Friday, April 30, 2010

Attack! (1956)

Attack! is an American war film directed by Robert Aldrich starring Jack Palance and bad boy Lee Marvin. It's about courage, honesty, standing up for what is right, and condemning to the depths of hell cowardly and dishonest behaviour, and it's just the kind of movie I like. It's easy to get real worked up about some of the bastards in this movie, while also cheering on the heroes. So it tells the story of an American front line combat unit in Belgium, during WWII. Col. Clyde Bartlett(Lee Marvin) runs the show, and he's placed Erskine Cooney(Eddie Albert) as Captain to help his post war political career. See, Erskine is the son of a top judge in the states, and the judge wants to make a war hero out of his cowardly son. Bartlett can use the judge's help after the war, two agendas meet conveniently as one, and you have a fuck up of a situation that follows. The opening scene shows a platoon get shot to pieces, and we learn later on that Cooney could have saved the men and provided support but he's too yellow! The sniveling little runt. See what I mean about getting worked up! Lt. Harold Woodruff (William Smithers) and Lt. Joe Costa (Jack Palance) are two brave fighters who are fuckin pissed off that a snivelling runt such as Cooney is in charge of the troops. Moral is low, so Woodruff tries to reason with Col. Bartlett to get rid of Cooney. But Bartlett is one step ahead. He's fairly frank with Woodruff, being unpretentious he knows that Cooney is nothin but a yellu belly, but he's heard from above that the chances of this unit seeing combat again is 100/1. So he's willing to play the game to get what he wants. Woodruff doesn't like the sound of Cooney staying on, but the news of the unit's slim chances of battle again lifts his spirits enough for him to go along. Then UH OH! seems like there's a new smell of Nazi around the place, Lt. Costa must send his platoon into a small neighbouring town for a reconnaissance mission. Costa must obey, but warns Cooney that if he fails to provide support and chickens out again, he'll "stick this grenade down (his) throat and pull the pin!". Hell yeah. So, the platoon get sent into the small town that low and behold is ridden with SS and fuggin Panzers. Costa's unit is torn to shreds, and where is Cooney? Downing whiskey because he's too scared to enter combat. He tells them to pull out instead and just basically run back, that's the best thing to do. I know situations in war get exaggerated in movies, but I was out of my seat punching at an imaginary Cooney in my living room, yelling and screaming. What a bastard. Anyway, before I reveal the entire movie, I'll just say that this is one hell of a movie to get riled up about. And the way in which the heroes deal with the crummy situation is great to be apart of. It's like a lessons of life movie. Lotsa great examples of how to deal with sonsabitches.


Frank said...

Man oh man do I love Jack Palance.

Jimbob said...

I just love his face! He's got a chin carved out of rock. I'd love to look that cool.