An American tanker is sunk by a German U-boat and the survivors spend eleven days at sea on a raft. They're next assigned to the liberty ship "Sea Witch" bound for Murmansk through the sub-stalked North Atlantic.
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 <email@example.com>
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 »
What's going on?
Me and General McAulliffe decided to move I Company up on the line. That is if you agree.
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MGM made one of their large studios into a freezing, war-torn hell, and let many of their young stars loose within it for this staggeringly realistic dramatisation on the Battle of the Bulge. As war movies go, this one does everything but pile on the glamour; these boys really did have to do some serious acting!
The cast is headed by a surprisingly good Van Johnson, proving he can do more than just romances, musicals, and various takes on 'the boy next door'. With him are some impressive co-stars: Ricardo Montalban, George Murphy, and John Hodiak the most memorable; also James Whitmore, Don Taylor, and Leon Ames.
This movie is more than just boy's own stuff; there is a genuine story here and you do care about the characters and what happens to them. It all seems so hopeless and yet you want to keep on watching. This production caused a lot of friction at MGM as Mayer really didn't approve of the starkness of it all in the midst of his family pictures. He was wrong, 'Battleground' is one of the studio's best.
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