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Battleground (1949)

Approved | | Action, Drama, War | 20 January 1950 (USA)
A squad of the 101st Airborne Division copes with being trapped in the besieged city of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.

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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:
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Standiferd
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Hansan (as Guy Anderson)
Thomas E. Breen ...
Doc
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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 Story of Fifty Guys and a Girl! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

20 January 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bastogne  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Whitmore took over the role of Sergeant Kinnie after James Mitchell was fired for moving too much like a dancer, and not enough like a drill sergeant. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the movie Holley (Van Johnson) enters the tent wearing a class A uniform. Although currently worn above the ribbon rack, at the time the film takes place, the Combat Infantryman Badge was worn on the left breast pocket, below the ribbons. See more »

Quotes

The Chaplain: [at an interfaith service for the soldiers] Now it's nearly Christmas... and here we are in beautiful Bastogne enjoying the winter sports. And the $64 question is: "Was this trip necessary?" I'll try to answer that. But my sermons, like everything else in the army... depend on the situation and the terrain. So I assure you this is going to be a quickie. Was this trip necessary? Let's look at the facts. Nobody wanted this war but the Nazis. A great many people tried to deal with them, and a lot ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in MGM Parade: Episode #1.5 (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Men at war
27 May 2006 | by See all my reviews

"Battleground" is a curious film that came out of Hollywood in 1949. WWII had been over, so the public was not wishing for more war films at the time. Yet, MGM went ahead with this project and gave it to William Wellman, a veteran director who knew his craft. The film was written by Robert Pirosh.

The movie is a curiosity also because it was shot in Culver City, yet, at times, it gives the impression of having been shot on location in the Ardennes. The casting of some of the best acting talents MGM had under contract at the time contributes to give the film another dimension, as the viewer becomes involved with these men that are trying to survive during the worst possible conditions.

In spite of some of the criticism in this forum, the film has a real feeling because it stresses the dependency among the men that are caught in the conflict. Their every day lives back home is at the center of the conversation one hears the men talk about. Wives, children, sweethearts, parents, and even popular figures of the pop culture, like Bette Grable, are the basis of communication as the men idle away waiting to be called to fight the enemy.

Van Johnson, John Hodiak, Ricardo Montalban, George Murphy, Marshall Thompson, Don Taylor, Leon Ames, and a wonderful James Whitmore, are seen as the soldiers around Bastogne. Denise Darcel is seen as the kind French woman who befriends the soldiers.

Ultimately, "Battleground" is William Wellman's tribute to the men in uniform.


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