7.5/10
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Attack (1956)

Approved | | Action, Drama, War | 17 October 1956 (USA)
In 1945, an American Infantry company sets up an artillery observation post but tensions between Captain Cooney and Lieutenant Costa run high.

Director:

Robert Aldrich

Writers:

Norman Brooks (play), James Poe (screenplay)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Palance ... Lt. Joe Costa - Fox Co.
Eddie Albert ... Capt. Erskine Cooney
Lee Marvin ... Lt. Col. Clyde Bartlett - CO, White Battalion
Robert Strauss ... Pfc. Bernstein
Richard Jaeckel ... Pvt. Snowden
Buddy Ebsen ... Sfc. Tolliver - Fox Co.
Jon Shepodd Jon Shepodd ... Cpl. John Jackson - Fox Co. (communications)
Peter van Eyck ... SS Captain (as Peter Van Eyck)
Jim Goodwin Jim Goodwin ... Pfc. Ricks (as Jimmy Goodwin)
Steven Geray ... Otto - German NCO
Jud Taylor ... Pvt. Jacob R. Abramowitz - Radioman (as Judson Taylor)
Louis Mercier Louis Mercier ... Brouise - French blacksmith
Henry Rowland Henry Rowland ... German with Binoculars
Mike Ragan ... GI with binoculars
Ron McNeil Ron McNeil ... Pfc. Jones
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Storyline

During the closing days of WWII, a National Guard Infantry Company is assigned the task of setting up artillery observation posts in a strategic area. Lieutenant Costa knows that Cooney is in command only because of 'connections' he had made state-side. Costa has serious doubts concerning Cooneys' ability to lead the group. When Cooney sends Costa and his men out, and refuses to re-enforce them, Costa swears revenge. Written by Buxx Banner <buxx572@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It rips open the hot hell behind the glory! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

17 October 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Attack! See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$750,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,000,000, 31 December 1956
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cast member Richard Jaeckel said of this film in Edwin T. Arnold's biography, "The Films and Career of Robert Aldrich": "There were scenes of incredible tension--Palance [Jack Palance] coming down the stairs to get Albert [Eddie Albert]--we were all impressed, even in rehearsals. It was a heavy project." See more »

Goofs

Buddy Ebsen is listed as "Sfc. Tolliver - Fox Co.", with Sfc. as in Sergeant First Class. This rank was not established until 1948, changing the rank of 2nd Grade Technical Sergeant to Sergeant First Class. See more »

Quotes

Costa: Listen to me, Cooney! If you put me and my men in a wringer - -if you send us out there and let us hang - -I swear, I swear by all that's holy, I'll come back. I'll come back and take this grenade and shove it down your throat and pull the pin!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: EUROPE 1944 See more »

Alternate Versions

When originally released theatrically in the UK, the BBFC made cuts to secure a 'X' rating. All cuts were waived in 1997 when the film was granted a 'PG' certificate for home video. See more »

Connections

Featured in La noche de...: Negociador (2016) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Fantastic War Movie - No Holds Barred
17 October 2003 | by SgtSlaughterSee all my reviews

One of Robert Aldrich's classic war movies explores pyschological pressure and just how war effects men mentally. Even the "good guys" have their bad sides, and the bad guys are so screwed up you either sympathize with them or hate them.

During the fall of 1944, Captain Cooney (Eddie Albert) commands a weary infantry company. Lt. Costa (a young Jack Palance) realizes that Cooney is unfit for command when he freezes in combat. Costa and close friend Lt. Woodruff (Bill Smithers) try to inform their superior, Colonel Bartlett (Lee Marvin sporting a southern drawl) of Cooney's incompetence; instead, White wants to stay out of the way and hopes for the best. He owes Cooney a chance to become a hero so he can look good back home. Well, as you might have expected, Cooney again freezes in combat, this time costing the lives of several of Costa's men - and Costa goes looking for vengeance in an awesome climactic sequence.

The supporting cast is dotted with familiar faces, including Robert Strass from STALAG 17 as an oafish, emotional dogface; the late Buddy Ebsen (BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL) as Costa's loyal platoon sergeant; and Richard Jaeckel (who's appeared in at least a dozen war flicks) as another young soldier. Kudos to Bill Smithers, who does a fantastic job in an early role as Costa's rational friend. His final scene will leave you stunned and reeling.

The movie features a number of memorable scenes which combine physical action, superb dialog and emotion perfectly. One scene in which a mortally wounded Jack Palance prays that God will let him live long enough to kill Cooney is gut-wrenching. Interestingly, both Cooney and Costa have lost their grip on sanity. It's clear from the beginning that Cooney is a whackjob, and Costa is perfectly sane. But he becomes madly (no pun intended) obsessed with killing Cooney, that he forgets everything else - including his own men which is fighting to save. Instead of focusing on thousands of troops and big explosions, Aldrich delivers enough punch in his small-scale story to knock you down. Interiors and exteriors are beautifully shot, confining the action within small spaces to deliver maximum intensity and efficiency.

ATTACK! is an honest film - yes, this type of thing did happen; read or see BAND OF BROTHERS (particularly episode #7) to witness a brutally accurate account of flawed leadership resulting in disaster. I give an 11/10.


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