August 9th, 2014: Attack aka Attack! (1956)

attack!

Cast and Crew:  Frank De Vol (Score); Lee Marvin, Robert Strauss, Richard Jaeckel, Buddy Ebsen, Strother Martin

What It’s About: During the closing days of the Second World War, a National Guard infantry company is ordered to move into a town that could be occupied by Nazi forces.  Earlier in the day their cowardly, politically connected commander Captain Cooney (Eddie Albert) failed to back up an assault, costing men their lives.  When Cooney sends his most vociferous critic, Lt. Joe Costa (Jack Palance) in the vanguard of the assault, Costa swears that he will return to kill Cooney if Cooney’s timidity cost his men their lives.

Why Watch it Today?: Attack is an early film from director Robert Aldrich, who was born on this date in 1918.  Aldrich uses his  fantastic cast of character actors to bring a cynical eye to that most golden of sacred cows, the American military and its performance in the European theater during the Second World War.

Other Choices:  The Dirty Dozen, Vera Cruz, Kiss Me Deadly, Emperor of the North

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2 comments on “August 9th, 2014: Attack aka Attack! (1956)

  1. geelw says:

    Excellent choice. Still one of the better low-budget war films and an Aldrich classic. I still wonder how many takes he did to get that opening shot so perfect (the helmet rolling until it stops right by those flowers is an amazing bit)…

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