7.4/10
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Attack (1956)

Approved | | Action, Drama, War | 17 October 1956 (USA)
In 1945, an American Infantry company sets up an artillery observation post, but tensions between Captain Cooney and Lieutenant Costa run high.

Director:

Robert Aldrich

Writers:

Norman Brooks (play), James Poe (screenplay)
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Palance ... Lt. Joe Costa - Fox Co.
Eddie Albert ... Capt. Erskine Cooney
Lee Marvin ... Lt. Col. Clyde Bartlett - CO, White Battalion
Robert Strauss ... Pfc. Bernstein
Richard Jaeckel ... Pvt. Snowden
Buddy Ebsen ... Sfc. Tolliver - Fox Co.
Jon Shepodd Jon Shepodd ... Cpl. John Jackson - Fox Co. (communications)
Peter van Eyck ... SS Captain (as Peter Van Eyck)
Jim Goodwin Jim Goodwin ... Pfc. Ricks (as Jimmy Goodwin)
Steven Geray ... Otto - German NCO
Jud Taylor ... Pvt. Jacob R. Abramowitz - Radioman (as Judson Taylor)
Louis Mercier Louis Mercier ... Brouise - French blacksmith
Henry Rowland Henry Rowland ... German with Binoculars
Mike Ragan ... GI with binoculars
Ron McNeil Ron McNeil ... Pfc. Jones
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Storyline

During the closing days of WWII, a National Guard Infantry Company is assigned the task of setting up artillery observation posts in a strategic area. Lieutenant Costa knows that Cooney is in command only because of 'connections' he had made state-side. Costa has serious doubts concerning Cooneys' ability to lead the group. When Cooney sends Costa and his men out, and refuses to re-enforce them, Costa swears revenge. Written by Buxx Banner <buxx572@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

TRAPPED BEHIND ENEMY LINES...THEY PASSED THE WORD ALONG TO -- ATTACK (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | French

Release Date:

17 October 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Attack! See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$750,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lt Col Bartlett and Capt Cooney are both referred to as Company Commanders. This is redundant, as Cooney is Bartletts subordinate and they both cannot have the same title. See more »

Goofs

In the last 10 minutes of the movie, a character is shot by several other characters. With each of these shots, an empty shell casing should have been ejected from the rifles (M1 carbine and M1). In addition, the empty brass would have made a noticeable "tink" sound as it hit the stone floor in the cellar. See more »

Quotes

Sfc. Tolliver, Fox Co.: [refusing a drink] Captain, down around where I come from we dearly love our whiskey. But we don't drink with another man unless we respect him.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: EUROPE 1944 See more »

Alternate Versions

When originally released theatrically in the UK, the BBFC made cuts to secure a 'X' rating. All cuts were waived in 1997 when the film was granted a 'PG' certificate for home video. See more »

Connections

Featured in La noche de...: Negociador (2016) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A four star war film
28 May 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Based on a play Fragile Fox that was on Broadway during the early Fifties, Attack is one of the best war films ever made. No sham heroics here, just men doing a dirty job and caught in an extremely lousy situation due to politics.

Lee Marvin is a politically ambitious colonel who's national guard company has been activated for World War II. He's got to babysit and keep an eye on Eddie Albert who's father is a big shot in the unnamed southern state he comes from. Only Albert is an incompetent and a coward. That's causing problems up and down the ranks.

How it all gets resolved is what you have to see Attack for and Robert Aldrich never directed a better film. There's not a bad performance here, not a minute of film wasted.

The contrasting character is Jack Palance who is the lead character. His courage and concern for the men he leads are set up in a direct counterpoint to Albert. His climactic scene is one of the most harrowing ever put on film.

It is appropriate with news of Eddie Albert leaving us at the grand old age of 99 to pay tribute to what is probably the best performance this multi-talented and under-appreciated performer ever did. His Captain Cooney is one of the most malevolent creatures ever put to celluloid. He's such a bad man, his performance will make your skin crawl, Albert is that good in this role. Both he and Palance should have been up for Oscars in 1956.

William Smithers made a good film debut in Attack. He never reached the heights of stardom, but Star Trek fans will know him for a role in the original series as Captain Merik who oddly enough made the same bad choices in that episode that Captain Cooney does in Attack.

The cast is populated with war film veterans and they all do their usual fine job. There were times that it didn't seem possible you could make a war film without Lee Marvin, Robert Strauss, or Richard Jaeckel. God Bless 'em all.

And Attack is a film not to be missed even if you don't particularly like war films.


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