid job as Omar Bradley, a far less bravura commander but one who could be relied on for consistency and obedience. Michael Bates makes a grandiose Montgomery, perhaps a little too pleased with his own importance and in his own way as strutting a peacock as Patton. Director Schaffner also cuts away often during the film to show us what’s happening at German High Command, and those scenes contain virtuoso turns by Karl Michael Vogler as Rommel and Richard Muench as General Alfred Jodl. Paul Stevens as Patton’s aide Codman and Tim Considine as the soldier whose slapping abuse begins Patton’s troubles with the top brass also make worthwhile contributions.
4.5/5 Shot in Dimension 150, the film’s 70mm 2.20 theatrical aspect ratio is faithfully delivered in this 1080p transfer using the AVC codec. Sharpness is exemplary throughout the presentation, and color saturation is very good though occasionally inconsistent with more saturated hues especially in flesh tones in some shots than in others. Contrast is beautifully dialed in to make for a very pleasing visual experience. The aggressive use of DNR and edge enhancement is nowhere to be seen in this transfer. The English subtitles during the German sequences are printed in white and are very easy to read. The film has been divided into 37 chapters.
4.5/5 The Oscar-winning sound design of the movie is presented in a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix. (A Dolby Digital 5.0 sound mix is also available.) Though no one will mistake the sound design here with expensive action pictures of today’s cinema, there is an impressive amount of surround activity present including some effective pans through the soundstage as planes fly through the battlefields. The music (original score by Jerry Goldsmith as well as military standards like “Stars and Stripes Forever” and “Scotland the Brave”) gets beautifully threaded across and through the soundfield making for a very effective presentation. The battle scenes also allow the subwoofer to get a nice workout though the depth of the explosions and gunfire won’t compare to the levels of bass that today’s battle films provide. Dialogue is nicely presented mostly in the center channel with an occasional bit of directionalized dialogue on display.
4.5/5 The first disc in the set contains an introduction by screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola (5 minutes in 480i) along with an audio commentary by Francis Ford Coppola (which goes silent for lengthy patches of time). There is a promo trailer for Jumper. The second disc in the set is a DVD with the following bonus material included all in standard definition. Patton – A Rebel Revisted is a 90-minute documentary on General George Patton narrated by Burt Reynolds. The film offers not only a biography of the famous man but also contrasts his real-life story to the way he’s depicted in the movie showing the truths and the occasional fabrications and omissions used for dramatic effect. Patton’s Ghost Corps is a 46 ½-minute documentary about the XX Corps, a group of men who accomplished remarkable things during the last months of World War II even when abandoned by George Patton at certain points as he fought the Battle of the Bulge. The first hand accounts by actual members of the Corps make for a fascinating featurette. “The Making of Patton” is an excellent documentary about the production of the film with audio and video interviews with many key players including Fox chief Richard Zanuck, producer Frank McCarthy, director Franklin Schaffner, cinematographer Fred Koenekamp, star George C. Scott, and composer Jerry Goldsmith. It runs 49 ¾ minutes. Two stills galleries are compiled in montage form. One has Jerry Goldsmith’s Oscar-nominated score playing in the background for 32 minutes while the other running 53 ¼ minutes offers an audio essay of biographical anecdotes on George Patton. The film’s theatrical trailer runs 1 ¾ minutes.
4.5/5 (not an average) A great film classic and now a great Blu-ray transfer to match its excellence, Patton is a must have disc. While it would have been nice to have a more interesting and informative commentary and for the bonus material to have been presented in high definition, the movie’s the thing, and this one is a peach. Highly recommended! Matt Hough Charlotte, NC