Patton is probably the best Biography in Cinematic history. George C. Scott’s performance makes this movie and is a fitting tribute to one of the most succesful if not colorful General is U.S. History.
Patton is a bit long for my taste usually, but each time I watch this movie I find myself wishing it were longer. The movie begins with Scott as Patton addressing an unseen audience which is actually you and me, the viewers. The speech is Scott’s version of Patton’s “Speech to the 3rd Army” that he delivered the night before the invasion of Europe (D-Day) which he was not chosen to lead. This is as good an introduction to a movie that I can ever remember seeing and it gives you a great idea of what you are in for. One thing I really enjoy thinking about while watching Patton is that no matter how mean, nasty and vulgar Scott portrays Patton, we know that Patton was worse.
After the “Speech to the 3rd Army” we begin in North Africa where Patton is brought to combat Field Marshal Rommel in the desert. Patton succeeds and defeats the Germans but is saddened to learn that Rommel was not on the field that day. Patton is consoled that he beat Rommel’s plan and that is the same as beating Rommel but that wasnt enough for Patton who dreams of being known as top dog. The movie is littered with Patton telling his contemporaries of his past lives spent battling with and against history’s best and most well-known war lords like Napoleon or the Carthaginians.
The movie ends with Patton racing to beat the Russians to Berlin because he believes the Russians will prove to be another front after the Germans are defeated and he is correct. One of the last scenes show Patton speaking to a Russian General at a victory dinner following the war the war through an interpreter. Patton tells the general that he won’t drink with this general or any other Russian sonofabitch. The Russian General replies that he thinks Patton is a sonofabitch too. Patton roars with laughter and proclaims that he “can drink to that” “one sonofabitch to another”. This type of witty dialogue that transforms Patton from an interesting and well acted biography into the Premiere biography and one of the best movies I have ever seen.