The War volume of the Turner Classic Movies Greatest Classic Films Collection features 2 double-sided DVDs with Battle of the Bulge (1965), The Dawn Patrol (Basil Rathbone, David Niven 1938), Gunga Din (Cary Grant 1939), and Operation Pacific (John Wayne 1951). Battle of the Bulge stars Henry Fonda, Robert Shaw, and Robert Ryan. This War movie DVD set is a must for fans of the genre who do not already own the individual DVD.
The Battle of the Bulge was Germany's last great counteroffensive during WW II.
It is presented in 2:35:1 widescreen, is your typical grandiose sixties war movie with established and young stars, lots of fighting and heroics, and an eye for some historical accuracy with scenes from both the German and Allied side of the war. At 169 minutes long it is overindulgent but that is how they made them back then. It takes Battle of the Bulge more than 50 minutes to set things up
Henry Fonda is Lt. Col. Kiley, the only American convinced the Germans are planning a counterattack in the Ardennes. Robert Shaw plays Col. Hessler, the Tiger Panzer commander.
Part 1 of Battle of the Bulge focuses on the German preparations, the American lack of them, and the German attack until they get to the town of Ambleve. Part 2 begins with the night attack on Ambleve Kessler believes is necessary, the retreat of the Allied aka American troops, and in the last few minutes the counteroffensive.
Look for Charles Bronson, James MacArthur (Hawaii 5-0), and Telly Savalas as a profiteering tank commander who seems to be everywhere it counts.
Generally, Battle of the Bulge is well made. The glaring exception is the landing of the Germans dressed up as American MPs which is obviously done in a cramped studio with voice over work. Continuity is the first casualty here as concurrent scenes sometimes do not share the same weather or light of day. The use of miniatures is sometimes obvious especially when it comes to trains and long shots of Ambleve being blown up.