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40 years ago today: 'Patton' was released, then slapped Oscar

April 2, 2010 | 12:32 pm

Exactly four decades ago today "Patton" was released to theaters, grossing  $61.7 million on a budget of $12 million. At the Oscars, the biopic about bully World War II general George S. Patton was nominated for 10 awards, winning seven, including best picture of 1970, beating "Love Story" (which had won the Golden Globe),  "Airport," "Five Easy Pieces," and "MASH."

Of course, "Patton" also won the best-actor Oscar for George C. Scott, who refused to accept it, telling reporters, "The ceremonies are a two-hour meat parade, a public display with contrived suspense for economic reasons."

One month later, however, Scott accepted an Emmy for starring in Arthur Miller's "The Price" on "Hallmark Hall of Fame." It was OK to claim the TV award, he told Variety, because "it's given by a blue ribbon jury of my peers and not as a general vote, like the Oscar."

Photo: 20th Century Fox

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George C. Scott's Oscar was well deserved. What an amazing performance! Also, "Patton" was the second-best film about the European Theater, the first being "Saving Private Ryan." Both of those films, SPR in particulr, remind viewers of the ultimate sacrifices made by so many American soldiers in World War 2. The following link is to a video that captures the immensity of our losses in the European Theater:

Scott was an ass for refusing an award that only helps promote the film and the industry and added insult to injury by accepting an Emmy. I can understand him not liking or wanting to attend the ceremony, but the rest was BS. At least he didn't send a fake Indian to accept it though. While Scott may have deserved the award he turned down, Patton didn't deserve to win best picture. MASH is the true classic of those five nominees. Airport's nomination was an embarassment.

WWII was a war in which we won. So why not glorify the bravery and sacrifices of our American troops. It was a war in which America rallied around for. As for Vietnam and the illegal/based on lies Iraq war, they were/are unwinnable and a very big mistake to begin with. So why would Hollywood want to glorify such unwinnable wars. These wars are forever a stain on our history. It's so tragic that we lost so many brave, valiant soldiers for such travesties.

Please note that while George C Scott was "born to play the role of Patton" as it appears in the film/script, the real-life Patton was quite different from how he was portrayed in this film. That being said, one of my favorite films of all time.

Oh, and my favorite factoid about Patton I love to share with conservative fans of the film. It was producerd by Frank McCarthy, a retired WW2 brigadier general (a top aide to Gen. George Marshall) who had a successful Hollywood career. He was also, by 1970s standards, an out gay man, who pretty much everyone in the industry knew was a partnered homosexual.

Buster, your post is not true. Lots of movies made today celebrate bravery and battle are produced. Your political bias is showing and blinding you to reality.

For the record, Patton opened in New York on Feb. 4, 1970. The New York Times review appeared the next day (which was the custom at the time). The Los Angeles opening was Feb. 18, 1970. So today is not the 40th anniversary of the film. IMDb should correct its records.

This movie would never be filmed in Hollywood today. The visceral hatred of all things that glorify braveness in battle are shunned. Tom Hanks can pull off a once on with "Band of Brothers," but it drops off there. There have been several "Iraq" movies and bombed miserably. Of course, any student of films would admit that G.C. Scott was born to play the role of "Patton." It was a masterpiece written by Francis Ford Coppolla.

I see that IMDb does give 4/2/70 as the release date for Patton, but that must have been the "general" wider release; the film actually opened in February 1970 in road-show (reserved seat) engagements in NY and LA and then in other cities before going to more theatres. This is of note because it is one of the earlier in the year ever films to winner best picture, and the February date is significant for that reason.



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