7.5/10
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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.

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(play), (screenplay)
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Cast

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)
Steven Geray ...
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
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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:

TRAPPED BEHIND ENEMY LINES...THEY PASSED THE WORD ALONG TO -- ATTACK (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama | War | Action

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 October 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Attack!  »

Box Office

Budget:

$750,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (Glen Glenn Sound)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Aldrich said of this film in Edwin T. Arnold's biography "The Films and Career of Robert Aldrich": "My main anti-war argument was not the usual 'war is hell,' but the terribly corrupting influence that war can have on the most normal, average human beings, and the terrible things it makes them capable of that they wouldn't be capable of otherwise." Aldrich added that the film was meant to be a "sincere plea for peace." See more »

Goofs

The German tanks don't resemble any Panzers in use during World War II. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Harold 'Harry' Woodruff: You know what I gotta do Joe. You'd do the same thing.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: EUROPE 1944 See more »

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User Reviews

The Great Jack Palance in a Powerful War Film
30 May 2000 | by (Out there in the dark) – See all my reviews

Long on several "lost film" lists, "Attack" is at last available on video. There are several reasons to see this film. It is a forerunner of so many grim, realistic movies that treat the subject with intelligence ("Men In War", "Pork Chop Hill", "Platoon", "The Thin Red Line"). It is brilliantly directed (many scenes are almost unbearable in their naked dramatic truth). And it contains several performances that demand attention.

The conviction of Eddie Albert's playing of the cowardly Lieutenant may come as a surprise to those unaware of his talents. Lee Marvin also delivers a solid characterization, as do most of the other supporting players. But the main feature of this film is the astonishing portrayal of Lt. Costa by Jack Palance. The kind of immersion in a role that Palance exhibits here is rare. It is the kind of performance that seems more like "being" than acting. A number of close-ups of Palance's face deliver a frisson of emotional intensity and truth that are rare and wonderful in the cinema of any period. In fact, Palance helps to demonstrate, in this picture, why "war films" should exist as a genre. The condition of war, of combat in particular, serves to foreground, polarize and intensify emotions and moral convictions. It can call into question the very nature of humanity. Just what is the price of a human life? What do we as humans mean to one another? When do concepts like 'bravery' and 'cowardice' cease to have meaning?

"Attack" is a small film, great in its impact.


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