Our nation has been through tough times. In the middle of the economic downturn were in now, we need to think about our past. Our four fathers would have not wanted to see their home like this. Another tough time we went through was World War II. Facing two opponents that could change the face of the Earth, we were forced to take our fathers and sons and put them into uniforms to fight. War is the last thing anyone wants. But if we have to bring our forces forward, then we might as well do the best. The military has seen some powerful people, but one of the greatest was a man called General George S. Patton aka “Blood and Guts”.
I had to think about a good Fourth of July movie to recommend, so why not one about one of the best in the armed forces. Patton is much more then a military movie. It goes beyond an epic about the Great War in Europe. It is a prevailing character study about a man whose life is defined by war. This is my favorite movie about World War II and something that gives me inspiration each time I watch it.
Without giving much explanation of the War, the movie throws you in immediately into military protocol as you sit though a speech by Patton. Here, you know while this guy lives life by the moral code, he has more determination and wit then any general you will ever know. George C. Scott doesn’t just play a role; he becomes Patton and you never see the actor. When I see him reciting his famous words to the third army, I want to stand up with the rest of the soldiers that are listening to him. In the spirit of the holiday, here are some of those dignified thoughts:
“…From time to time there will be some complaints that we are pushing our people too hard. I don't give a good Goddamn about such complaints. I believe in the old and sound rule that an ounce of sweat will save a gallon of blood. The harder WE push, the more Germans we will kill. The more Germans we kill, the fewer of our men will be killed. Pushing means fewer casualties. I want you all to remember that.”
What follows is a three-hour epic on how he led his men through North Africa and Europe, and what he did to push his troops to that golden glory.
What I like about this guy is how classical he is. He was known to have looked to famous leaders like Cesar and Hannibal in order to take their wisdom and thrust it upon his own men. Patton is someone who was smart enough to learn the lessons of the past that worked well enough that could work during World War II. What we need to do is to find the tactics that made economics work before, and try to use them to fix what is broken. If we, as Americans, can push ourselves enough, then we can accomplish anything.
This movie gets five silver stars out of five. To be real Americans, we need to be the best. Many of life’s lessons can be learned here. This is an absolute requirement not just as a film junkie, but also as a human being.