All glory is fleeting.

A film filled with as much patriotic fervor as its main character, Patton is a war biography that doesn’t seem like much at first, but it will swiftly win you over with its presentation. Patton does what a great bio-film should do; not worry so much about covering the man’s entire life, but encapsulate the man himself as he was, at his best. Deftly directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, this film achieves so much with what it has that it can’t help but be a pleasure to watch as well.

George C. Scott’s General Patton is one of the most fully realized characters I think I have ever witnessed on screen. I’ve seen Scott in several films, and enjoyed him in pretty much all of them; he’s one of my go-to great character actors, but here, he surpasses even my lofty expectations – he completely becomes the character. Patton is a fearsome, intimidating character the likes of which rarely grace the screen, and Scott completely commands it every time he appears. The production value and art direction are truly exemplary, as is the cinematography, which is rich and full with vibrant spirit and color, yet can be bleak and tanned out when the occasion calls for it.

This is very much a war movie more than it is a biography, but more than anything it is an aggregate look at the spirit and character of a man who many regard with true pride and honor, and what he was like in his prime. In this, it succeeds vastly, and is a damn good film to boot. Given the opportunity, this is definitely a must see as a great film and as an acting display for George C. Scott’s impressive performance.

Arbitrary Rating: 9/10


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