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Attack (1956)

 -  Drama | War | Action  -  17 October 1956 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 2,810 users  
Reviews: 63 user | 21 critic

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 ... See full summary »

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Title: Attack (1956)

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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)
James 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 ...
Soldier 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:

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

Throughout the picture, German infantrymen use what seems to be some variation of the water-cooled Browning 30-caliber machine gun, which was a U.S. weapon. Also, the German tanks don't resemble any Panzers in use during World War II. See more »

Quotes

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 »

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User Reviews

An actors WW2-movie that explodes in human drama!
22 December 2003 | by (Oslo, Norway) – See all my reviews

For anyone interested in the subject of World War II - as tackled by Hollywood - "Attack" is a classic first-rate contribution to the genre. With a stellar cast including, oh, listen to this:

1. The captivating Jack Palance in one of his finest roles.

2. Eddie Albert, one of the most likable actors, normally known for playing lovable good-guys her he delivers a character you will just love to hate.

3. Lee Marvin, no comment necessary, one of the very few screen actor from the raw school of coolness (where his only competition was that of Steve McQueen, James Coburn and Charles Bronson).

4. Robert Strauss, who like in the classic "Stalag 17" again gives us some welcomed comic relief well mixed with drama and first rate acting.

5. Buddy Ebsen, excellent and always above-par, whether it was as 'Doc' in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" or TV's 'Barnaby Jones' and 'Jed Clampett' of "The Beverly Hillbillies".

6. Richard Jaeckel, who's fine career spanned from this through hits like "The Dirty Dozen" and all the way to uhm... "Baywatch"!

7. William Smithers who despite this star-making film debut (as the REAL main character of the movie) oddly enough never seemed to top this role (somehow he is credited last here on the IMDb, probably because his name is the last to show up during the opening titles with an "And introducing" attached to it).

The whole sha-bang is directed by the great Robert Aldrich who really deserves credit for this one, as I am sure this story of a US Army officer struck by cowardice during WW2 was hard to stomach for some people just 11 years after the big one ended. Aldrich would go on the direct one of the grand-daddy's of guys-on-a-mission-movies, the before mentioned "The Dirty Dozen" (1967). Not surprisingly Aldrich would work with many of the above listed actors on several occasions, which is another testament to the sturdy cast of "Attack".

All these forces combined - in front off and behind the camera - results in a memorable ride through the darkest corners of the human soul, mixed with some thrilling battle scenes. As this is originally based on a play it might seem a bit talky to some, but wait for the first hour to pass and then it will suddenly explode in drama and first-rate acting. The many confrontations these characters have are all so intense they actually make you forget all the solid action scenes!

Definitely one of the most important Hollywood-contributions exploring the drama of war, worth adding to your WW2-collection!


13 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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