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An American army unit is trapped behind German lines in a small town by a German counterattack. The unit's commander discovers that there is a spy in town among the civilian population who is providing the Germans with military information. Written by
When asked about this movie, Burt Reynolds replied, "'Armored Command' is one of the first pictures in which Howard Keel had a non-singing role. He should've sung; we need all the help we can get." See more »
Several sequences of action are repeated during the final battle scene. See more »
I have to say that this film has a little spot of nostalgia for me as it was a favorite when I was a kid. On a winter afternoon in the days of three or four channels of TV per market, it made the grade and also led to playing army out in the snow. Many of these actors were on the tube at the time including Tina Louise, Burt Reynolds, and Earl Holliman and we all liked Howard Keels performance.
This is an average war film based on a real battle that seemed meant to showcase a lot of young talent rather than anything else. I think one would have seen this at the Bijou as the second feature. It is better than a lot of the imports that were beginning to saturate the market at the time.
The casting is good and the cast is competent. Howard Keel, Warner Anderson, and Carlton Young anchor this exciting young cast. Tina Louise is the femme fatal and gives you a peak at her pre "Ginger" acting on "Gilligan's Island!" because she is an authoritative bitch when she commands her fellow spy's! Good or bad, Earl Holliman and Burt Reynolds give performances not unlike what they given throughout their entire careers.
Everyone gave this the college try in no doubt thanks to Byron Haskin's workmanlike direction. The producer of the film also wrote it which might explain the "Battleground" and other war movie clichés but this makes the film an encyclopedia of clichés and you have to be a war movie nut to notice them. Marty Feldman reminds me of the kind of role that they would have had George Tobias do. I do not know the name of the guy playing the Frenchman but he is cool right down to his beret.
In staging the battle, the budget soon starts to strain but just a bit. It is ambitious to do any film about the Battle of the Bulge and the money people had to surrender to reality very early. Still, compared to the phony Tiger tanks in "Attack" the M 60's (?) used are more than OK and the action footage creates drama. It almost looks like they used the West German Army while it was out on maneuvers. You wonder what they could have done with a fraction of the budget for "Battle of the Bulge", the Cinerama fantasy war film with super NAZI Robert Shaw that would be released a few years later or the "Longest Day" which was released just before this.
PS: The German's are at their best "Combat" acting style! I like the atmosphere of this film. I have it on in the background as I enter this. It is winter outside here and we are in the middle of a snow storm. I wonder if someone like Tina Louise is lying out there somewhere?
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