Mar 062014

Rating: ★★★½☆
As the Allies drive the Germans back to Germany in late 1944, morale is low in Fragile Fox Company because an entire squad was slaughtered when Captain Cooney, the company commander, was too scared to lead the rest of the company to support them. When the Germans launch a surprise offensive, Cooney leaves Lt. Costa’s men dangerously exposed, and the death of each soldier sends Costa further over the edge. Although set during the Battle of the Bulge, viewers will learn little about the battle. Director Robert Aldrich had a lifelong hatred of traditional authority, and the enemies in the film are the American authority figures who repeatedly fail the men. While Jack Palance’s vengeance-driven Lt. Costa is suitably intimidating, the standouts are Lee Marvin as a manipulative, corrupt battalion commander and Eddie Albert as the cowardly, bullying company commander. Read More…

Aug 192008
Robert Aldrich

Robert Aldrich’s family was one of the traditional pillars of society, Nelson Rockefeller was a cousin, but he distanced himself from his family and his films always presented traditional pillars of society as forces of oppression. He is best known for What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), The Dirty Dozen (1967) and The Longest Yard (1974). Throughout his career he was driven by the desire to achieve complete control over his work, so he used the profits from The Dirty Dozen to buy his own studio. Read More…