We follow a band of American soldiers as they engage the Germans in a snowy, foggy winter near Bastogne in World War II. They're low on fuel, rations, and ammunition; the Germans are constantly encouraging their surrender via radio and leaflets, and most importantly, the pervasive thick fog makes movement and identification difficult and prevents their relief by Allied air support. This film focuses much more on the psychology and morale of the soldiers than on action footage and heroics.Written by
Michael C. Berch <email@example.com>
In an interview released shortly after the film came out, James Whitmore said that he based his appearance and his attitude partly on Bill Mauldin's famous "Willie and Joe" cartoons that appeared in the "Stars and Stripes" newspaper, popular with servicemen during World War II. See more »
Towards the end of the movie, one of the troopers takes out a grenade and places it next to his foxhole with the bottom facing towards the camera. Even though the editors made a smear mark on
the film in an obvious attempt to hide it, you can plainly see that the genuine war surplus grenade had a large hole drilled its bottom. See more »
Pvt. Donald Jarvess:
Only one thing gets me. When you work on a newspaper, I'd get those wire releases and know I was the first person in town who had the news, all the news. I guarantee you my wife knows what's going on in Bastogne. All I know is what's going on in the 2nd squad of the 3rd platoon of I company.
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Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »
I watched this movie all the time with my Grandpa growing up. He was a vet of the US Army in the Pacific and he told me that this was the only movie where a M-1 rifle and artillery actually sounded real. That is because both were the real sounds they made. The artillery was actually recorded during the war and used in the film.
The characters you can connect with. The circumstances were anything but ideal to fight a war in. You see Layton grow into a vet before your eyes. You see men scared, terrified, and there for each other. Until "Band of Brothers" came out this was my favorite flick about WWII, and it's definitely the best of the "old school" war movies.
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