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4 Stars

By Total Film | Apr 24th 2006

"The Academy Awards are a two-hour meat parade, a public display with contrived suspense for economic reasons." Ah, George C Scott, back in the halcyon days when the Oscars were a mere two hours. And he still chose to refuse his gong for playing General George S Patton in Franklin Schaffner's sterling biopic of the firebrand World War Two commander. "There he goes, old 'Blood and Guts'," remarks one GI as Patton speeds by. "Yeah," says another. "Our blood, his guts..." Whatever the reality of the man, here Patton is brilliant, arrogant, vain, charming, Godly, angry and tender; the definitive geni-arse. "Patton is a romantic warrior lost in contemporary times," remarks a German rival, in one of the Other Side scenes where they all conveniently pontificate about how great the Yank Tank commander is. It's certainly a great performance from Scott, a seamless, pity-free portrayal.


DVD Extras:

The extras are terrific, too: on-set photography (with historical audio essay) and two hefty docs. The 90-minute A Rebel Revisited explores the film's historical veracity (not bad, but our Monty wasn't the idiot presented by Hollywood) and might have worked even better as a commentary, while the 50-minute Making Of includes Oliver Stone explaining how Nixon's love for Patton led to genocide in Cambodia. He's got a point, though whinges about how it "glorified war" by presenting this "heroic general" are a bit much coming from the man who made Alexander.

A Rebel Revisited
Making Of
On-set photography
Historical audio essay

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