7.5/10
4,037
73 user 25 critic

Attack (1956)

In 1945, an American Infantry company sets up an artillery observation post but tensions between Captain Cooney and Lieutenant Costa run high.

Director:

Robert Aldrich

Writers:

Norman Brooks (play), James Poe (screenplay)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Palance ... Lt. Joe Costa - Fox Co.
Eddie Albert ... Capt. Erskine Cooney
Lee Marvin ... Lt. Col. Clyde Bartlett - CO, White Battalion
Robert Strauss ... Pfc. Bernstein
Richard Jaeckel ... Pvt. Snowden
Buddy Ebsen ... Sfc. Tolliver - Fox Co.
Jon Shepodd Jon Shepodd ... Cpl. John Jackson - Fox Co. (communications)
Peter van Eyck ... SS Captain (as Peter Van Eyck)
Jim Goodwin Jim Goodwin ... Pfc. Ricks (as Jimmy Goodwin)
Steven Geray ... Otto - German NCO
Jud Taylor ... Pvt. Jacob R. Abramowitz - Radioman (as Judson Taylor)
Louis Mercier Louis Mercier ... Brouise - French blacksmith
Henry Rowland Henry Rowland ... German with Binoculars
Mike Ragan ... GI with binoculars
Ron McNeil Ron McNeil ... Pfc. Jones
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Storyline

During the closing days of WWII, a National Guard Infantry Company is assigned the task of setting up artillery observation posts in a strategic area. Lieutenant Costa knows that Cooney is in command only because of 'connections' he had made state-side. Costa has serious doubts concerning Cooneys' ability to lead the group. When Cooney sends Costa and his men out, and refuses to re-enforce them, Costa swears revenge. Written by Buxx Banner <buxx572@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It rips open the hot hell behind the glory! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

17 October 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Attack! See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$750,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,000,000, 31 December 1956
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The SS rank title for Captain is Hauptsturmführer and the Wehrmacht rank title is Hauptmann/Rittmeister. See more »

Goofs

The German tanks don't resemble any Panzers in use during World War II. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Harold 'Harry' Woodruff: You know what I gotta do Joe. You'd do the same thing.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: EUROPE 1944 See more »

Connections

Featured in La noche de...: Negociador (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A four star war film
28 May 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Based on a play Fragile Fox that was on Broadway during the early Fifties, Attack is one of the best war films ever made. No sham heroics here, just men doing a dirty job and caught in an extremely lousy situation due to politics.

Lee Marvin is a politically ambitious colonel who's national guard company has been activated for World War II. He's got to babysit and keep an eye on Eddie Albert who's father is a big shot in the unnamed southern state he comes from. Only Albert is an incompetent and a coward. That's causing problems up and down the ranks.

How it all gets resolved is what you have to see Attack for and Robert Aldrich never directed a better film. There's not a bad performance here, not a minute of film wasted.

The contrasting character is Jack Palance who is the lead character. His courage and concern for the men he leads are set up in a direct counterpoint to Albert. His climactic scene is one of the most harrowing ever put on film.

It is appropriate with news of Eddie Albert leaving us at the grand old age of 99 to pay tribute to what is probably the best performance this multi-talented and under-appreciated performer ever did. His Captain Cooney is one of the most malevolent creatures ever put to celluloid. He's such a bad man, his performance will make your skin crawl, Albert is that good in this role. Both he and Palance should have been up for Oscars in 1956.

William Smithers made a good film debut in Attack. He never reached the heights of stardom, but Star Trek fans will know him for a role in the original series as Captain Merik who oddly enough made the same bad choices in that episode that Captain Cooney does in Attack.

The cast is populated with war film veterans and they all do their usual fine job. There were times that it didn't seem possible you could make a war film without Lee Marvin, Robert Strauss, or Richard Jaeckel. God Bless 'em all.

And Attack is a film not to be missed even if you don't particularly like war films.


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