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Attack (1956) More at IMDbPro »

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Attack -- Attack is based on the play by Norman Brooks, The Fragile Fox.  This searing war film is a powerful indictment against a military system which protects even its most incompetent of officers.


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Norman Brooks (play)
James Poe (screenplay)
View company contact information for Attack on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 October 1956 (USA) See more »
TRAPPED BEHIND ENEMY LINES...THEY PASSED THE WORD ALONG TO -- ATTACK (original print ad - all caps) See more »
In 1945, an American Infantry company sets up an artillery observation post but tensions between captain Cooney and lieutenant Costa run high. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
(22 articles)
The Truculent Cinema of Robert Aldrich
 (From MUBI. 16 September 2016, 10:36 PM, PDT)

Lee Marvin Died 29 Years Ago Today – Here Are His Ten Best Films
 (From 29 August 2016, 7:32 PM, PDT)

Games nobody talks about anymore: Operation Wolf
 (From Den of Geek. 27 February 2015, 7:45 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Impressive War Drama See more (72 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jack Palance ... Lt. Joe Costa - Fox Co.

Eddie Albert ... Capt. Erskine Cooney

Lee Marvin ... Lt. Col. Clyde Bartlett - CO, White Battalion

Robert Strauss ... Pfc. Bernstein

Richard Jaeckel ... Pvt. Snowden

Buddy Ebsen ... Sfc. Tolliver - Fox Co.
Jon Shepodd ... Cpl. John Jackson - Fox Co. (communications)

Peter van Eyck ... SS Captain (as Peter Van Eyck)
Jim Goodwin ... Pfc. Ricks (as Jimmy Goodwin)
Steven Geray ... Otto - German NCO

Jud Taylor ... 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

Strother Martin ... Sgt. Ingersol
Leonard Bremen ... Mess Sergeant

William Smithers ... Lt. Harold 'Harry' Woodruff
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Bing Russell ... Medic (uncredited)

Directed by
Robert Aldrich 
Writing credits
Norman Brooks (play "Fragile Fox")

James Poe (screenplay)

Produced by
Robert Aldrich .... producer
Walter Blake .... associate producer
Original Music by
Frank De Vol  (as Frank Devol)
Cinematography by
Joseph F. Biroc (photographed by) (as Joseph Biroc)
Film Editing by
Michael Luciano 
Art Direction by
William Glasgow 
Set Decoration by
Glen Daniels  (as Glen L. Daniels)
Makeup Department
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup artist
Production Management
Jack R. Berne .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert H. Justman .... assistant director (as Robert Justman)
Sound Department
Robert A. Reich .... sound effects
Jack Solomon .... sound
Special Effects by
Dave Koehler .... special effects (as David B. Koehler)
Loren Janes .... stunts (uncredited)
Bob Rose .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Phil Stern .... still photographer (uncredited)
Casting Department
Jack Murton .... casting supervisor
Music Department
Frank De Vol .... conductor (as Frank Devol)
Other crew
Bud Cokes .... technical supervisor
Robert Sherman .... dialogue supervisor
Adele T. Strassfield .... assistant to producer
Paul Vroom .... produced on the stage by
Saul Bass .... title designer (uncredited)
William E. Orr .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
107 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono | Mono (Glen Glenn Sound)
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:PG (video rating: feature and trailer) (2003) | UK:PG (video rating) (1997) | USA:Approved (MPAA rating: certificate #18001) | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

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 »
Audio/visual unsynchronized: In the last 10 minutes of the movie, a character is shot by several other characters. With each of these shots, an empty shell casing should have been ejected from the rifles (M1 carbine and M1). In addition, the empty brass would have made a noticeable "tink" sound as it hit the stone floor in the cellar.See more »
Costa:Cooney. I'm going to give you something to think about. If I ever lose another man on account of you, just one, you'll never see the States again.See more »
Movie Connections:


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29 out of 48 people found the following review useful.
Impressive War Drama, 7 April 2004
Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland

Anyone remember a 1965 war movie called BATTLE OF THE BULGE ? That's the movie supposedly set during the Ardennes campaign in Belguim but instead of seeing snow shrouded forests we're led to believe the conflict took place on dusty desert plains . Unfortunately with ATTACK director Robert Aldrich makes a similar error in geography and weather conditions . There's no snow to be seen ( Apart from some fake snow in one scene ) there's no forests and you do get the feeling the movie was filmed on a hot summers day no matter how the cast try and convince you other wise . In fact I felt rather sorry for the actors dressed in heavy greatcoats jumping up and down trying to get into character and it's interesting to note that by half way through the movie everyone has stopped in their vain attempts trying to convince the audience it's a very cold day

That said ATTACK is a very impressive war drama - and please note I used the word drama in the last sentence . It's based on a play but unlike a lot of movies based on plays that often use flashback to tell the tale the roots of the source is hidden , this actually feels cinematic . The movie centres around the conflict Lt Costa who blames his commanding officer Captain Cooney for getting his platoon wiped out . The human drama of cowardice and command and the motive of revenge feature very heavily . It should also be pointed out how well Captain Cooney is written and played by Eddie Albert , he's relatively sympathetic as a weak man who seems caught up in things outside his control though at the end he does become a sort of melodramtic carichture . The whole cast do a good job and the scenes with Lee Marvin and Eddie Albert together are superb . It's such a pity no one seems to make war movies this intelligent anymore

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Attack (1956)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Cowards!!! in war movies (Attack)'56 vs (Paths of Glory)'57 gauthierxavier
The Ending... gtak77
Why the hell is this movie unknown?!!! Goodfella_no4
e. albert's accent comes and goes... ksf-2
TCM kueskues
Notes on the Source Play gvb0907
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