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      Attack!

      1956 1h 47m War Drama List
      100% Tomatometer 9 Reviews 78% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings Lt. Joe Costa (Jack Palance) is a part of Fragile Fox Company, a National Guard unit sent to a Belgian town in the final stages of World War II. Costa harbors some serious doubts about the leadership abilities of Captain Cooney (Eddie Albert), a coward who only secured his position because of his ties to Lt. Col. Bartlett (Lee Marvin). Cooney's inexperience and his open contempt for Costa threaten the lives of his men as they draw closer to Battle of the Bulge. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (9) Critics Reviews
      André Bazin L'Obs (France) Such relative reservations on my part cannot prevail against the intellectual and formal beauties of Robert Aldrich's admirable -- and therefore eminently defensible -- film. Dec 8, 2021 Full Review Jeffrey M. Anderson Combustible Celluloid The great, tough Robert Aldrich, with his harsh black-and-white, edgy frames, and stark close-ups, takes on a play by Norman Brooks... and turns it into a ferocious portrait of men under pressure, whose worst enemy is cowardice. Rated: 3.5/4 Jan 28, 2021 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy Jack Palance is so intense, you almost expect your own blood vessels to burst. Rated: 3/4 Dec 17, 2020 Full Review Fernando F. Croce CinePassion Aldrich's blunt and ferocious existentialism Nov 21, 2014 Full Review Margaret Pomeranz At the Movies (Australia) Look, it's very impressive. May 13, 2014 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com One of Robert Aldrich's best films, this dark, grim, cynical portrait of infantry warfare in 1944 Belgium is extremely well acted by Jack Palance, Lee Marvin, Eddie Albert and the rest of the male cast. Rated: B+ Jul 29, 2010 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Liam D A decent war movie with solid directing and an amazing cast Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/24/24 Full Review Matthew B Robert Aldrich was one of the toughest directors of 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. He had a knack for taking macho genres and upping the cynical or rough-edged content of them. Attack was a 1956 war movie that painted a grim picture of the corrupting influence of war, the brutality of the fighting, and the incompetence and corruption in high places. Indeed the US Defence Department was so unhappy with the film's message that they refused to participate in its making. Attack seems an appropriate title for the movie in more ways than one. The action of the film is based around an offensive by the American soldiers, and a counter-offensive movement by the German troops. It might be said that ‘attack' is Aldrich's approach towards his subject matter. There is little ambiguity about his intentions in portraying war as an ugly affair, and not just when men are in combat with the other side. As the film's trailer proclaimed, "Not every gun is pointed at the enemy". Morale in the Fragile Fox company of the National Guard is at a low point. The reason for this is that the men have no respect for the head of the company, Captain Erskine Cooney (Eddie Albert). Even before the action starts, Cooney has a bad reputation with his men. They recognise that he is a man out of his depth, and fear that it will only be a matter of time before his lack of courage and strength leads to a serious disaster. Cooney comes across as a man who is frightened and unstable. He responds badly to criticism, and becomes hysterical. Curiously he is played by Eddie Albert, a man who could hardly be more different than the character he portrays. Albert was a decorated war hero, who rescued seventy wounded Marines. It is impressive that this actor, better known for appearing in song-and-dance movies, should have played the part so convincingly. It is easy to see why Aldrich's film would not be popular with the army. The senior officers in the film are either cowards or ruthless manipulators. Courage can be found in junior officers such as Lieutenant Joe Costa (Jack Pallance) and Lieutenant Harry Woodruff (William Smithers). Yet even those officers behave in a manner that is hardly conducive to army discipline. They are insubordinate, and willing to threaten or even kill their Captain if the need arises. A few brief touches establish the grimness of fighting on the front. The remaining soldiers in the farmhouse list off the names of friends and comrades that they saw fall in the last assault. A wounded soldier lies on the ground while his colleagues each hesitate before reluctantly leaving him behind. Only Costa makes an unsuccessful attempt to help the man. Later there is a particularly nasty death caused by a tank. Due to the difficult nature of the subject matter, Aldrich had some difficulty making Attack. It was filmed on a lower budget than many war movies of the time. The cast was small, and the lack of co-operation from the US Defence Department meant that there was little military hardware on display. Aldrich had to make do with just two tanks, one borrowed, and one bought for the film. In the circumstances, Aldrich did a good job of opening up the original stage play on which the film is based. The outside settings give the film an expansive look which hides just how spartan the sets and props were. Attack is filmed with a grim noir-ish look. The camera freely moves around the sets, making them seem larger than they were. The use of high and low camera angles serves to make the characters seem smaller than they are – mere pawns in the middle of a greater conflict. Perhaps that even applies to Bartlett and Cooney. While the low budget and lack of unambiguous heroics has caused Attack to be often overlooked among lists of great movies, I would certainly include it in my list. Just 14 years after the end of one of the few wars that most people would feel was justifiable, Aldrich exposed the seamy side that underlies even the noblest of wars. I wrote a longer appreciation of Attack on my blog page if you would like to read more: https://themoviescreenscene.wordpress.com/2021/02/18/attack-1956/ Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 07/31/23 Full Review Olivia Y Superb. No CGI or other mod cons covering up average - just plain brilliant acting, direction and production. Don't let black and white put you off, it actually adds to the tension……. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/15/23 Full Review john h One of my all-time favorites, I must have watched it fifty times by now. For such a tiny budget they pulled off a powerful film not just about war, but about friendship and comradery. Anything else I have to say would give away part of the plot! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review keith w Worth 5 stars for Jack Palance and Eddie Albert in their contrasting roles. A WW2 film with plenty of action which is all about acting. Oh and there's a cynical Lee Marvin as well. Jack Palance is so taut it's a wonder he didn't snap in two - except he did in a way. A more challenging (too challenging?) downbeat ending is eschewed but there isn't a wasted word or action in this film. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member We want this type of "ACTION" Sequences from bollywood. The concept may be copied. But execution is very good. We should support this type new adoption in Bollywood. Because it's well directed, with good visual & sound effect. I am not gonna compair it with any Hollywood movie. But must say this attempt of Bollywood is very good. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/25/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Attack!

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      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Lt. Joe Costa (Jack Palance) is a part of Fragile Fox Company, a National Guard unit sent to a Belgian town in the final stages of World War II. Costa harbors some serious doubts about the leadership abilities of Captain Cooney (Eddie Albert), a coward who only secured his position because of his ties to Lt. Col. Bartlett (Lee Marvin). Cooney's inexperience and his open contempt for Costa threaten the lives of his men as they draw closer to Battle of the Bulge.
      Director
      Robert Aldrich
      Producer
      Robert Aldrich
      Screenwriter
      James Poe
      Production Co
      The Associates & Aldrich Company Inc.
      Genre
      War, Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Sep 16, 2008
      Runtime
      1h 47m
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