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Attack (1956)

Approved  |   |  Drama, War, Action  |  17 October 1956 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,220 users  
Reviews: 68 user | 22 critic

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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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:

It rips open the hot hell behind the glory! 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

On the 27 February 1956, director Robert Aldrich wrote a letter to the Chief of the Motion Picture Section of the Pictorial Branch of the US Department of Defense (DOD), Donald Baruch, protesting this movie's rejection by the US Army and US DOD. It stated: "Theatrically and film wise, moral values are measured in comparatives; strength is measured against weakness; heroics against cowardice . . . We feel strongly that our film is one that shows beyond question qualities of moral righteousness, leadership, courage, heroism and above all, personal integrity on the part of both enlisted men and officers of the Army. To make characters white it is necessary to have a reflective comparison against characters that are not white. Such is the case in our film." In a later 11 March 1956 reply letter, Aldrich added: "No citizen sets out intentionally to defame the defense organization of his country. There obviously can and at times should be differences of opinion as to what is for the good of the country and what is not. Should one lose such an argument at such a level, fine, but never to have the chance or the opportunity to make that argument to me seems a little ridiculous." See more »

Goofs

When the "German" tank attacks the "V" shaped main gun support (used only when moving long distances and never in combat) is clearly visible. A few seconds later the support is missing. A second later it is back in place. See more »

Quotes

Sfc. Tolliver, Fox Co.: [refusing a drink] Captain, down around where I come from we dearly love our whiskey. But we don't drink with another man unless we respect him.
See more »

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.


34 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why the hell is this movie unknown?!!! Goodfella_no4
The Ending... gtak77
Town/street fighting chvic
Cowards!!! in war movies (Attack)'56 vs (Paths of Glory)'57 gauthierxavier
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