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HISTORY

The film begins with George C. Scott, in the role of “General George S. Patton,” standing in front of an American flag, giving a speech to the audience that lasts over five minutes. The first action scene begins with a title card that reads: “Kasserine Pass, Tunisia, 1943.” End credits contain the following information: “This film was made with the collaboration of the Spanish Army.”
       The 11 Jan 1968 DV announced that producer Frank McCarthy had delayed the start of Patton to Jan 1969, because its intended director, William Wyler, needed a long vacation after making Funny Girl (1968, see entry). The 14 Mar 1968 DV reported Wyler had “bowed out (again),” forcing McCarthy to search for a director ready to start “10-month preparations” before the production began in Spain. The 14 May 1968 DV hinted that Robert Mitchum “looms large as leading contender to play General Patton,” but he was not part of the final film.
       The title of the “Gen. George S. Patton biopic” was changed to Blood and Guts, as announced in the 17 Apr 1968 DV. The title was slightly amended to Patton, Blood and Guts, when the 14 Oct 1968 DV reported that Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. would shoot the movie “in the Dimension 150 process and release it for exhibition in that system.” The only previous movie filmed in Dimension 150 was John Huston’s The Bible…In the Beginning (1966, see entry), and very few theaters at the time were equipped to handle the format. Ultimately, the Dimension 150 process was used ... More Less

The film begins with George C. Scott, in the role of “General George S. Patton,” standing in front of an American flag, giving a speech to the audience that lasts over five minutes. The first action scene begins with a title card that reads: “Kasserine Pass, Tunisia, 1943.” End credits contain the following information: “This film was made with the collaboration of the Spanish Army.”
       The 11 Jan 1968 DV announced that producer Frank McCarthy had delayed the start of Patton to Jan 1969, because its intended director, William Wyler, needed a long vacation after making Funny Girl (1968, see entry). The 14 Mar 1968 DV reported Wyler had “bowed out (again),” forcing McCarthy to search for a director ready to start “10-month preparations” before the production began in Spain. The 14 May 1968 DV hinted that Robert Mitchum “looms large as leading contender to play General Patton,” but he was not part of the final film.
       The title of the “Gen. George S. Patton biopic” was changed to Blood and Guts, as announced in the 17 Apr 1968 DV. The title was slightly amended to Patton, Blood and Guts, when the 14 Oct 1968 DV reported that Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. would shoot the movie “in the Dimension 150 process and release it for exhibition in that system.” The only previous movie filmed in Dimension 150 was John Huston’s The Bible…In the Beginning (1966, see entry), and very few theaters at the time were equipped to handle the format. Ultimately, the Dimension 150 process was used only in 70mm roadshow prints.
       Columnist Army Archerd broke the news in the 5 Nov 1968 DV that Karl Malden would portray “General Omar N. Bradley” in the film. Malden was “looking forward to spending at least 10 days with Bradley,…just walking with him” to get into character. Bradley had been hired as the film’s senior military advisor, and had already taken Frank McCarthy and director Franklin G. Schaffner to battlefields in Normandy and the Ardennes in France, and to Tunisia and Northern Africa—“which will be duplicated for the pic in Spain.” Twentieth Century-Fox also bought the rights to Bradley’s 1951 memoir, A Soldier’s Story, to use as “background” for the film, “along with ‘three Patton bios,’” including Ladislas Farago’s Patton: Ordeal and Triumph.
       The Patton family opposed the film. The general’s widow had protected his image from any commercial use, and only after her death in 1953 did producer McCarthy begin his seventeen-year journey to make the film biography. Franklin Shaffner told the 18 Jun 1969 Var that Patton’s son, Col. George S. Patton, III, “is on record as saying he’ll shoot the s.o.b. who makes a picture about his father.” The U.S. Army initially refused to cooperate, but eventually “broke down.”
       Principal photography for what was then a $10-million film began 3 Feb 1969 near Segovia, Spain, the 3 Feb 1969 DV and the international edition of the 5 Feb 1969 Var reported. Filming was scheduled to last for seventeen weeks in Spain and cover three different locations. The “outskirts” of Segovia were to be used for the “Battle of the Bulge” segment of the film, and Pamplona in northern Spain would stand in for France and Germany. The third location, Almeria, in Andalusia, Spain, would provide the backdrop for General Patton’s Tunisian and Sicilian campaigns. Interiors would be shot in Madrid, Spain’s Sevilla Studios. It was expected that the production would also spend a day in Marrakesh, Morocco, and four days in England. The 18 May 1969 LAT also mentioned that some filming had been underway on the Greek island of Crete. The budget ultimately increased to $12.8 million. Producer McCarthy, himself a former U.S. Army brigadier general, told journalists that Spain was perfect for the production, because it not only had “varied and adaptable terrain,” but also because the Spanish Army was still equipped with World War II American tanks and other heavy weaponry no longer available in the U.S. Along with the army’s cooperation, the production would hire thousands of Spanish troops as background extras. In the snowy Battle of the Bulge scenes alone, the Spanish Army supplied 200 tanks and 3,000 troops dressed in German and U.S. uniforms. Extras and advisors were set to be hired from the U.S. Air Force base at Torrejón, near Madrid. Because of the film’s epic scope, it required two full-time filming units.
       Although the 13 Feb 1969 DV noted that Twentieth Century-Fox was dropping “Blood and Guts” from the title because it had no meaning to modern movie-goers, trade publications continued to use the appellation. For example, the 18 Jun 1969 Var announced that the final scene for ”Patton: Blood and Guts would be filmed that week at an amphibious landing at Camp Pendleton, CA. When the film premiered in New York City on 4 Dec 1969, the 5 Dec 1969 DV reported its title as Patton: A Salute to a Rebel. However, by the time the movie opened wide in early Feb 1970, the title had been shortened to Patton.
       Fox Movietone News clips used in the film were accompanied by a revised narration delivered by journalist Lowell Thomas, who narrated the original World War II clips.
       McCarthy told the LAT that in order to avoid an R rating from the Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA), “We took out 25 goddamns and 18 sons-of-bitches”—most of them uttered or shouted by General Patton. The result was an “M” rating, for “Mature audiences,” which was discontinued in 1970.
       Patton won seven Academy Awards in the following categories: Actor (George C. Scott, who refused to accept the award); Art Direction (Urie McCleary, Gil Parrondo, Antonio Mateos and Pierre-Louis Thévenet); Direction (Franklin J. Schaffner); Film Editing (Hugh S. Fowler); Sound (Douglas Williams, Don Bassman); Writing—Story and Screenplay—based on factual material or material not previously published or produced (Francis Ford Coppola, Edmund H. North); and Best Picture. Patton was nominated for three additional Academy Awards for Cinematography, Music (Original Score), and Special Visual Effects categories. Patton ranked #89 on AFI’s 1998 edition of “100 Years ... 100 Movies,” and the character General George S. Patton, Jr. was listed as #29 on the “Heroes” list in AFI’s “100 Greatest Heroes & Villains.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
11 Jan 1968
p. 2.
Daily Variety
14 Mar 1968
p. 2.
Daily Variety
17 Apr 1968
p. 4.
Daily Variety
14 May 1968
p. 2.
Daily Variety
14 Oct 1968
p. 3.
Daily Variety
5 Nov 1968
p. 2.
Daily Variety
3 Feb 1969
p. 6.
Daily Variety
6 Feb 1969
p. 30.
Daily Variety
13 Feb 1969
p. 4.
Daily Variety
5 Dec 1969
p. 30.
Daily Variety
6 Feb 1970
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
18 May 1969
Section N, p. 18.
Los Angeles Times
12 Jan 1970
Section Q, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
15 Feb 1970
Section Q, p. 1.
Variety
5 Feb 1969
p. 35.
Variety
18 Jun 1969
p. 24.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. presents
A Frank McCarthy-Franklin J. Schaffner Production
Produced and released by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
Asst dir
2d unit dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Scr story and scr
Scr story and scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2nd unit cam
2nd unit cam
Gaffer
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
Spec photog eff
Process consultant
Process consultant
Main titles
Spec eff head
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
Spanish military adv
2d unit pub
Mechanical eff
Casting
STAND INS
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on factual material from Patton: Ordeal and Triumph by Ladislas Farago (New York, 1964) and A Soldier's Story by Omar N. Bradley (New York, 1951).
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Patton: A Salute to a Rebel
Blood and Guts
Patton: Blood and Guts
Patton, Blood and Guts
Release Date:
4 February 1970
Premiere Information:
New York City premiere: 4 December 1969
New York City opening: 5 February 1970
Production Date:
3 February -- June 1969
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
30 December 1969
Copyright Number:
LP38179
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex
Color
gauge
35 & 70
Widescreen/ratio
Photographed in Dimension 150®
Duration(in mins):
170
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
22107
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1943, after German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps has severely defeated American tank units in the Kasserine Pass, Tunisia, Gen. George S. Patton is sent to spearhead the U. S. sector of the North African campaign. His dramatic flair for leadership revitalizes the tank corps; an avid student of military history, he indulges his mystical belief in reincarnation and envisions the succession of great warriors and battles that have preceded him. Aided by his deputy commander, Gen. Omar N. Bradley, Patton scores a decisive victory over Rommel at El Guettar, which eventually leads to the German expulsion from North Africa. His next assignment is to lead the 7th Army into Sicily by taking Palermo, but instead he is ordered to protect the flank of his chief rival, British Field Marshal Montgomery, while Montgomery leads the attack. On his own initiative, Patton pushes forward and takes Messina, the island's main port and primary objective of the campaign, thereby intensifying his feud with Montgomery. Shortly thereafter, Patton visits a field hospital where, in a fit of rage, he slaps a weeping, battle-fatigued soldier; his action causes Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower to demand the general's public apology and to eventually relieve Patton of his command. In spite of his probation, Patton's worth as a decoy during a tour of the Mediterranean is acknowledged, and he eventually assumes leadership of the 3rd Army under the command of Bradley. He forces his men through an impasse at Normandy and comes to a dramatic rescue of the beleaguered 101st Airborne under siege at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. Patton pushes his troops all the way to Czechoslovakia where, with total ... +


In 1943, after German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps has severely defeated American tank units in the Kasserine Pass, Tunisia, Gen. George S. Patton is sent to spearhead the U. S. sector of the North African campaign. His dramatic flair for leadership revitalizes the tank corps; an avid student of military history, he indulges his mystical belief in reincarnation and envisions the succession of great warriors and battles that have preceded him. Aided by his deputy commander, Gen. Omar N. Bradley, Patton scores a decisive victory over Rommel at El Guettar, which eventually leads to the German expulsion from North Africa. His next assignment is to lead the 7th Army into Sicily by taking Palermo, but instead he is ordered to protect the flank of his chief rival, British Field Marshal Montgomery, while Montgomery leads the attack. On his own initiative, Patton pushes forward and takes Messina, the island's main port and primary objective of the campaign, thereby intensifying his feud with Montgomery. Shortly thereafter, Patton visits a field hospital where, in a fit of rage, he slaps a weeping, battle-fatigued soldier; his action causes Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower to demand the general's public apology and to eventually relieve Patton of his command. In spite of his probation, Patton's worth as a decoy during a tour of the Mediterranean is acknowledged, and he eventually assumes leadership of the 3rd Army under the command of Bradley. He forces his men through an impasse at Normandy and comes to a dramatic rescue of the beleaguered 101st Airborne under siege at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. Patton pushes his troops all the way to Czechoslovakia where, with total victory imminent, he is ordered to allow Montgomery and the Russian troops to rout the already disorganized German army. At the war's end, Patton cannot refrain from insulting America's current ally, Russia; unable to make the transition to peacetime, he is removed from command and bids a sad farewell to his staff. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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