Film: Battle of the Bulge
Von Diepel: General Kohler says we are behind schedule. He wants to know what's holding us up.
Col. Martin Hessler: Tell the general the Americans are learning how to retreat.Battle of the Bulge
is a 1965 war movie about the famous World War II
battle of the same name, starring Henry Fonda as a maverick American intelligence officer and Robert Shaw as his ruthless Nazi opponent. Also stars Charles Bronson
, Telly Savalas
, and Robert Ryan. The feature was filmed in Ultra Panavision 70 and exhibited in 70 mm Cinerama. Unlike most World War II epics, it contains virtually no portrayals of actual senior Allied leaders, civilian or military. This is presumably because of controversies surrounding the battle, both during the war and after. Though Allied forces ultimately won the battle, the initial Nazi counteroffensive caught them by surprise and caused high casualties. Frequently broadcast on American television in The Seventies
. The film itself is completely made up, and doesn't really match any of the actual Battle of the Bulge moments in Dec 1944 though Jan 1945, with the sole exception of the Malmedy Massacre.
- Achilles' Heel: Kiley discovers that the Germans are so low on gas that they are foraging for it.
- All-Star Cast
- Artistic License – Geography: Too many to count. Possibly the most egregious is the use of Spainish plains for a Belgium forest in the winter.
- Blood Knight: Hessler.
- California Doubling: The whole film is shot in Spain.
- Cassandra Truth: No one believes it when Kieley says the Germans are preparing for a major offensive.
- Chekhov's Gun: The gasoline barrels.
- Colonel Badass/Kilgore: Hessler
- Curbstomp Battle: The Germans' initial assault against the allies, until the allies are able to devise a way to prevent the Germans from getting their hands on more gasoline.
- Defiant to the End: "NUTS"
- Dressing as the Enemy: The German commandos' tactic.
- General Failure: Colonel Pritchett.
- Heartbroken Badass: Once he learns what happened to Louise the now former curmudgeon Sgt. Guffy becomes one.
- Hollywood History: No historical characters (they're all fictional), Tanks, but No Tanks, and so on.
- It's Raining Men
- Military Maverick: Major Wolenski (Charles Bronson).
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Hessler is based on and was originally going to be Joachim Peiper, before being changed to avoid getting sued.
- Plunger Detonator
- Road Sign Reversal: During the attack, German infiltrators switch the road signs around, making it appear that the road to Malmedy leads to Ambleve. The U.S. troops going to Ambleve follow the sign and are captured by the Germans, leading to the Malmedy Massacre.
- Tanks, but No Tanks: Probably the most glaring cinematic example ever. American M47 Patton tanks were mocked up as German Panzer VI Königstiger and M24 Chaffee tanks were called "Sherman M4" (while only two Chaffees saw battle in December 1944), let alone the wrong painting on the "Tigers". Watching this movie is just baffling for WW2 buffs, historians and model makers.
- Took a Level in Badass: Lieutenant Weaver
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story
- World War II
- You Monster!: Conrad accuses Hessler of this towards the end of the film.
Conrad: [upon being called a traitor by Hessler] And you are a murderer. You would murder my sons, you would murder my country, and you would murder the whole world, to stay in that uniform!