Quite simply one of the greatest war pictures ever made... and one of the most audacious and cinematic character studies ever committed to film. George C. Scott’s mythic performance is a symbol of American greatness as much as it is a portrait of American megalomaniacal egotism.
The influence of the French New Wave is all over this film in its early, distinctly anti-Hollywood use of handheld camerawork. But yet it’s cinematography evokes a beautiful classicism as each of Fred Koenekamp’s frames are imbued with profound drama, reminiscent of paintings from the ancient eras Patton would attest to have lived through.
Franklin D. Schaffner didn’t have the oeuvre of Ford, Huston, Capra, Kubrick or Lean, but to have made a handful of bonfide masterpieces qualifies him as one of Hollywood’s most important directors. Patton is an unforgettable epic... and wildly entertaining.