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Attack

Attack presents a cowardly officer who's murdered by his men. Entire film [from the play Fragile Fox by Norman Brooks] is treated with a hard realism that pays off in gutsy entertainment. It's a grim, extremely tough account of an infantry company during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, brightly projected by the fine characterizations contributed by the cast.

Attack presents a cowardly officer who’s murdered by his men. Entire film [from the play Fragile Fox by Norman Brooks] is treated with a hard realism that pays off in gutsy entertainment. It’s a grim, extremely tough account of an infantry company during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, brightly projected by the fine characterizations contributed by the cast.

Eddie Albert is the cowardly captain who’s too yellow to back the actions attempted by his lieutenants (Jack Palance and William Smithers). Disastrous missions follow each other until Palance threatens to kill Albert if he fails on the next one.

Pic gains realism through depicting army brass and GIs as humans with different reactions to the reality of combat. Palance stands out in his portrayal of the gaunt, enraged lieutenant. Albert makes an unpleasant character quite real and understandable. Scoring exceptionally strong is Lee Marvin, the opportunistic colonel who keeps the coward in command because he will be useful after the war in politics.

Attack

  • Production: Associates & Aldrich. Director Robert Aldrich; Producer Robert Aldrich; Writer James Poe; Camera Joseph Biroc Editor Michael Luciano; Music Frank DeVol Art William Glasgow
  • Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1956. Running time: 107 MIN.
  • With: Jack Palance Eddie Albert Lee Marvin Robert Strauss Richard Jaeckel Buddy Ebsen