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Attack (1956)

Approved  |   |  Drama, War, Action  |  17 October 1956 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,309 users  
Reviews: 69 user | 23 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 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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Apparently, women were banned from being on the set according to the production notes press-book for this movie. This was done in order to establish authenticity for the actors. See more »


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 »


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.

36 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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