7.5/10
5,895
74 user 21 critic

Battleground (1949)

True tale about a squad of the 101st Airborne Division coping with being trapped by the Nazis in the besieged city of Bastogne, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge in December of 1944.

Director:

William A. Wellman

Writer:

Robert Pirosh (story and screenplay)
Reviews

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Van Johnson ... Holley
John Hodiak ... Jarvess
Ricardo Montalban ... Roderigues
George Murphy ... 'Pop' Stazak
Marshall Thompson ... Jim Layton
Jerome Courtland ... Abner Spudler
Don Taylor ... Standiferd
Bruce Cowling ... Wolowicz
James Whitmore ... Kinnie
Douglas Fowley ... 'Kipp' Kippton
Leon Ames ... The Chaplain
Herbert Anderson ... Hansan (as Guy Anderson)
Thomas E. Breen Thomas E. Breen ... Doc
Denise Darcel ... Denise
Richard Jaeckel ... Bettis
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Storyline

We follow a band of American soldiers as they engage the Germans in a snowy, foggy winter near Bastogne in World War II. They're low on fuel, rations, and ammunition; the Germans are constantly encouraging their surrender via radio and leaflets, and most importantly, the pervasive thick fog makes movement and identification difficult and prevents their relief by Allied air support. This film focuses much more on the psychology and morale of the soldiers than on action footage and heroics. Written by Michael C. Berch <mcb@postmodern.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The guts! The girls! The glory! of a lot of wonderful guys! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

20 January 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bastogne See more »

Filming Locations:

Oregon, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,631,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$10,293,960

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,666,420
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the first film in which Herbert Anderson was billed as "Guy Anderson". After several years, Anderson returned to using the name "Herbert". See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the film, when the C-47s are paradropping supplies to the soldiers, one of the stock footage pieces is of paratroopers jumping from planes, not supplies being dropped. See more »

Quotes

Pvt. Donald Jarvess: Careful study of the most scientific instruments and maps leads me to believe that German bombers are over Bastonge, fog or no fog.
Holley: [sarcastically] Kinda rough on rear echelon tonight.
'Kipp' Kippton: [sarcastically] Yeah, I've been thinking, the mess sergeant, the supply sergeant, the pill roller who gives us those shots with the square needle. I'm bleedin' for them.
[clicks his teeth]
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in MGM Parade: Episode #1.1 (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
(uncredited)
Written by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie
Sung by the soldiers
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Most underatted and forgotten movie of WW2 ever...
18 January 2005 | by acerimmer308See all my reviews

Before "Band of Brothers" came out, I considered this the best, most accurate depiction of an infantry unit in action ever, and I still think it has an edge over "Saving Private Ryan" and "Patton" as the greatest World War II movie(not mini-series) yet made.

The entire cast is not only fun to watch, but very believable in their individual roles, and as a veteran, I can attest to the fact that the swings between humor and deep thoughts in their conversations are dead on accurate. Anybody who's ever served in an infantry unit will tell you that for all the bickering back and forth, members of a squad, platoon, or company will always look out for each other. "Battleground" captures this perfectly.

One of the saddest things for me about this movie is how few people know of it. Except for the occasional airing on AMC or TCM, it rarely shows up on TV and that's a shame. It's well worth the time and effort to find this one.


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