George C. Scott is ferocious as Gen. George S. Patton, who led his tank forces against Germans in North Africa and Italy. It seems mad to have released a World War II movie just as the Vietnam War was coming to a head. It must have been something to see this villainous military hero say, right at the beginning of the film, “That’s why Americans have never lost and will never lose a war.” Francis Ford Coppola wrote the script, and it’s unclear if that line was supposed to be ironic or not. Richard Nixon didn’t think so, for the film was reportedly one of his favorites, screened many times in the White House.
Scott received an Oscar for his portrayal and promptly declined it. Only he and Marlon Brando have done such a thing.
Next Raging Bull