Patton (1970)

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Screenwriters: Francis Ford Coppola, Edmund H. North
Cast: George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Michael Bates, Edward Binns, Lawrence Dobkin
Nominations: Picture, Director – Franklin J. Schaffner, Actor – George C. Scott, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing, Art Direction, Sore (original), Sound, Visual Effects
Wins: Picture, Director – Franklin J. Schaffner, Actor – George C. Scott, Original Screenplay, Editing, Art Direction, Sound

Patton could have easily been called The George C. Scott Show and no one would have noticed.  General George S. Patton was a role that Scott was born to play, and the actor dominates every moment, shot, and scene he’s in.  The film as a whole is fine, with Karl Malden being as reliable as always as a supporting player and the recreation of various battles bringing life to events that occurred about 25 years before the film’s release.  The narrative is succinct—it helps when the story is linear and based upon historical events—but for all the vigor and energy that Patton has onscreen he doesn’t have much of an arc or real growth.  He’s an eager war hawk from beginning to end with no indication of his motivation.  Basically, he’s a one-note character.  But despite that and because of George C. Scott, we overlook that shortcoming and remain in awe of the powerful performance Scott delivers.

I had seen the film before, but I didn’t remember much about it when re-watching.  However, I remembered George C. Scott.  And maybe that’s all that needs to be said of Patton.