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Attack (1956)

War | 107 minutes
3,50 102 votes

Genre: War / Drama

Duration: 107 minuten

Alternative title: Attack!

Country: United States

Directed by: Robert Aldrich

Stars: Lee Marvin, Eddie Albert and Jack Palance

IMDb score: 7,4 (5.796)

Releasedate: 19 September 1956

Attack plot

"It rips open the hot Hell behind the glory!"

Lieutenant Joe Costa (Jack Palance) not only fights the Germans, but also has a tussle with his cowardly superior Erskine Cooney (Eddie Albert), who abandons him during the occupation of a village in the Ardennes.

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avatar van mister blonde

mister blonde

  • 12445 messages
  • 5385 votes

Aldrich has the gift of making low-budget films artistically by compensating for the lack of resources with stylistic inventions. The black and white use of an Aldrich nowadays looks much more modern than his color films (which were made with a larger budget).

I thought it was an excellent anti-war film, in which Aldrich shows how war can change someone's actions and shift norms and values so far that people discover a new side of themselves. The acting is a bit boisterous and not really good in the classic sense, but it fits the film perfectly. The story is a critical account of politics within the military and the fact that the military did not want to participate in the film more or less proves the point of “Attack”.

It has become a claustrophobic film where soldiers fight for their lives in cellars or destroyed houses or sometimes in open fields without shelter. The film is not only black and white in photography, but also in its approach to cowardly and brave & good and bad. Cooney seems to be progressing by recognizing his cowardice and then immediately acting like a madman again. The character development could have been a bit more nuanced and maybe even a bit more believable. In the end it's not that big of a deal because you notice that Aldrich is just really busy and has no ambition to tell a story that has nuance on all sides.

Aldrich's oeuvre is somewhat hit and miss, but really only in terms of greatness. Sometimes his films are absolutely brilliant and sometimes it's just nice. This is somewhere in between. This is worth 4 stars.

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avatar van W.V.


  • 845 messages
  • 476 votes

Aldrich has had some trouble making the film, normally the American min v def cooperates with a good war story through advisors and material, if not this movie. The Cold War was in full swing and they didn't want a movie that revolves around the cowardice and ignorance of officers and then covers it up. Still, I think that this does not shorten the film, on the contrary, the roles of Palance and Marvin compensate a lot. Only the role of Eddie Albert could have been much better, Albert was also not an actor who, in my opinion, suited soldier roles. Aldrich was a director who did not shy away from raw reality and could be quite confrontational in his films, that absolutely works in this film, I think the only flaw is the acting performance of Eddie Albert, otherwise, great film

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van knusse stoel

knusse stoel

  • 3128 messages
  • 3719 votes

Beautiful war film in black and white which does not detract from the quality of the film. Lieutenant Joe Costa (Jack Palance) is in regular trouble with his cowardly superior Captain Erskine Cooney (Eddie Albert).

This regularly brings out the anger of Joe during actions against the enemy when he again chooses the least heroic way of not taking his responsibility as leader of the company that both officers serve during World War II.

How long can something like this go on when your life can depend on those fighting alongside you but not protecting you when it comes down to it?

One in the series of war movies I've seen in recent weeks and this one is one of the better ones.

A 7.5.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original