Battle of the Bulge (Sous-titres franais)
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Battle of the Bulge (DVD)
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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Top Customer Reviews
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
I was truly heartened to read in a previous review that Warners is releasing this film on DVD. If it really won't be ready until next year I implore them to take the time to present the film as it originally was in 1965, complete and un-edited as all wide-gauge films of that vintage should be.
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'.
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
It would be nice to see the film get the Special Edition treatment, but quite honestly the complete version of the film in a decent anamorphic transfer with a 5.1 soundtrack would suffice.
The question of the correct aspect ratio is a tricky one. Battle Of The Bulge was filmed in Ultra Panavision. This system used a 65mm negative with a slight anamorphic compression. This meant that when projected it had a maximum aspect ratio of 2.76:1. However, films in this process were rarely displayed at more than 2.5:1, as many theatres hadn't the capability to project any wider. The DVD of Ben Hur is presented in 2.76:1 and looks beautiful on a large widescreen TV, but it must be painful to watch it on a 4:3 TV of average size.
However, aspect ratio aside, the important thing is that Warners give us the complete 167 minute version of the film, containing the overture, intermission and exit music, and not one of the butchered versions of recent years. Let's hope that they're listening!
Most recent customer reviews
Even if the special effects are very basic
More importantly, story is very good and based on historical fact.
Good addition to my collection, love that movie. shipping was fast and did received in good conditionPublished 7 months ago by Jacqueline Villeneuve
great film==one of the classic war movies of that era. (I am not a fan of the letterbox format as my tv only has a 28 inch screen)Published 8 months ago by Fred Tatler
Great War Drama. Robert Shaw is excellent as the Panzer Commander. Quite historically accurate for a Hollywood production. Read morePublished 9 months ago by K. Anderson
Very good transfer to Blu-ray. Very quick service. Thank you!Published 9 months ago by JAROSLAV J. PETERKA
A world war 2 classic, a must have in a war collectionPublished 15 months ago by Christopher Raucamp
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