7.5/10
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74 user 21 critic

Battleground (1949)

Approved | | Action, Drama, History | 20 January 1950 (USA)
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.

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(story and screenplay)
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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:
... Holley
... Jarvess
... Roderigues
... 'Pop' Stazak
... Jim Layton
... Abner Spudler
... Standiferd
... Wolowicz
... Kinnie
... 'Kipp' Kippton
... The Chaplain
... Hansan (as Guy Anderson)
Thomas E. Breen ... Doc
... Denise
... 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 First Great Picture Of The Second World War ! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | History | 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

Production Co:

 »
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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

Screenwriter Robert Pirosh based this story on his experiences as an infantryman during the Battle of the Bulge. Pirosh did not serve with the 101st Airborne, and wanted to create a script that was faithful to their experiences. He used his first-hand knowledge of the battle to write the script. This was done with the blessing of General Anthony McAuliffe, who was commanding the 101st during the siege of Bastogne. Consequently, many of the incidents in the film, such as Private Kippton's habit of always losing his false teeth, or the Mexican-American soldier from Los Angeles, California, who had never seen snow until he got to Belgium, that have always been derided as "typical Hollywood phony baloney" actually happened. See more »

Goofs

Holley hears Denise and Jarvess talking on the other side of the living room door and rushes into the corridor with a full cup of coffee. He takes one small sip and puts the now empty cup in his pocket. See more »

Quotes

[as Bettis is digging a foxhole]
Holley: Let's not try to reach China this time, hey Bettis?
Bettis: Well there's no sense digging if you don't go deep.
Holley: The last one we dug one together, you went so deep that when I climbed out in the morning I got the bends.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Challenge the Wilderness (1951) 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

 
I like this movie more every time I see it.
25 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

"Battleground" is probably the best movie made about the Battle of the Bulge. After seeing "Band of Brothers", I bought "Battleground" and watched it for the fourth(?) time. I thought the characters were well done. I saw this movie for the second time when I was in the US Army, and it turned me off. I couldn't believe guys were measuring their chances of getting off the line by hoping for the million dollar wound, or some other malady. The third time I saw this movie, I had grown up and realized that, human nature being what it is, nothing about their behavior was abnormal. While I was growing up, Van Johnson was the model GI in all of his movies, as he is in this. I liked the entire cast in this movie. I think one of the best scenes was the Christmas gathering with the Chaplin. His "Was this trip necessary?" speech was one of the high points of the movie for me then and now. This movie, along with "Band of Brothers" are a must see.


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