Battle of the Bulge (1965) Poster

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"They got Blondie!"
dr_foreman13 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
When I was a little kid, I watched "Battle of the Bulge" approximately 58 million times. I thought it was the cat's pajamas.

But even back then, my young and usually trusting mind could detect a strong whiff of baloney from this movie. I had difficultly believing, for example, that every Allied soldier in World War II was an incompetent nitwit except for the all-knowing, all-seeing Henry Fonda. Throughout the course of this movie, Fonda's character predicts the battle (rather like a psychic, or someone with access to the script), uncovers every weakness in the German plan, and then finally plays a key role in stopping the entire German offensive. What a versatile guy, huh?

And yes, even my inexperienced child-self found it rather weird that, in this movie, the Americans are depicted as being utterly incapable of fighting the Germans. The film suggests, in a somewhat insulting fashion, that in point of fact the Americans did not win this battle in the traditional way - we only won it because the Germans ran out of gasoline and decided to walk home! What complete rubbish. Anybody with even a vague understanding of the real battle knows that the Americans won simply by counterattacking - what a novel idea!

Some commentators on this site have argued that the film's historical inaccuracies don't matter, and that only World War II nerds will be offended by the script's tinkering with history. However, I would argue that "Battle of the Bulge" is SO inaccurate that such a defense doesn't hold water. And it's not as though the inaccuracies make the film better; in fact, I'm confident that a more realistic portrayal of the battle would have made the film far more exciting, even-handed, and worthwhile.

And yet... and yet... I still like this stupid movie! The tank battles are fun, the music is great, and the cast is really top-notch. Here's a general rule of thumb that I apply to the film as a whole - the scenes with the Americans are stupid, and the scenes with the Germans are good. For example - Robert Shaw is simply awesome as the (fictional) German commander. He has a fascinating series of moral debates on the nature of the war with his aide, a long-suffering corporal played by Hans Christian Blech; these scenes are a real highlight of the film, and their intelligence makes for a stark contrast with the general idiocy of other scenes.

There's also a very good scene when Charles Bronson tells Fonda that his men are so angry because of the war that they want to completely annihilate Germany and its people. This somewhat sinister note always gets my attention, but it pretty much amounts to nothing.

Perhaps the best thing that I can say about this movie is that it got me curious about the real battle, and the war in general. Because it's reasonably cool and exciting, the film is a pretty good vehicle for generating interest in the events it depicts so carelessly. Also, the script is perhaps not quite so inaccurate as some people claim - the early forest battles are somewhat like the real thing, and the general nature and goals of the German offensive are accurately portrayed.

It's just that too many dumb Hollywood moments spoil the movie for any serious aficionado of history and/or cinema. That's a shame, really. I wouldn't mind seeing a more accurate remake, which presumably would not involve an omnipotent Henry Fonda singlehandedly foiling the last great German offensive of World War II.
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Ah yes! The scorched plains of the Belgian desert...
KEVMC12 October 2002
December 1944. The Germans launch their last major offensive in the west. The plan is to break through the Allied lines at several points in the hilly, densely wooded Ardennes region of Belgium and make an all out drive to recapture the port of Antwerp, thereby cutting the Allied forces in two. The Allies cannot use their air superiority due to dense fog covering the region. The task of stopping the vast armoured advance falls to small groups of US soldiers making a stand wherever possible.

I really have mixed feelings towards this film. In terms of historical, geographical and meteorological accuracy, it's an utter shambles from start to finish. All the characters are ficticious (some are obviously composites of real participants in the battle). A fact already well documented is the use of '50s/'60s US tanks to represent the German Tigers and US Shermans. There is no mention whatsoever of the fact that General Patton managed to basically turn the advance of his 3rd Army through 90 degrees, then head north to break through to the 101st Airborne at Bastogne. Finally, to suggest that the Germans ran out of fuel and simply 'walked back to Germany' is plain insulting. The geographical errors are also quite glaring. During the first half of the film these errors can be largely overlooked. However, from the artillery train sequence onwards to the climactic tank battle, the terrain looks more like Arizona than the Ardennes! (vast desert like plains). Then, as if all that isn't bad enough, there's the weather. The winter of '44/'45 was one of the worst in recent history. In the Ardennes that meant deep snow, freezing temperatures and thick fog. Apart from some snowy scenes early on, there isn't much evidence of any of this!

Considering all the inaccuracies catalogued above, I should despise this film, but I don't. Taken on its' level, it's quite enjoyable. It has a strong cast; Robert Shaw and Hans Christian Blech are both very good, Charles Bronson was an old hand at these all star extravaganzas, and Henry Fonda exudes his usual quiet dignity. The script, if a bit hokey, is no worse than others from the period and the cinematography and score are fine. The battle scenes are professionally staged and comparison with modern war films would be unfair.

A point worth noting is the fact that this film has been cut in recent years. The missing scenes are briefly:- 1. The introduction of the Germans dressed as US MPs. 2. Shaw inspecting his tanks. 3. A conversation between Fonda and Bronson. 4. A lengthy sequence in Ambleve with a conversation between Shaw and Bronson, followed by an attempt on Shaw's life by a young boy. The boy's life is spared but his father is executed. The missing footage accounts for roughly 10 minutes of running time. The quoted running time on most reference works is 167 mins., which I assume includes the overture, intermission music and exit music. This would seem to be correct, for if my old widescreen VHS copy contained the missing scenes (the music is all present) it would run approx. 160 mins.(running time is speeded up on PAL). But I digress.

Overall then, a film with some very major flaws. If you're expecting a film in the same vein as 'The Longest Day' or 'A Bridge Too Far' you'll be terribly disappointed. If you can accept it as a fictional account of the battle however, and can view the complete version, then it's well worth a look.
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No excuses, this film is the "Plan 9 from Outer Space" of all war films
ebonius23 December 2006
As the son of a man who fought and almost died in the Battle of the Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge is a stupid name that brings to mind something to do with weight control), I not only think this is the worst action picture I've ever seen, I'm ashamed that Hollywood insulted our veterans with this stinker two decades after the battle in which so many Americans died to turn the tide in Europe. You know it must be pretty insulting to war veterans if Ike himself bothered to become a movie critic and denounce it as demeaning to our soldiers and their memory.

I try never to say I hate something, but I hate this movie on every possible level. In the war movie genre, it's a zero. In the historical recreation genre, it is a sub-zero. As an action picture, it is unbelievable. Quite simply the only reason anyone should watch this thing is to catalog a list of things you should avoid doing if you ever decide to make a war movie.

By now, you've already read about the gaffs: The anachronisms like a German reading Playboy magazine in the background. The cheap and silly plastic-models-on-a-tabletop war scenes ala Godzilla, The breathtaking inappropriate location of the filming on the Spanish plains instead of using, if not Belgium, then at least some northern European forest country with snow! I mean, my God, would you film a movie about Eskimos in Venezuela? And some reviewers here struggle to make apologies for all this, saying in essence "So what? It was a fun war movie." Who cares if it was filmed in a desert instead of the Ardennes forest? Who cares if they made the Germans into cartoonish Nazis and the Allies into G.I. Joe and Sgt. Rock comic book heroes? Who cares if almost nothing is as it was during the battle?

Well then, why bother to make a movie with the specific title "Battle of the Bulge" at all? Why not just call it, "Clash of the Panzers"? I know, it was the 1960s and it was just meant to entertain and jerk a few bucks out of people's pockets with gimmicks like Cinerama and marquee brand names like Henry Fonda. I know all that.

But it was an insult to the vets who fought and died there. They said it at the time it was made. I can't get beyond that. I have walked the forests and fields around Bastogne where my father endured such an ordeal he would not ever speak of when he was alive. I've walked among the white gravestones of men who died there. I can't bring myself to get to, "So what? It's just a movie." Neither, apparently could the many vets who decided to take their families to this picture when it was released, and then had to sit there, embarrassed and speechless as this movie made a mockery of their struggle.

I fully expect that I'll get a negative rating as to how many people found my comments "useful," but that's OK. From what I've seen, people tend not to like criticism of a film based on subjective, rather than objective remarks. In this case however, I don't care if I get a single "useful" vote. This movie was a travesty in its day, and worse now with the passage of time. It is truly the "Plan 9 From Outer Space" of war movies.

But ending on a positive note: I'd like to see somebody do a spoof film about the making of this movie and how everybody from the screenwriters, to the director and actors and location scouts to the extras in the background didn't give a flying flip about what they were working on except getting a paycheck. That, I'd watch.
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An Unsightly Bulge
bkoganbing31 October 2006
After 20th Century Fox had put out The Longest Day to such critical and popular success, you might have thought that Warner Brothers would have learned and copied that formula. They even hired Ken Annakin who was one of the directors for The Longest Day.

But if you are looking for the names of Eisenhower, Bradley, Patton, Hodges, and Montgomery on the Allied side and Von Rundstedt and Model among the Germans you will be disappointed. All the names of the principals are changed. Folks like Henry Fonda, Robert Ryan, and Dana Andrews are playing fictionalized characters.

A couple of things are brought in mainly because they are part of the legend of the Bulge, the Malmedy Massacre and the famous reply of General McAuliffe to the German inquiry about surrendering the besieged town of Bastogne. In fact the latter is just dropped into the story without any of the principal players involved. I guess the producers had a thought that no film about the Bulge would be accepted without it, no matter how forced.

It would have been nice if a straight dramatic narrative approach had been used like The Longest Day. With of course the names of the real people. Part of the Bulge story was told in MGM's Battleground and in Patton.

In this film the best performances are that of Robert Shaw as the fanatical Nazi Panzer commander and his war weary aide Hans Christian Blech. Honorable mention should also go to George Montgomery as a tough American sergeant and his lieutenant James MacArthur who grows in stature thanks to Montgomery's example.

For a film that is more than two and a half hours in length, I'd have liked to have seen the real deal though.
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My Favorite WWII Epic is Admittedly a Mixed Bag
SgtSlaughter28 June 2003

This big, bloated epic re-creation of the battle which turned the tide of World War II manages to be on the most historically inaccurate and over-blown adventure pieces ever produced. It's also one of the most entertaining war movies to grace the big screen. The combination of heroics and history shouldn't work as well as it does.

Writers John Melson, Philip Yordan and Milton Sperling remain faithful to the broad outlines of the real battle, and then fill their story with several important fictional characters, and director Ken Annakin uses a combination of Hollywood heroics and historical accuracy to deliver an entertaining tale. The film relies solely on the excellently-shot action sequences and superb acting by the leads to hold it together.

Veteran director Ken Annakin knows how to make this film work. In the lead, Henry Fonda ("Midway") seems to be having plenty of fun as Colonel Kiley. He gets to argue with people, shoot at Germans, fly in a plane, and even help fend off a Panzer attack – not bad for a civilian-turned-soldier, eh? On the flip-side, Robert Shaw ("Force 10 from Navarone") is fantastic as the fanatical Colonel Hessler, a devoted Panzer officer who will stop at nothing to accomplish his mission. Hessler brings new meaning the Hollywood-Nazi-type: he's brutal, nasty and dedicated despite the fact that he knows Germany cannot win the war.

The supporting cast is filled with the familiar faces of Charles Bronson, Ty Hardin, James MacArthur and Telly Savalas – but the real star is Hans Christian Blech ("The Longest Day"). As Conrad, the war-weary, aging German Corporal, it's his best work in a war film. Conrad wants to go home and is devoted to Hessler, until he realizes that his commander's dedication sits precariously on the edge of madness. His facial expressions – bug-eyed outbursts, sad frowns, frightened glances at strafing airplanes – have never been more convincing.

This epic was shot for the big screen using Cinerama, and the only way to appreciate the action sequences is to see this movie in widescreen. Pan-and-scan prints cut it down from a 2.7:1 ratio to 1.33:1 - that's losing more than half of the image! It was shot on the vast plains of Spain, and although it looks nothing like the brutal winter in the Ardennes forest, this scenery makes from some very impressive landscapes for which to shoot colossal battle scenes. Annakin shows tanks facing off with each other on the plains and in the snow-encrusted woods and shows hand-to-hand fighting in the streets of a French city. These scenes are set to an excellent, rousing Ben Frankel score, which only adds to the excitement. There are hundreds of extras running about, as well as several dozen loud, clanking tanks. Annakin often places his camera on the front end of a tank, train or moving car to give the viewer a "you-are-there" perspective, a technique which is ruined with the pan-and-scan process.

The dramatic effect of the serious scenes is severely hampered by preposterous Hollywood heroics and some incredibly poor special effects. Quite often, the combat and destruction look incredibly real, but there are some truly laughable shots of exploding model tanks and roaring model trains, too. The battle scenes, notably a huge tank vs. tank battle and a conclusion involving an attempted German capture of an Allied fuel dump are incredibly corny and false-looking - first for their false-looking special effects, which looked bad even in 1965, and secondly for their placement in a desert rather than a snowy forest - which really destroyed the credibility Annakin had been working up to. A strong subplot involving an American tanker, Guffy (Telly Savalas, "The Dirty Dozen") and another, centering on the Malmedy Massacre, help to offset this cheesiness.

"Battle of the Bulge" is a true Hollywood epic in every sense of the word. It may not be historically accurate, but it's probably the most entertaining and engaging war film I've had the pleasure to watch. The characters are main fleshed out enough to keep the viewers interested, the scope is amazing and the direction often borders on brilliance as often as it fails miserably.
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Head 'Em Off at the Pass
bensonj18 February 2003
A disclaimer on the end credits states, in effect, that the events and people in this picture bear no relationship to a battle by the same name that took place in WW II. Filmmakers have dealt with the problem of filming the big event in various ways; some show many fragments, following individuals here and there; some concentrate on the view of the generals, with long-shots of big battles; some opt for telling just a little part of the big picture, a microcosm. The solution here is to pretend that only a few dozen people were actually involved in the whole campaign.

One has to assume that someone had a cavalry western script but realized westerns weren't selling any more, so they sold it by doing a quick rewrite to make it a war movie. Henry Fonda is the grizzled scout who insists the Indians are about to attack, based on his reading of the signs in the dirt, and who pulls his boss, the general, out of the fire time and again. Yes, it's Hank who, in the first skirmish, moves up to see if the Indians have a cache of rifles, who recognizes their leader as an escaped renegade fighter-Indian, who discovers that the friendly Crows at the pass are actually deadly Apaches in disguise, who, at a number of critical points, goes out with his young partner to scout around and comes back to the campfire with vital information, who realizes that the big battle is actually a ruse for the Indians to send a party to the water hole to fill their canteens with badly needed water, and who, with an arrow sticking through his shoulder, singlehandedly leads a few raw recruits in a clever maneuver to keep the Indians from the water hole and saves the day. In the last shot, the Indians march back to the reservation across the desert. The Fonda character, in particular, seems to still be in that western. He isn't just A scout, he's THE scout, the only scout, and all intelligence info that's important to the battle is his. The other characters fit the western mold pretty well also, including Shaw's Nazi. Only the Savalas character is indelibly out of WW II (or, more accurately, out of the Bilko show).
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Tepid WWII Drama.
rmax3048237 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The years between "The Guns of Navaronne" and "Patton" saw the release of a number of World War II epics and would-be epics, some good and some, like "Anzio", pathetic. "The Battle of the Bulge" is about in the middle, with nothing much to recommend it and no outrageous flaws.

I hated to click on the "Contains spoiler" box above because this is, after all, a pseudo-history of one of the major battles that took place towards the end of the war in Europe and he or she who does not know the outcome has been living on the distant planet of Ymir. But so be it. A poll taken some years ago indicated that a substantial number of America's youth didn't know which side of the war Japan had fought on. So here it is, kids. Spoiler alert.

The Allies were at war with Japan and Germany, and by the end of 1944 (A.D.) the Germans were running out of everything, especially fuel. Hitler organized and implemented a last-ditch counterattack against the British and American lines in the mountainous Ardennes forest near the German border.

Those thick and snowy woods were considered unsuitable for tanks and deemed a quiet sector where infantry already exhausted by combat elsewhere could be sent for rest, and an area where newly formed and unseasoned units could be safely stationed and get used to conditions in the field.

Nobody expected the Germans to roll through these mountains with massive tanks and hordes of infantry but that's what happened. Everyone was caught unprepared (except Patton). But the Germans were so short of fuel that the success of the attack depended on the capture of American stores. That didn't happen. The "bulge" created by the attack was squeezed by Montgomery from the north and Patton from the south and eventually disintegrated.

This movie doesn't give a viewer a clear sense of what happened. The Germans' fuel shortage isn't even mentioned until the climax, when it is discovered by Henry Fonda, who plays an intelligence officer. Fonda's figure is a familiar one in war movies. He's the only guy who can figure out what's going on -- and nobody upstairs listens to him or believes him. Most of the other characters are familiar too. The dumb young lieutenant (James McArthur) who learns to develop character and leadership from his tough top sergeant (George Montgomery). There's one of those tough, avaricious Brooklyn characters (Telly Savalas) who manages to have a romantic encounter with Pierangeli in the middle of this hailstorm of battle. Robert Ryan is wasted as a general. Dana Andrews is Ryan's chief of staff who delights in ridiculing Henry Fonda's warnings with cutting sarcasm. None of the characters are real historic figures. General McCauliffe, who was surrounded in Bastogne, isn't named either, though he's identified as the figure who responded to the German demand for surrender with "nuts." (Some have argued that his real response was a single word that, in Samoan would be rendered "turu," in Selozi "masipa", and in French, "merde.") The most complex character and the most challenging role is that of the German colonel who led the Panzers in the attack, played by Robert Shaw. He's so ambiguous he's almost real, but unfortunately Shaw plays him as some kind of a frozen tree stump who eschews the company of easy women and whose only passion is victory. The most endearing performance is that of Hans Christian Blech who plays the German corporal who is both Shaw's servant and sidekick. His lines, like all the other lines, may be stilted but he makes the sentiments believable. A good actor, here and elsewhere.

I've watched this twice now and my opinion of it hasn't changed much. The overall dynamics of the battle are lost amid the tumult of charging tanks, dueling infantrymen, arguments among officers, and faceless figures diving into muddy ditches. There are three or four different plot threads, mostly unrelated to one another. And only one simplified map to tell us where we're headed.

There are better cinematic descriptions of the Battle of the Bulge available ("Battleground," "Band of Brothers") but the incidents are seen from the grunt's point of view and none gives us the more general textbook picture. This one has a grandiose title and aims high, but it loses the battle.
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Tanks but no tanks.
Spikeopath15 March 2010
Battle Of The Bulge is a fictionalised account of the battle of the Ardennes in December 1944. Directed by Ken Annakin, it's an ensemble piece that stars notably Henry Fonda, Robert Ryan, Robert Shaw, Charles Bronson, George Montgomery, Telly Savalas and Dana Andrews.

Rightly criticised for its approach to the actual event, one could forgive this failing if the film wasn't so immeasurably dull. I came across a quote for the film that said it was 101 war film making for children. Never has a used quote been so apt as that one for a war film. The actors either look bored or turn in wooden performances, the latter probably prompted by the insipid script from Philip Yordan & Milton Sperling. While the action scenes are constructed like some cardboard cut-out game taking place on the dining room table. It also unsuccessfully tries to blend humour with its serious intents, a blend that just comes off as confusion. There's some worth in this being a film about tank battle {a mighty piece of weaponry indeed}, but no this really is a poor genre offering that can't even be saved by the star wattage meant to propel it forward. 3/10
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Mostly fictitious, but action-filled war movie
SimonJack13 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
"Battle of the Bulge" opens with a scripted prologue that says that the fictitious account of the last major battle of World War II is intended to honor all the men who took part in the battle. Several reviewers have decried the film for that very reason. Most have noted the historical record available, and said the film is a disservice for not using some real characters and following the historical event. I agree with that sentiment to a point. For instance, Robert Ryan's General Grey might have been one of the real generals in command of the American sector at the time. Yet, fictitious characters could be some of the main action people as they are here in the film.

But I suspect that Warner Brothers decided it might be more ludicrous to include the names of a few real people when the story is so fictitious in its action accounts. For instance, Henry Fonda is Lt. Col. Dan Kiley, an intelligence officer who flies reconnaissance planes to take photos behind enemy lines, and then winds up all over the place wherever there's action. Not only was there no such person, but those very actions and incidents are unbelievable, if not impossible.

Then there is the fictitious account of the German Panzer leader, Col. Hessler, played superbly by Robert Shaw. The film has him making a run for the Allied fuel depot and being killed in his tank when it explodes. Col. Meinred von Lauchert, was a real decorated Panzer leader who spearheaded the German assault. His unit penetrated the deepest through the Allied lines during the battle, but he was not killed. He was promoted to general and fell back when they ran out of fuel and the Allies counterattack beat the Germans back. He lost most of his tank force and with no place to cross the Rhine River, he swam across and then quit the war and walked back to his home at Bamberg.

The film title is the popular name that this operation received from press reports about it. The Germans called their offensive "Operation Watch on the Rhine." The French called it the "Battle of the Ardennes;" and the Allies called it the "Ardennes Counteroffensive." One plus of this film is that it shows the German infiltration of the American forces. As part of Operation Watch on the Rhine, the Germans had some smaller operations. For Operation Grief, they recruited English speaking Germans to go behind Allied lines. Their mission was to capture one or more of the bridges over the Meuse River before the Allies could destroy them. They wore captured British and American uniforms and used captured Allied vehicles. The movie shows them holding a bridge, and later having taken a huge fuel depot. In reality, they never achieved the goal of securing any bridges. They were able to cause some confusion and hamper Allied communication for a while, as the film shows.

Another true event that the film includes is the Malmedy massacre. Here it shows about 80 American POWs being murdered. The Malmedy massacre consisted of several such incidents with a total of about 750 American soldiers and 111 Belgian civilians being killed. In July 1946, 73 members of the SS Panzer group were tried for war crimes in the Malmedy massacre. The trial took place at Dachau Concentration Camp. Of those tried, 43 were hanged and 30 were given prison sentences of from five years to life.

Perhaps the biggest negative of the film is the tank battle. While it's one of the biggest action scenes, it almost detracts from the film because of the setting. The fact that almost everyone notices this about the film, says that the studio goofed in not staging it more realistically. The tank battle was filmed in the open, barren fields of the central arid region of Spain. But the Battle of the Bulge took place in the heavily forested areas of the Ardennes in Belgium, Luxembourg and France. I suspect that this bit of glaring unreality hurt this film more than anything in the minds of most viewers. This is a clear example of when a studio chooses to go for action in a fictitious setting – thinking that that will appeal most to people, instead of going for reality.

All of these matters considered, I give the film eight stars for its cast, its action, the accurate things it does show, and the reality of some of the gritty fighting. The defense of the town as the headquarters pulls out is especially good combat action. Rather than having the Panzer commander killed, I think the film would have had much more appeal showing him quitting at the end and walking away to his home.

All of the cast are very good in their roles. Others not mentioned already are Charles Bronson as Major Wolenski, George Montgomery as Sgt. Duquesne, Telly Savalas as Sgt. Guffy, James MacArthur is Lt. Weaver, Ty Hardin as the German MP in disguise – Schumacher, Dana Andrews as Col. Pritchard, and Hans Blech as Conrad.

This is a good combat action film that most people should enjoy. But, I think it's important for one to know that it's a fictitious account that looks at some real events within the Battle of the Bulge.
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Sloppy Production
Theo Robertson6 May 2002
You know you`re in for a bad film when the first ten minutes are composed entirely of actors sitting in front of back projection trying to convince you they`re in a plane or a car. BATTLE OF THE BULGE does this , but it doesn`t warn you how bad it all becomes later on. I`ll warn you, this is one bad war film.

The worst thing about BATTLE OF THE BULGE is that it`s based on the real life Ardennes campaign of December 1944 when the Nazis threw the last of their reserves into trying to beat the allies in Western Europe , and this film is a lost opportunity to show the facts. " I need to look inside one of those tiger tanks " says Henry Fonda . But they`re not Tigers , as everyone else has noticed they`re American tanks from another generation. A German tiger tank has a very distinctive square shape . Couldn`t the script have been changed so that they could have been Panther tanks ? At least Panther tanks had roundish angles like the ones used in this film.

And the editing is extremely suspect. One scene features a wooded forest covered in snow then the next scene features a landscape devoid of trees and without a flake of snow ! Worst of all in the final scenes when characters walk on the ground dust can clearly be seen following their footsteps, the terrain they are walking hasn`t seen snow or rain for weeks ! It`s like the director and editor have been splicing scenes from another film . This is bad enough but what makes it so bad is a line spoken by a German General at the start of the film when he mentions fog hiding the German advance so that the allies can`t use their massive air support to slow down the advance , but up untill the last half hour there`s been nothing but bright blue skies to be seen !

If you enjoyed this film may I also recommend THE PRODUCERS which features SPRINGTIME FOR HITLER , the true story of Adolph Hitler`s all singing all dancing stormtroopers
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I wonder if people back America would ever know what it cost the soldiers to win this war…
Nazi_Fighter_David6 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
How could anyone ever know of the price paid by soldiers in terror, agony, and bloodshed if they'd never been to places like Normandy, Bastogne, or Haguenau? Battle of the Bulge or Battle of the Ardennes was the last German offensive on the Western Front during World War II, an unsuccessful attempt to push the Allies back from German home territory...

The name "Battle of the Bulge" was appropriated from Winston Churchill's optimistic description, in May 1940, of the resistance that he mistakenly supposed was being offered to the German's breakthrough in that area just before the Anglo-French collapse; the Germans were in fact overwhelmingly successful… The "bulge" refers to the wedge that they drove into the Allies lines...

Ken Annakin's film forgets those who fought and died in the real 'Bulge'. The Ardennes offensive never occurred like it was related in the film...

The movie takes us to December 1944, where British and American armies are in the threshold of victory… Stretched across half of Europe, the Allies gathered themselves for the final assault on Germany… To the north stood Montgomery's Eight Army, to the south, Patton's Third, in the center, a few battle-weary American divisions rested in a quiet sector… To them, the war seemed already won… But for Col. Kiley (Henry Fonda) the German army, facing the Allies, is still an undefeated enemy… Kiley still believes that the Germans are planning one last major offensive… His superiors, Gen. Gray (Robert Ryan) and Col. Pritchard (Dana Andrews), are doubtful of a German move…

Col. Hessler (Robert Shaw) leads the full-scale attack in a huge wave of tanks, eliminating everything in its way… His new 70-ton King Tiger tank has two-and-a-half times the firepower and double the armor of the American tanks…

Filmed in Cinerama, the motion picture is a bloody war spectacle, quite literate and handsome but too noisy and with emphasis on strategy rather than character…
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Charade of the Bulge
ridsouto11 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I understand that sometimes you just don't have the budget to make a big war movie. If that's the case, you better a) reduce your ambitions (and your spectator's expectations) or b) forget the project altogether. Don't hire Fonda, Savallas, Bronson and other big names, let them work in something more useful.

If you're going to make a movie on the Battle of the Ardennes (the Bulge for the Americans), at least make sure that you will be filming in wintry and snowy conditions. Not saying that you should film here in Canada, but if you go to central Spain in autumn, it's pretty sure you will not have a lot of snow.

If I do a film on a major battle of WW2 in my backyard, with some friends and a hand-held camera, it's OK to use any kind of tank (I got a real tank for my movie, wow !), or maybe a badly disguised Chevy 1962 with a rusty pipe as a cannon. But if I had such a cast and a studio behind me, I can not get by using some '50s tanks from the Spanish Army.

And if you want to make a movie on a battle that important, which veterans of both sides will certainly watch, at least show some respect and hire a historian, consultant or whatever, and get a script that includes some realities and not only outright fantasies. The last scene, with a whole German Panzer division charging at high speed (Tigers moving at some 40mph!! Without infantry !) against a fuel dump is just ridiculous. Fonda saving the Allies single-handedly? I guess the guys who stood up against the Germans in Bastogne or the German Panzer crews would have something to say. That's not just an "historical inaccuracy", it's like making the Martians appear in the middle of the battle in a flying saucer and blow up the whole German Army. Beyond ludicrous.

Bottom line is, if you don't have the money, the locations, the resources, the information to make a historical war movie, just don't bother. If you go forward anyway, well, the result is this cheap, nationalist (in a bad sense), flat, boring and ridiculous mess.
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Not Worth Bothering With-read a book instead.
rudge495 October 2005
This movie is on my list of those that I saw once, was disappointed and do not want to see again. I missed it in the movies in 1965, when I caught it on the tube in 1977 I was annoyed to see that it was merely a generic WWII movie with a big name cast, but no portrayal of actual characters or events, the closet portrayal of anything actually specific to the actual battle was when "GIS" suddenly burst in on the Germans, they are of course English speaking Germans in U.S. uniforms, meant to be a portrayal of Skorzeny's commandos. The scene where the one German officer asks the "U.S. Lieutenant" what he thinks of Hitler, the lieutenant's hesitation between what as a good Wehrmacht soldier he should say and what a real American was too broadly played. The whole movie had a blah quality to it, only truly memorable scene was where the Panzertruppen sing "Panzerlied". The Wehrmacht actually did encourage it soldiers to sing, that much they got right. Otherwise, a waste IMHO. Summary-not worth bothering with.
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Good movie, if you ignore the title
Baron-von-Brunk16 October 2005
Let's pretend this movie has nothing to do with the battle in Belgium, winter 1944. The movie is only bad if you associate it too much with the real life events, but if you focus on the amazing line-up of actors, special effects, soundtrack, and battle sequences, it becomes a very interesting and entertaining World War II movie. Although compared to more realistic war movies like Patton, this film serves no real educational value. To me it seems like a WWII fan-fiction of some sort, like a "what-if" scenario. The movie would have probably been ridiculed a lot less if it was titled something different (anything but The Battle of the Bulge), therefore people would just assume it's some sort of war sci-fi movie.

Don't let the title fool you; There's only a few things in the whole movie which actually relate to the Ardennes 1944 (i.e., the snow battles, unexpected German spearheads, General McAuliffe & the "nuts" letter, locations in Malmedy, etc.), meanwhile there's no mention of Patton's relief of Bastogne, which was the the event most people associate with the real battle of the bulge in the first place.

Check this movie out if you'd like to see something different from factual movies. It's a small break from reality, and portrayed in a seemingly fictional (but real, technically) campaign in WWII. It's also a great movie if you like all-star casts and A list actors.
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Spectacular and overlong warlike movie based on famous Ardennes battle
ma-cortes11 December 2007
This Blockbuster is one of the biggest war films ever made. It's a magnificent film, recreating the known offensive by Nazi Panzer tanks on the Belgian front during 1944-45 .What happened during those desperate days that could have changed the course of war is now history . It's well recreated by Ken Annakin for Warner Bros, in Cinerama production with Technicolor cinematography by Jack Hildyard. The producer, Milton Sperling was well-qualified for his job but he was a marine officer and he had 10 combat cameramen, covering three battles during the war and made three documentaries out of those events. Sperling tells that making this film recalled his owns experiences in the war and made it quite possible for the sound effects you heard today to be as realistic as those he heard when was listening to them whining overhead.The making was a logistical problem as almost that of setting up a campaign and putting a film together under any circumstances was very difficult because working under very bad weather conditions. So this whole film was put together, photographed and edited, scored and prepared for release in a matter of about eight months. We scoured Europe,there are places where such tanks do exist,sometimes in junkyards, sometimes in existing armies and just by chance, one finds a cache of tanks, guns,old planes and various other relics .The equipment managed to assemble these great numbers of tanks after looking about for months and months. So what we see on the screen are truly the Tiger tanks that were fought in the battle and the Western Front, no wonder the battle scenes looked so authentic .Robert Shaw ,with his blue eyes blazing, is the fanatical tank commander, he was chosen because he can play virtually anything that's given to him.It was rather an obvious choice , there are so few good actors and he's capable of doing anything. Henry Fonda is terrific, as obstinate officer who finds vital German attacking position. In the remaining supporting cast appear Telly Savallas as a roguish sergeant, James McArthur as an unexperienced young lieutenant, George Montgomery as a valiant veteran sergeant, among others.

The Battle of Bulge film is based on true events about the Ardennes offensive, the real deeds are the following : It was a Hitler's plan code-named ¨Watch on the Rhine¨for a breakthrough by Field Marshal Von Rundstedt aimed at the US line in the Ardennes 16 Dec 1944 . Hitler aimed to isolate the Allied forces north of the corridor which would be created by a drive through the Ardennes, creating a German salient or bulge. There were 77.000 Allied casualties and 130.000 German, including Hitler's last powerful reserve of elite Panzer units. Although US troops were encircled for some weeks at Bastogne, the German counteroffensive failed. Three armies were deployed in the operation- Dietrich's 6th Panzer,the 5th Panzer, and the 7th Panzer-together with a 'Trojan Horse' force of English-speaking in US uniforms under Otto Skorzeny. The offensive opened 16 Dec along 113 Km of the front , aiming at the US 1st Army and General Omar Bradley's 12th Army Group. Initial progress was good as the Allies were unprepared for action along a section of the front hitherto so quiet it had been nicknamed ¨the Ghost Front¨and bad weather grounded Allied air support. However, the Germans failed to capture vital fuel dumps and the dogged Allied defense of St Vith and Bastogne seriously set the operation back. Bastogne was an important road junction, lay in the path of the German advance and was held by the US 101 Airbone Division. It was besieged by German forces 18 Dec and strongly attacked , the defenses were breached in two places . However the attacks were repulsed and was relieved by the US 4th Armored Division, though fierce fighting continued in the area for some days. The Allies quickly recovered from the initial shock and, while north of the Bulge General Bernard Montgomery blocked the German advance at the Meuse, to the south Bradley's forces also struck back, with General Patton breaking through to relieve Bastogne 26 Dec. By the end of Dec the weather improved, allowing the Allied air forces to play a part in the battle and by 3 Jan 1945 the Allies took the offensive , by 16 Jan the Bulge has been eliminated.
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Did anyone ever read about the Battle of the Bulge?
Captain_Couth3 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Battle of the Bulge (1965) is a massive joke of a film. Everything about this movie is wrong. The movie plays out as a comedy instead of a serious action/war film. When I did a paper on this historic battle in high school, I remembered the battle occurred in a forest, not a dry and arid even battle field. Whilst spending a lot of shekels on this production, they did a bad job of recreating tanks for the battle. They all looked the same (except with different insignias) and plastic toys were used for the most part. One of my biggest pet peeves in war movies is the use of bad accents. Why do the "enemy" soldiers have to speak to each other in broken English? Do they have a problem communicating to one another in their own language?

This movie is wrong on so many levels. I have seen smaller budget movies and made-for-television productions to a better job of recreating this historic battle. If you want to see a serious adaptation of the Battle of the Bulge, look elsewhere. But if you want to see a bad movie filled with over the top acting, stereotypical Germans and high octane diesel fuel and easily exploding oil drums then you'll want to watch this laughable excuse for a movie. Keep in mind that a big studio bankrolled this one.

Not recommended.
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A Lot Of Historical Inaccuracies, But Not A Complete Waste Of Time
sddavis6323 September 2016
A few years before this was released, there was "The Longest Day" - a movie version of the Allied invasion of Normandy in 1944. That was a very good movie with a star-studded cast. I'm guessing that "Battle of the Bulge" was an attempt to unofficially follow up on that movie. It's not as star-studded (although there's a bit of cross over in the cast, most notably Henry Fonda.) Truthfully, though, this movie is nowhere near as good as "The Longest Day."

It's supposed to be an account of The Battle of The Bulge, which took place in December of 1944. It was the last significant German offensive of the war, intended to break through the Allied lines and re- capture the port city of Antwerp, Belgium - thus throwing Allied supply lines into chaos. The movie gets some things right. The Germans did, indeed, get troops disguised as American MPs behind the American lines, and they were able to cause confusion and chaos. The Germans were also woefully short of fuel, and had targeted an American supply depot which would have given them access to a huge amount of gasoline for their tanks. The famous demand for the surrender of Bastogne, and the reply of the commanding American general to that demand - "NUTS!" - is accurate. But there are also a lot of problems with the historical accuracy of the film. First is that all of the characters are just that - characters. Composites, perhaps, but there's no portrayal of anyone who actually fought in the battle. There's also no mention at all of General George Patton's 3rd Army dramatically saving the besieged Americans at Bastogne. That's one of the better known incidents of the Battle of the Bulge, and why you wouldn't even mention it is beyond me. Many, of course, note the problem that the tanks used in the movie were of a much later vintage, and were't an accurate representation of the tanks that would have been used.

At best, I'd say that this movie was OK. Terrible if you're thinking that you're learning much history from it, but OK as a movie that's somewhat dramatic, and I thought it was a reasonable portrayal of the ugliness of war - the Malmedy massacre (the cold blooded murders of Americans who had been taken prisoner by German SS troops) was portrayed, for example.

I'd definitely say that if I were going to watch either again, I'd take in "The Longest Day." It's the better movie. This one gets a 5/10 from me.
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"Shoot the father"; Nostalgic, for me
vespasian7910 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I remember when I first saw this movie, when I was nine years old, at the theater. It was in "Cinerama', and I thought it rocked! Then, I saw it's TV network premier in 1972-73, I think it was. And I remember thinking "God, this movie sucks. How could I have liked it? I must be remembering a different movie". Well, it was the same movie, it was just that I'd learned a lot more about WW2 and the real Battle of the Bulge. Naturally, I criticized all the so-called 'German King Tiger' tanks, the arty, and just about everything else. But I must admit my attitude has changed again in the intervening years. I now have a very soft spot in my heart for this bogus epic, despite its many inaccuracies. So what if Belgium bears an uncanny resemblance to Spain (when I was in the military myself, and got to visit Belgium, and site of the actual battle, for a troubling moment I actually wondered where that vast, rolling semi-arid desert was). So what? Who cares? And did the Germans REALLY control the battle from a massive basement game room with a timer clock? It's not a bad movie, after all, and does manage to convey some of the desperate conflict of the real thing. It's even better than that awful Sensaround epic "Midway" (which truly does suck, except for Chuck Heston, Henry Fonda, Erik Estrada and all those other characters). It's much better than Michael Bay's huge blowjob of a 'historical' movie "Pearl Harbor". Okay, it can't beat Timbo Hine's masterpiece "War Of The Worlds", but what can? I think my two favorite memories of "Battle Of The Bulge" are the German Panzer officers singing "Panzerlied" (it inspired me to invade France, which promptly surrendered when they discovered I was merely THINKING about it), and of course, the so-called 'aerial' photos of Robert Shaw taken from the seat next to him. Oh, yeah, and the end, with the tag (and I'm paraphrasing here) "They're leaving their tanks, and walking back to Germany, and you can see it all on your GAF Talking Viewmaster". Okay, so they didn't say that last bit, but that was our homage to Henry Fonda.

Shoot the father.
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One of the worst movies ever made
billandersen30 December 2004
What can I say? Anyone who has seen this movie and knows anything about WWII and the (real) Battle of the Bulge has two choices -- to laugh or to cry. Laugh because this movie has nothing to do with what went on in Belgium in December, 1944. Cry, because it did a tremendous disservice to those on all sides who participated in that battle and to other, infinitely better, depictions of that campaign and period of the war (e.g., "Battleground", "Band of Brothers"). From the "Tigers" (US M-48 tanks painted gray with German crosses) to the lack of anything resembling actual military deportment or tactics, to the filming locations (Fort Hood, Texas just doesn't look like Bastogne -- Pennsylvania would have been a better choice), this movie is every bit as much a stinker as "Battle of the Last Panzer".

"Battle of the Bulge" is typical of other "big concept" novel-based movies like "The Longest Day" (another travesty especially when compared to the likes of "Saving Private Ryan"). I vote this as a contender for one of the worst movies ever made.
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Battle of the big names
Chase_Witherspoon30 September 2012
Frequently aired WWII actioner focuses on the Ardennes and the allies efforts to neutralise a Panzer battalion which must make a significant detour in order to re-fuel, presenting an opportunity for its destruction before an otherwise imminent push to overthrow France. Henry Fonda stars as a professional in uniform who whilst a passenger in a reconnaissance plane, opportunistically photographs a senior, relentless German officer (Shaw) whose been appointed to lead the ruthless Panzer campaign.

It's typical, almost jingoist WWII fodder, distinguished by a gold-plated cast that includes Dana Andrews, James MacArthur, Telly Savalas, Charles Bronson and Robert Ryan for the allies, and Ty Hardin, Werner Peters, Hans Christian-Blech and the inimitable Robert Shaw appearing for the enemy. Tragic Pier Angeli has a frivolous supporting role as Savalas' neglected romantic interest in one of her last studio pictures before her untimely death in 1971. Essentially, the leads star in their own 'strand' of the picture, with Fonda and Shaw providing the central personification of good versus evil.

Patriotic and clichéd, it's an epic near-three hour homage to the heroes of the Ardennes, dripping with Hollywood-styled sentimentality and while it's not especially gripping nor realistic to any extent, is always easy-viewing for at least an hour or so when it's re-run every year, if not more regularly.
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Fonda goes to War
tieman641 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
"This is the same monster immortalised in every f**king movie about Vietnam. You don't see the Mai Lai massacre in the movies, because the truths of that fascist orgy are just too hellish for even liberal Hollywood to cop too. But oh, that doesn't stop them from making another movie about 9/11. Because an American life is worth so much than a Vietnamese, a Palestinian, a Lebanese, or an Iraqi life, because we are the uber race! Heil, mother f**ker!" – Crazy Woman (Brian De Palma's "Redacted")

"Before God I swear this creed: my rifle and myself are defenders of my country, we are the masters of our enemy, we are the saviours of my life. So be it, until there is no enemy, but peace. Amen." – USMC Rifle Creed

This film was part of a group of war films released between 1962 and 1977 ("A Bridge Too Far", "Tora! Tora! Tora!", "The Longest Day", "The Battle of Britain", "Battle of the Bulge", "Cross of Iron", "Patton", "633 Squadron" etc), all of which tried to broaden the scope of previous war films by focusing on as wide a cross section of the military as possible. Politicians, generals, soldiers, sergeants, medics, lieutenants, Army personnel, Navy personnel, Airforce personnel, nurses, doctors, civilians etc, all came together in a kind of narrative cocktail, the entire military body working together to achieve some goal.

Unlike the platoon genre, these "heirarchal films" thus aimed to portray war on a far larger canvas. They promised to offer audiences the "spectacle of history", viewers being granted a nuts and bolts recreation of some historical event in which the entire hierarchy of the military machine took part.

Significantly, the event being recreated often revolved around some grand disaster: Pearl Harbour being attacked, Britain being blitzed, D-day going awry, the German advance in the Battle of the Bulge etc. These are all films in which noble Allies bravely fight against all odds (against an overwhelming, savage, superior foe), only to eventually emerge with a kind of bittersweet victory. These films thus display contempt and reverence in equal measure.

The last film in this cycle was "A Bridge Too Far" (1977), by which time audiences were tired of WW2. At this point a series of cathartic Vietnam films were realised, culminating in the angry sermons of "Rambo" and "Platoon".

6/10 – Covertly, all these films succumb to the Cult of the Military. The Cult which says that Freedom isn't free, and that the cost of freedom is blood which must periodically be sacrificed on the altar of Liberty by the military clergy. This kind of thinking tends to believe that we only have freedom because we are allowed it by the government, and that we should be grateful for it and turn an unquestioning devotion onto the government and the military.

Worth one viewing.
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The Battle Of The Bulge
raysond14 August 2006
"THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE"-was without a doubt an archetypal studio war movie,since this one is really quite faithful to the broad outlines and details of a real campaign,and then fills out the running time with ridiciously unrealistic Hollywood heroics. The combination is somehow much more entertaining that it ought to be. Veteran director Ken Annakin knows how to keep this sort of sprawling material in line,and even if the two leads are doing a bit of slumming,they're as good as they used to be.

As the synopsis of the story goes it is December,1944 and American troops and officers advancing toward Germany think that the war is over. They're on cruise control waiting for orders to return home. But Colonel Kiley(Henry Fonda)who's a cop in civilian life,has a hunch that the enemy is up to something. On a reconaissance flight,he spots Colonel Hessler(Robert Shaw)in the back of a big black convertible. Kiley also spots some Tiger tanks and thinks that he has discovered the first evidence of the counteroffensive. His superiors,General Gray (Robert Ryan),and Colonel Pritchard(Dana Andrews) are skeptical. Meanwhile,right at the point of the German attack,Major Wolenski's(Charles Bronson)men are hunkered in a bunker and trying to stay warm. Sargent Duquesne(George Montgomery)keeps wet-behind-the-ears Lt. Weaver (James MacArthur)from getting himself killed,and Guffy(Telly Savalas)uses his Sherman tank to distribute black market wine,eggs,and nylons. The script by John Melson and producers Phillip Yordan and Milton Sperling neatly juggles those plot elements,bringing them all together only at a wonderfully preposterous conclusion.

The various battle scenes vary widely in quality. Some of the destruction seems shockingly real while the occasional shots of model tanks and trains are so jarring that they're unintentionally funny. Director Kenneth Annakin realizes how those deep,ratting,clanking sound effects are to cinematic tanks,and he uses every note in his repertoire. He understands the importance of setting,and gives the film an appropriately bleak,muddy,snow-covered feel. Since the film was released in Christmas of 1965,and was originally made for the ultra-widescreen process Cinerama(the first film presented in this format for Warner Bors. Pictures and was filmed in Ultra Panavision), much of the scope of the big scenes is lost in the conventional pan-and-scan transfer(it has been restored for its release on DVD). The best way to see this is in theatres that had the Cinerama process. The tank battles in particular have almost nothing to do with the realiities of war,but the filmmakers don't take as many liberties as they might have.

The Germans did time the attack to take advantage of poor weather-"night,fog and snow,"as Hitler put it-to keep Allied airplanes on the ground. They hoped that stopping the Allies would give them take to take more advantage of their secret-weapons programs and V-2 attacks. The attack was led by a young tank general,and his supplies of fuel were so critically low that his forces were expected to forage for it. The filmmakers made use of all these points,especially with the battle sequences and stunning photography throughout. When it was released in 1965,the film's original running time of 167 minutes long. The most widely available tape version of the film is at 141 minutes and was re-released back in theatres with given running times of 156,and 163 minutes long. When it was restored,the producers resurrected the original negatives to its standard running time of 167 minutes,which is now out on DVD.
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Watch the movie, you will like it!
glentom123 March 2007
I love this movie. Great actors, great scenes. The song the panzer commanders sing is a great moment in movie history.

I read other reviews and many of them I don't understand. Some of them give one star because they say the movie is so historically inaccurate. Was the TV show Combat accurate? Was the popular movie Dirty Dozen accurate? If you want accuracy, stick to the History channel, and even then there will be debates. If you want an entertaining war flick, watch this one! There are none much better.

Another gripe I have with reviews on this movie is with those that question its title. There actually was a Battle of the Bulge in military history. But there never was a "Longest Day" battle. Titles of movies are meant to bring people to the theater, not teach history.

Lest you think I am not an educated reviewer, you should know I was an enlisted Marine, then an Officer of Marines 30 years ago. My family goes back to the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, WW1, WW2, the Korean War, Vietnam, and afterwards.

Even if I was a fly on the wall watching one of my ancestors participate in the Battle of the Bulge, that would not qualify me to comment on the entire battle. Watch the movie, you will like it for entertainment. Then read a book afterwards if you worry you have not been sufficiently educated.
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Don't believe a bit of what is said and shown in this movie. It's all fake.
philip_vanderveken10 September 2004
What can I say about this movie? A lot, but it wouldn't be appropriate to put it in here and I don't want to loose my right to put my comments on this website. So let me tell you this: This movie is absolutely horrific! Never have I ever seen a war movie as bad as this one.

You have to know about me that I'm really a great amateur of war movies. I've got several movies of this kind in my private collection and I'm planning to buy even more war movies, but 'The Battle of the Bulge' will not be one of them. This is just too bad for words.

For a start: Since when do olive trees grow in the Ardennes??? I'm a Belgian, I used to work in the region and I think I can say with 100% certainty that there are a lot of trees, but 99% of them are pines. And there's certainly nothing that looks like an olive tree to me.

Second: When you are watching the movie, one moment you see tanks rolling through a landscape with a lot of snow. Then all the snow magically disappears (the tanks seem to drive through what I might describe as some kind of desert), just to see the snow come back a few moments later.

Third: The acting! I'm not talking about the main actors, Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Robert Shaw, ... They didn't even do it too bad. It's the rest. How obvious can overacting be? Normally when a soldier gets hit he doesn't make a few pirouettes, before falling to the ground. They do not fall in a heroic but oh so theatrical way. No, they just fall down, the way the impact of the bullet or whatever hits them makes them fall.

I could go on like this, but it would take us too far. All I want to say is this: Don't believe a bit of what is said and shown in this movie. It's all fake. And the makers of this movie knew that too. At the end of the movie they give you the message that it is 'generalized' , as well as 'synthesized' to convey 'the spirit and essence of the battle' in which a million soldiers fought. Nice way to say that you know that you made a bad and historically completely inaccurate movie.

If you really want to see what the Battle of the Bulge was like, watch the episodes 6 (Bastogne) and 7 (The Breaking Point) of Band of Brothers! You'll see that war isn't about heroism and all that stuff, which they are trying to make you believe with this movie. It's hell, it always has been and always will be!!! They should have known and told that in 1965, it was only 20 years after the war, and not 60 like today! Today a lot of kids have forgotten what World War II was like, and they'll get a wrong view on it when watching a movie like this one. I give it a 1/10.
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An Obscenity - Pure Blasphemy
jlthornb5119 May 2015
If the title means this is the story of the actual Battle of the Bulge, the horrendous offensive Hitler attempted in the west in 1944, then it is entirely in error. Just wrong and wrong in a manner that is an insult to the veterans of that bloody battle and to history itself. President Eisenhower described this ridiculously filmed garbage as obscene upon seeing it upon first release. It is certainly blasphemy. Not only is it totally and completely inaccurate in just about every way possible, it is poorly made. The special effects are simply terrible, below the standards of a Japanese Godzilla movie. The cinematography is awful, the locations ludicrous, and the acting wooden, if how the stars play their parts can even be described as anything close to acting. The worst aspect of this production is the script which seems to have been written by hacks who knew nothing of the Second World War in Europe except the Germans and Americans were somehow involved in a big battle before the final surrender. They must have read part of the newspaper headline back in December of 1944, not bothering with any details. This is trash. And not trash that is in some perverted way entertaining, humorous, or fun. This film stands as a towering monument of shame, a tribute to the stunning arrogance and incredible ignorance, the ugly insensitivity and utter indifference of Hollywood. The shocking moral bankruptcy of the producers, director, and screen writers is forever recorded here, in a horrendous film that reflects their collective contempt for the American heroes who turned back the fascist hordes that made one huge blunder in attempting to reassert Nazi evil in Western Europe. Thank goodness for motion pictures such as Battleground and television productions like Band of Brothers, made by people who cared about the dignity of the surviving participants who sacrificed so much for our freedom and honor them and history. There is little to be said regarding "Battle of the Bulge" other than this unholy film is a total abomination with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
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