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Battle of the Bulge [HD DVD]

Henry Fonda , Robert Shaw , Ken Annakin    NR (Not Rated)   HD DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
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• IMPORTANT NOTICE: This high-definition disc will only play in an HD DVD player. It will not play in a Blu-ray player or a PS3.

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The German offensive in December 1944 became the basis for this all-star Hollywood take on the Battle of the Bulge. Henry Fonda is an officer who predicts the assault, Robert Ryan and Dana Andrews are Army brass skeptical of his intuitions, and Robert Shaw (his hair dyed yellow and his eyes glinting with malice) is a German officer leading the tank attack. Shaw is certainly the most compelling thing about the film, especially in his philosophical debates with ambivalent underling Hans Christian Blech. Elsewhere, the movie jumps around to sidebar stories (cowardly James MacArthur becomes a leader, wheeler-dealer Telly Savalas falls in love) while messing around with the historical facts of the battle. There are interesting episodes, such as the Malmedy massacre of American POWs and the Germans' use of English-speaking spies, but overall Battle of the Bulge has the feeling of having been patched together from different scripts. On the physical level the movie comes up short, with the Spanish locations rarely suggesting the wintry misery of the battle, and the use of models and studio sets highly inadequate. A number of war films from this era are compelling on their own terms, but in the wake of Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers, this one looks antique. --Robert Horton

Product Description

The German offensive in December 1944 became the basis for this all-star Hollywood take on the Battle of the Bulge. Henry Fonda is an officer who predicts the assault, Robert Ryan and Dana Andrews are Army brass skeptical of his intuitions, and Robert Shaw (his hair dyed yellow and his eyes glinting with malice) is a German officer leading the tank attack. Shaw is certainly the most compelling thing about the film, especially in his philosophical debates with ambivalent underling Hans Christian Blech. Elsewhere, the movie jumps around to sidebar stories (cowardly James MacArthur becomes a leader, wheeler-dealer Telly Savalas falls in love) while messing around with the historical facts of the battle. There are interesting episodes, such as the Malmedy massacre of American POWs and the Germans' use of English-speaking spies, but overall Battle of the Bulge has the feeling of having been patched together from different scripts. On the physical level the movie comes up short, with the Spanish locations rarely suggesting the wintry misery of the battle, and the use of models and studio sets highly inadequate. A number of war films from this era are compelling on their own terms, but in the wake of Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers, this one looks antique. --Robert Horton

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This abortion uses the excuse that it is a "synthesis" of events, but it is simply an abomination. Not only are the characters and events for the most part complete fiction, or completely fictional in the way they are portrayed, but just some of the lack of realism in what happens is ludicrous as well. A tank gets hit and ends up looking like a blow torch was used to remove the top half of the turret (probably closer to how it actually got that way), yet the tank commander, sitting higher up in the command hatch than his fellow crewmembers, miraculously escapes unharmed! In the real world, a tank round would make a small hole in the armor and spew hot shrapenel all over the interior of the vehicle, with fuel and ammo likely catching fire/exploding/cooking off. This is more a comic than a serious film. As far as the historical inaccuracies, there was no "Col. Hessler", and for those who think this is a pseudonym for Col. Joachim Peiper, think again; if you recall, "Hessler" is supposed to be a Wermacht officer, not an SS officer, although his "brigade" begins its attack in the Losheim Gap (i.e., where Peiper began his attack). Next, the Germans had very few Tiger tanks, and even fewer King Tiger tanks; the bulk of their tank strength at that point in the war would have been Panzer Mk IV's and Panthers, with the Tigers and King Tigers being attached "heavy tank battalions" that reinforced the Panzer divisions. In the movie you'd get the impression that the entire German army was equipped with King Tiger tanks exclusively. And it wasn't as if the Bulge was the first time the Americans/Allies had seen this tank, since some early examples were knocked out in Normandy. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Battle of the Bulge........Where's the DVD Feb. 9 2004
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
It's been 5 months since D-Day and most American soldiers think that the back of the German army is broken. "We'll be home for Christmas" they tell each other. But the Germans have other plans. In a desperate attempt to buy time to fill the skys with their invincible new jets, they launch one more fast furious offensive: the Battle of the Bulge.
Battle of the Bulge is a great epic war drama to watch on a rainy summer day. Awsome battle scenes with the tanks, awsome cinematography, excellent acting, great actors, like Henry Fonda, Robert Shaw, Robert Ryan, Dana Andrews, James MacArthur, Werner Peters, Charles Bronson, Ty Hardin and Telly Savalas.
If Warner Bros. is looking at this review, I have only one favor to ask:
Please release the full uncut version of Battle of the Bulge on DVD with the movie trailer and a 'making of featurette'.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Battle of the Bulge Aug. 16 2013
By Watcher
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Great cast, and a good show, but not quite the same as it really happened. But I don't regret getting for my collection.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good quality print July 26 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This is a better rendition of the original DVD. The story is a little hokey (Band of Brothers tells the tale much better) but it's entertaining
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dump your VHS version May 5 2005
Format:DVD
I'm not going to waste your time telling you about the movie, and how great it is.
The only thing I have to say is someone did something right for a change. Whoever put this one together gave you the full version as it was first shown.
On the VHS and when showing on TV, the Fifth Column portions of the film, were usually cut out, but they are included in this version.
My advice if you know and love this movie, this is the one to buy, and dump your VHS.
This review does not apply to the Battle of the Bulge [HD DVD] released may 22, but the prior release.

P.S. if you have the DVD, don't bother buying the Blu-Ray
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Theme song "Panzerlied" lyrics by Kurt Wiele June 15 2008
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
This is supposed to be an epic war movie. And it is. It is a great vehicle for many of the popular actors of the time which includes some immortals. This is not intended to be a documentary. The over all intent of this presentation other than entertainment is to show that war has a lasting effect on those people that live through it.

The story is of course the title "Battle of the Bulge" only instead of concentrating on Bastogne we are treated to the formula which on the U.S. side Lt. Col. Daniel Kiley (Henry Fonda) figures out them sneaky Germans is going to attack through the forest and of course Col. Pritchard (Dana Andrews) wants to have Lt. Col. Kiley committed. On the German side Col. Martin Hessler (Robert Shaw) just wants to have fun playing tank and wants the war to go on for ever; however his sidekick Cpl. Conrad (Hans Christian Blech) has this thing about preserving his offspring from joining the fun of an endless war.

Can Gen. Grey (Robert Ryan) find a mistake the Germans have made and turn this around or will the German juggernaut just keep coming on. No fair looking at this movie from hindsight.

I have watched this movie on and off for several decades and even though the Blu-ray version does not add any new words or scenes to the movie it does add a sort of 3D effect that adds to ones viewing pleasure. As an added bonus Director Ken Annakin and Actor James McArthur (who plays Lt. Weaver in the movie) are still alive and adds a voice over commentary
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3.0 out of 5 stars Battle of the Bulge [Blu-ray] Oct. 12 2009
Format:Blu-ray
OK but not a home run hitter. Lite on the realism side. Some extra footage then the televised version. Still entertaining but not compelling. Nothing like Saving Private Ryan or other more modern depictions of war. No real violence or swearing.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars A sad excuse for the real story
I saw this film in the theatre in the 1960's and again recently. My original impression hasn't changed. The writing and acting are generally mediocre. Read more
Published on July 6 2008 by Kenneth Cohen
1.0 out of 5 stars Gawd Awful American Garbage
No historical accuracy here - fictionalized everything - the action and the tanks are the stars here. Read more
Published on Jan. 15 2008 by Book Buff
2.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly inaccurate film !
I saw this film in the theatre when it was released. It is incredibly inaccurate and has little to do with the reality of the battle. Read more
Published on Dec 5 2007 by dmitri
4.0 out of 5 stars coming soon on dvd
Just heard the news from a reliable source that Battle of the Bulge will be released May 3, 2005 on DVD. Read more
Published on Feb. 11 2005
4.0 out of 5 stars AN UNDER-APPRECIATED BUT GREAT WAR FLICK
I won't bother to dwell upon the historical inaccuracies this film suffers from such as armour and terrain. Read more
Published on April 13 2004 by "edward41"
4.0 out of 5 stars great war flick
I seen this movie when i was a kid, around the age of 10 , i went to the hobby shop and bought a model of the tiger tank. Read more
Published on April 8 2004 by schackdaddy
5.0 out of 5 stars Battle of the Bulge.......A epic war drama
Battle of the is one of my favorite war movie to watch, next to Devil's Brigade, The Great Escape, The Green Berets, Where Eagles Dare, and Ice Station Zebra.
The U.S. Read more
Published on April 4 2004
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