72 user 28 critic

Attack (1956)

Approved | | Drama, War, Action | 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.



(play), (screenplay)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In 1933, during the Depression, Shack the brutal conductor of the number 19 train has a personal vendetta against the best train hopping hobo tramp in the Northwest, A No. 1.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Keith Carradine
The Big Knife (1955)
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Hollywood actor Charles Castle is pressured by his studio boss into a criminal cover-up to protect his valuable career.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Jack Palance, Ida Lupino, Wendell Corey
Men in War (1957)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

During the Korean War, a battle-worn lieutenant and his platoon are behind enemy lines, and have orders to march to Hill 465 for possible relief.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Robert Ryan, Aldo Ray, Robert Keith
Apache (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Refusing to let himself be re-settled on a Florida reservation,Massai,an Apache warrior,escapes his captors and returns to his homeland to become a peaceful farmer.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Jean Peters, John McIntire
Vera Cruz (1954)
Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

During the Mexican Rebellion of 1866, an unsavory group of American adventurers are hired by the forces of Emporer Maximilian to escort a countess to Vera Cruz.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Gary Cooper, Burt Lancaster, Denise Darcel
War | Drama | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

During the Korean War peace talks, U.S. troops fight to retake a hill from the Communist Chinese forces.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Gregory Peck, Harry Guardino, Rip Torn
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story of a platoon during the Korean War. One by one Corporal Denno's superiors are killed until it comes to the point where he must try to take command responsibility.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Richard Basehart, Gene Evans, Michael O'Shea
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

At the end of the Second World War six German ex-soldiers return to Berlin and set up as a bomb disposal group. The pressure of the dangerous work starts to affect them, the more so as they... See full summary »

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Jack Palance, Jeff Chandler, Martine Carol
The Way Ahead (1944)
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A group of conscripts are called up into the infantry during WWII. At first they appear a hopeless bunch but their sergeant and Lieutenant have faith in them and mould them into a good team... See full summary »

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: David Niven, Stanley Holloway, James Donald
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When the South loses the war, Confederate veteran O'Meara goes West, joins the Sioux, takes a wife and refuses to be an American but he must choose a side when the Sioux go to war against the U.S. Army.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Rod Steiger, Sara Montiel, Brian Keith
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

During World War II, an American destroyer meets a German U-Boat. Both captains are experts, and so begins a deadly game of cat-and-mouse.

Director: Dick Powell
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Curd Jürgens, David Hedison
Drama | War | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In 1941, Greek resistance entrusts an American journalist with a Greek double-agent secret list that must reach London and must not fall into Nazi hands.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Stanley Baker, Elisabeth Müller


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


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


The battle baitin' bazooka bouncers of company "C"! See more »


Drama | War | Action


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

17 October 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Attack!  »

Box Office


$750,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (Glen Glenn Sound)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The scene where Lt. Costa hits Pvt. Ricks should have never happened if Sgt. Tolliver had done his job. Tolliver as the platoon sergeant should have understood what his lieutenant wanted and should have had Ricks keeping his eyes open and watching enemy movement. If he had been more responsible he would have been doing the observation himself, as he was more experienced and knew what to look for. There being only three privates a platoon sergeant and a lieutenant made the sergeant's job easier. If you watched Band of Brothers (2001) and noted what First Sergeant Lipton did, you'll see what should have been done. Both Tech Sergeant and 1st Sergeant are senior non-commissioned officers (NCOs), with the Tech Sergeant being the highest NCO slot available at the platoon level; they are responsible for the enlisted men. See more »


When the wooden beam falls on Bernstein, breaking his leg, he twitches and the beam moves up, making it obvious that it's a prop weighing hardly anything. See more »


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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A four star war film
28 May 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Based on a play Fragile Fox that was on Broadway during the early Fifties, Attack is one of the best war films ever made. No sham heroics here, just men doing a dirty job and caught in an extremely lousy situation due to politics.

Lee Marvin is a politically ambitious colonel who's national guard company has been activated for World War II. He's got to babysit and keep an eye on Eddie Albert who's father is a big shot in the unnamed southern state he comes from. Only Albert is an incompetent and a coward. That's causing problems up and down the ranks.

How it all gets resolved is what you have to see Attack for and Robert Aldrich never directed a better film. There's not a bad performance here, not a minute of film wasted.

The contrasting character is Jack Palance who is the lead character. His courage and concern for the men he leads are set up in a direct counterpoint to Albert. His climactic scene is one of the most harrowing ever put on film.

It is appropriate with news of Eddie Albert leaving us at the grand old age of 99 to pay tribute to what is probably the best performance this multi-talented and under-appreciated performer ever did. His Captain Cooney is one of the most malevolent creatures ever put to celluloid. He's such a bad man, his performance will make your skin crawl, Albert is that good in this role. Both he and Palance should have been up for Oscars in 1956.

William Smithers made a good film debut in Attack. He never reached the heights of stardom, but Star Trek fans will know him for a role in the original series as Captain Merik who oddly enough made the same bad choices in that episode that Captain Cooney does in Attack.

The cast is populated with war film veterans and they all do their usual fine job. There were times that it didn't seem possible you could make a war film without Lee Marvin, Robert Strauss, or Richard Jaeckel. God Bless 'em all.

And Attack is a film not to be missed even if you don't particularly like war films.

16 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Ending... gtak77
Why the hell is this movie unknown?!!! Goodfella_no4
Cowards!!! in war movies (Attack)'56 vs (Paths of Glory)'57 gauthierxavier
Town/street fighting chvic
This isn't anti-military! jimmygude
Plot Question plaidmonkey12
Discuss Attack (1956) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: