In 1970, two films juxtaposed each other. "Patton" was an unlikely winner of eight Oscars. The pacifist Scott for all practical purposes took his Buck Turgidson character and refined him into the real-life Patton. In interviews, Scott said he found his research of Patton revealed an unbalanced man, but on screen Scott nailed him as the vainglorious, brilliant, driven warmonger he was. Steiger was offered the role first but turned it down because it glorified war. Vietnam was absolutely at its apex. It was very surprising that Hollywood would make such a film at that time. But director Frankin Schaffner had served under Patton, and after making "The Planet of the Apes" had the clout to call his shots. The film did not get America behind the war, but it did cause Nixon to start bombing Cambodia because the Patton story convinced him to get tough. The screenwriter, oddly enough, was Francis Ford Coppola, who may have done himself a turn. Coppola was no war lover, and wrote "Patton" as a man obsessed with war ("God help me, I love it so"), deluded by visions of Napoleonic grandeur mixed with Episcopalian Christianity and karmic reincarnation. The intent may have been to show a psychotic military man, to de-mask his heroism, and this may have been what prompted Scott to play it. From page to screen there are virtually no changes, but if Coppola was trying to put down the military by showing Patton's human warts, the result was a brilliant work that now is one of, if not the most, conservative pictures ever made. Watching "Patton" stirs wonderful pride in two countries (Great Britain is prominent in the film) that were tough enough to stand up to the Nazis when the rest of the world cowered in victimhood. Karl Malden's Omar Bradley is Patton's perfect foil, as is the Bernard Law Montgomery character. The film saved Coppola, who was about to be fired as "The Godfather" director. When he won the Oscar for "Patton", it gave him too much clout to get the axe.