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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (Glen Glenn Sound)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Records in the Department of Defense Film Collection at Georgetown University Library suggest that both the US Department of Defense and the US Army refused to assist with the production of this movie based on its film script. Just before production filming began on 16 January 1956, a 13 January 1956 letter from the Office of the Chief of Information of the Department of the US Army said that this film's movie script "is a very distasteful story and derogatory of Army leadership during combat including weak leadership, cowardice, and finally, the murder of the Company Commander." Moreover, a 26 January 1956 Department of Defense memo reiterated this, concurring with the "Army appraisal." The upshot of this was that the production were forced to buy or hire army and military equipment and weapons and could not loan or borrow them from those Defense arms. See more »

Goofs

In every shot in which they appear, the "German" tanks have external travel locks on their main gun, including while they are firing. These braces are mainly applied when the tank is being transported by ship or train, and is to prevent the turret from shaking and damaging sensitive systems like aiming mechanisms. However, any such device would be removed long before the tank enters combat, as it makes aiming virtually impossible. That, and thanks to recoil, the act of firing the gun in such a situation would not only damage the lock, but also likely harm the very mechanisms the lock is supposed to help protect in the first place. 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 »

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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