[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Battle_of_the_Bulge-1_6682.jpg]]

->'''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 UsefulNotes/WorldWarII battle of the same name, directed by Ken Annakin.

Creator/HenryFonda as Lt. Colonel Daniel Kiley, a maverick American intelligence officer whose warnings of an impending large-scale German attack are ignored by Army Brass. Robert Shaw (aka Quint from ''Film/{{Jaws}}'') plays Col. Martin Hessler, the ruthless commanding officer of a German panzer unit at the front of the attack. Also stars Creator/CharlesBronson as Major Wolensky (commander of an American infantry unit), Telly Savalas as Sgt. Guffy (driver of an American tank), and Robert Ryan as Gen. Grey, Kiley's CO who does not heed his warnings about the attack.

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 TheSeventies. 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.

Compare ''Film/{{Battleground}}'', a 1949 film about the Bulge that at least had snow, as well as possibly the most realistic depiction of the battle, the "Bastogne" episode of HBO series ''Series/BandOfBrothers''.

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!!Associated Tropes:

* AbortedArc: Hessler is told that because of shortages of resources he has 50 hours to reach the River Meuse, and the German command bunker has a special 50 hour clock. When the attack starts we see the clock start ticking, but after that we hear very little about the deadline and never see the clock again. Hessler is often told that he needs to keep moving, but that's a bit different from an inexorably ticking clock.
* AchillesHeel: Kiley discovers that the Germans are so low on gas that they are foraging for it.
* ArtisticLicenseGeography: Too many to count. Possibly the most egregious is the use of Spanish plains for a Belgian forest in the winter. Aside from the lack of trees, this also causes a major Artistic License Weather problem, in that the movie is clear and sunny throughout, while the real Ardennes battle was notorious for the snow and bitter cold, with fog that grounded Allied aircraft.
* TheBigBoard: The German command post includes a giant wall map on which Gen. Kohler and others track German and American positions with flags.
* BloodKnight: Hessler. He is overjoyed that the war will continue and that he and other Germans will still be able to fight.
--> "The best thing possible is happening - the war will go on."
* CaliforniaDoubling: The whole film is shot in Spain. This is a particularly unfortunate case of California Doubling as Spain looks absolutely nothing like the Ardennes Forest of Belgium.
* CassandraTruth: No one believes it when Kiley says the Germans are preparing for a major offensive.
* ChekhovsGun: The gasoline barrels. Kiley sees some fall off a German truck and ''float'' in the river. This causes him to later realize that the Germans are short on gasoline.
* ColonelBadass[=/=][[ColonelKilgore Kilgore]]: Hessler
* CurbStompBattle: 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.
* CutPhoneLines: German infiltrators cut American phone lines prior to the start of the attack, leaving Wolenski's unit unable to raise the alarm.
* DefiantToTheEnd: The American troops in Bastogne are surrounded, and the Germans urge them to surrender. the American commander's reply? "NUTS"
* DressingAsTheEnemy: The German commandos' tactic.
* ElitesAreMoreGlamorous: The German tanks are depicted as all being the famous Tiger. Tigers were very rare in the real battle - they were too wide for the narrow roads and too heavy for the bridges. Panzer [=IVs=] were much more common.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Hessler is a bloodthirsty warrior who is willing to toss his troops at the allies just to buy Nazi Germany a few extra months of existence but he refuses to cheat on his wife when the commanding general sends him a NS-Frauenschaft comfort woman on the night before the attack.
* GeneralFailure: Colonel Pritchett.
* HeartbrokenBadass: Once he learns what happened to Louise the now former curmudgeon Sgt. Guffy becomes one.
* HesOkay: Sergeant Guffy's tank has been seriously damaged, but he still wants to fight the Germans to avenge his girlfriend's death.
-->Lt. Weaver: You got a wounded man. You think you ought to get him to the medics?
-->Sergeant Guffy: Ah, he's not too bad. He can still fight.
* HighClassCallGirl: General Kohler sends a ridiculously attractive "courtesan first class" to Col. Hessler's room. Hessler, being a no-nonsense hardass, sends the call girl on her way.
* HollywoodHistory: No historical characters (they're all fictional), TanksButNoTanks, and so on.
* {{Intermission}}: Some home video releases have not only an Intermission, but also an Overture and Exit Music. They all have music playing over a static illustration.
* ItsRainingMen: The impostors parachute in.
* MilitaryMaverick: Major Wolenski (Creator/CharlesBronson).
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Hessler is based on and [[WhatCouldHaveBeen was originally]] going to be Joachim Peiper, before being changed to avoid getting sued.
* PendulumWar: Either the Germans are completely succeeding or they aren't. In a battle that included over 800,000 soldiers, the battle was completely one-sided. Throughout most of the film, the Germans are succeeding in every single thing they attempt. Weather, machinery, and even the attitudes of the American leaders are on the side of the Germans almost to the point of being comical. At one point, a general even chastises a lieutenant colonel for suggesting that the Germans may intend to attack. When they do attack, the Americans are surprised. The only thing that turned the tide on the Germans was that they ran out of fuel. At that point, they completely gave up, despite still having weapons and ammunition and the ability to fight.
* PlungerDetonator: A group of German paratroopers disguised as US MPs pretend to rig a bridge behind American lines for demolition while actually holding for their own army. Part of their act includes two men ostentatiously hooking up a detonator while other men pretend to rig charges. Everyone is fooled until the leader of the squad of U.S. Army engineers actually assigned to blow the bridge arrives and immediately protests such a clear (and stupid) violation of basic safety procedures. He and his men get shot dead for his trouble.
* RoadSignReversal: 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.
* StickyBomb: Infantrymen slap plastic explosive sticky bombs onto attacking German tanks.
* TanksButNoTanks: 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".
* TookALevelInBadass: Lieutenant Weaver
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: And the closing credits admit it.
--> To encompass the whole of the heroic contributions of all the participants, places, names and characters, have been generalized and action has been synthesized in order to convey the spirit and the essence of the battle.
* YouMonster: 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!
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