Battleground (1949)

Approved   |    |  Action, Drama, History


Battleground (1949) Poster

True tale about a squad of the 101st Airborne Division coping with being trapped by the Nazis in the besieged city of Bastogne, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge in December of 1944.

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7.5/10
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Photos

  • Denise Darcel in Battleground (1949)
  • Robert Pirosh and The Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne Division in Battleground (1949)
  • John Hodiak at an event for Battleground (1949)
  • Van Johnson and John Hodiak in Battleground (1949)
  • Richard Jaeckel and Van Johnson in Battleground (1949)
  • Frank Sinatra and Van Johnson in Battleground (1949)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


27 May 2006 | jotix100
7
| Men at war
"Battleground" is a curious film that came out of Hollywood in 1949. WWII had been over, so the public was not wishing for more war films at the time. Yet, MGM went ahead with this project and gave it to William Wellman, a veteran director who knew his craft. The film was written by Robert Pirosh.

The movie is a curiosity also because it was shot in Culver City, yet, at times, it gives the impression of having been shot on location in the Ardennes. The casting of some of the best acting talents MGM had under contract at the time contributes to give the film another dimension, as the viewer becomes involved with these men that are trying to survive during the worst possible conditions.

In spite of some of the criticism in this forum, the film has a real feeling because it stresses the dependency among the men that are caught in the conflict. Their every day lives back home is at the center of the conversation one hears the men talk about. Wives, children, sweethearts, parents, and even popular figures of the pop culture, like Bette Grable, are the basis of communication as the men idle away waiting to be called to fight the enemy.

Van Johnson, John Hodiak, Ricardo Montalban, George Murphy, Marshall Thompson, Don Taylor, Leon Ames, and a wonderful James Whitmore, are seen as the soldiers around Bastogne. Denise Darcel is seen as the kind French woman who befriends the soldiers.

Ultimately, "Battleground" is William Wellman's tribute to the men in uniform.

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