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Despite the title, this is really a regular behind-the-scenes feature that discusses all the aspects of making this award-winning movie and the people involved in it, not just the director, Franklin Shaffner.
Shaffner's voice, along with a few other key players behind the scenes, discuss how great George C. Scott was in the title role and Karl Malden in the "dull" role of General Bradley. Both actors were highly complimented from Shaffner, 20th Century Fox President Richard Zanuck and others. Zanuck, by the way, seems to be in a lot of these features on DVDs. I think it is obvious he likes to be seen and heard on these discs.
We hear a lot from Fred Konekamp, too. He was the cinematographer. Voices of Shaffner, Scott, Producer Frank McCarthy and others are heard as footage of the film is shown. These men were dead and Scott in his last year or two when this documentary was filmed.
Anyway, it's 50 minutes long and you have to be a fan of the movie to enjoy this, because some of it - especially the camera information - is technical and might bore the casual viewer. However, if you are watching it, you probably own the double-disc DVD and have the interest, so I would recommend checking it out.
There is enough interesting behind-the-scenes facts to make it worth the look. I didn't realize, for instance, that almost all of the outdoor scenes were done in Spain; that they used 72 locations for just 74 pages of script - almost a new location for every page. That meant making up all the equipment and people and moving all the time. This would never be done today. All that Army equipment was from the United States but now was owned by the Spanish Army. The latter got our stuff in exchange for us being able to use their air bases. The Spanish Army, by the way, was used "for hire" for movie producers and was used in a number of films.
In an era of no computer special-effects and the like, what was shot in here in this film was amazing. They shot in every conceivable weather condition, too, and didn't care.
Scott was such an intense actor that he struggled at times. He was a perfectionist, wanted to get "Patton" down perfectly but was hindered by physical pain and a drinking problem. However, he certainly did the job!
The only absurd part of this feature is a short interview near the end with filmmaker Oliver Stone, who says the movie "Patton" helped "create genocide." I won't even go into how he got there. All I can say is this guy is even nuttier than I thought and to give him time for his nonsense took away from this story. Depite that crackpot, this DVD bonus feature still is worth checking out.
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