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Battleground (1949)

Approved | | Action, War, Drama | 20 January 1950 (USA)
A squad of the 101st Airborne Division copes with being trapped in the besieged city of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.

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(story and screenplay)
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Jim Layton
...
Abner Spudler
...
Standiferd
Bruce Cowling ...
Wolowicz
...
...
...
The Chaplain
...
Hansan (as Guy Anderson)
Thomas E. Breen ...
Doc
...
Denise
...
Bettis
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Storyline

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 <mcb@postmodern.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The guts! The girls! The glory! of a lot of wonderful guys! See more »

Genres:

Action | War | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

20 January 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bastogne  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,631,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Dore Schary had been recruited to rejoin MGM following his successful run at RKO. This was one of the projects (and one that RKO boss Howard Hughes had rejected) that Schary insisted on making as part of his employment at MGM, over the protestations of MGM head Louis B. Mayer, who believed that movie audiences had had their fill of war in general and war films in particular. Schary got his way. The movie was such a box office hit that within months he was elected to the board at MGM and MGM-parent Loew's Inc. chief Nick Schenck would fire Mayer by the summer of 1951. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the movie Holley (Van Johnson) enters the tent wearing a class A uniform. Although currently worn above the ribbon rack, at the time the film takes place, the Combat Infantryman Badge was worn on the left breast pocket, below the ribbons. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Holley: [as they begin marching from the battlefield, passing their replacements as they enter] Hey, Kinnie - what ever happened to Jody?
Sgt. Kinnie: All right, come on! Come on! What do you want these guys to think, you're a bunch of WACs? Alright, alright pick it up now. Hut, two, three. Hut, two, three, four. Hut, two, three, four. You had a good home but you left...
I Company: You're right!
Sgt. Kinnie: Jody was there when you left...
I Company: You're right!
Sgt. Kinnie: Your Baby was there when you left...
I Company: You're right!
Sgt. Kinnie: Sound off!
I Company: One, two
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in MGM Parade: Episode #1.1 (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
(uncredited)
Written by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie
Sung by the soldiers
See more »

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User Reviews

WWII ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT
1 June 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Just as "All Quiet on the Western Front" was emblematic of the first world war, so "Battleground" is similarly drawn out in time, wringing the desperation, danger and fear of prolonged battle. It is not quite an anti-war film, as WWII was really the Last Good War. Men had to be sacrificed, but they did for a noble cause. Where would we be if the Nazis had triumphed?

The men were surrounded, the mist obscured everything, and it was bitter cold in the French winter, near Bastogne. It was the Battle of the Bulge, where the fate of Western Europe was decided. The film showed the cameraderie and cohesion necessary to be an effective infantry company, but there was no way out till finally the weather broke and our planes came to save them.

Though utterly exhausted and sick to death, the final victory march was dramatically triumphant.


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