Operation Market Garden, September 1944: The Allies attempt to capture several strategically important bridges in the Netherlands in the hope of breaking the German lines. However, mismanagement and poor planning result in its failure.
In the winter of 1944, the Allied Armies stand ready to invade Germany at the coming of a New Year. To prevent this occurrence, Hitler orders an all out offensive to re-take French territory and capture the major port city of Antwerp. "The Battle of the Bulge" shows this conflict from the perspective of an American intelligence officer as well as from a German Panzer Commander. Written by
Anthony Hughes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
After 20th Century Fox had put out The Longest Day to such critical and popular success, you might have thought that Warner Brothers would have learned and copied that formula. They even hired Ken Annakin who was one of the directors for The Longest Day.
But if you are looking for the names of Eisenhower, Bradley, Patton, Hodges, and Montgomery on the Allied side and Von Rundstedt and Model among the Germans you will be disappointed. All the names of the principals are changed. Folks like Henry Fonda, Robert Ryan, and Dana Andrews are playing fictionalized characters.
A couple of things are brought in mainly because they are part of the legend of the Bulge, the Malmedy Massacre and the famous reply of General McAuliffe to the German inquiry about surrendering the besieged town of Bastogne. In fact the latter is just dropped into the story without any of the principal players involved. I guess the producers had a thought that no film about the Bulge would be accepted without it, no matter how forced.
It would have been nice if a straight dramatic narrative approach had been used like The Longest Day. With of course the names of the real people. Part of the Bulge story was told in MGM's Battleground and in Patton.
In this film the best performances are that of Robert Shaw as the fanatical Nazi Panzer commander and his war weary aide Hans Christian Blech. Honorable mention should also go to George Montgomery as a tough American sergeant and his lieutenant James MacArthur who grows in stature thanks to Montgomery's example.
For a film that is more than two and a half hours in length, I'd have liked to have seen the real deal though.
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