Patton (1970)

It was probably 11 years ago when I tried to rent every movie available at the local Blockbuster. Somewhere in there, I went through a military movie phase and recall renting Patton. I’ve been aware of this film’s award-winning pedigree, yet I am still puzzled by all the pomp and circumstance after a second viewing.

George C. Scott gives a fantastic performance as one of the highly regarded military officers in United States history. No matter what Patton did on the battlefield, his ego and personality sunk his career and reputation. 

Patton may have been one of the smartest officers in the middle of World War II, yet he was never able to reach his full potential. Whenever he’d take a step forward, he’d open up his mouth and end up fourteen steps back. Scott goes above and beyond as a tough as nails commander who is not afraid to step over the line and undercut any and all his superiors. 

Anyone fortunate enough to train under Patton was provided with military training that superseded the ordinary training standards. There was a catch to the whole operation though if you fell out of line, even the slightest slip-up, you felt Patton’s wrath, which was so unique. Whenever he finds something that he doesn’t like, he’ll blow more than a few blood vessels and embarrass that soldier in front of everyone. 

Patton was a great leader who had an unclenched thirst for war. In a uniform, in a jeep, leading men, he was on top of his game. When he was planning or sitting around with other officers, he’d shoot his mouth off and try to convince people he was better for the job than anyone else. Those moments really turned this mastermind of the battlefield into one polarizing individual. Sadly his tenure came to an abrupt end, and his legacy went with him. 

The film Patton did the best it could to showcase his brilliance and his fall from grace. Scott’s performance is the highlight of the entire project. Personally, I thought the story was nothing spectacular. Even the battle sequences weren’t overly exciting. I have seen more than a dozen military movies with more heart-stopping action, yet this one took home the grandest prize of them all. I just don’t see it. 5/10

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