William A Wellman (1949)

A Certificate


Our Score
This grimy and authentic-looking study of wartime close combat comes, surprisingly, from MGM, fabled home of glamour and glossy production values. The studio supplied an all-star cast, and then proceeded to make the likes of Van Johnson, George Murphy and Ricardo Montalban virtually unrecognisable in combat duds as members of a US Army infantry unit trapped during the siege of Bastogne in 1944. Writer Robert Pirosh actually served at Bastogne, and his screenplay was taken to Metro by new head of production Dore Schary and made in the face of opposition from studio boss Louis B Mayer. It won an Oscar, as did Paul C Vogel's cinematography, though director William A Wellman lost out to Joseph L Mankiewicz for A Letter to Three Wives. Even those who aren't fans of war movies might find much to appreciate in this one.


The outnumbered members of an American infantry unit struggle to hold off a German offensive while trapped under siege during the wintry Battle of the Bulge. However, low supplies, isolation and German calls for surrender over their radios put their morale to the test. Second World War drama, starring Van Johnson, Ricardo Montalban, John Hodiak and George Murphy.

Cast & Crew

Holley Van Johnson
Jarvess John Hodiak
Roderigues Ricardo Montalban
Pop Stazak George Murphy
Jim Layton Marshall Thompson
Abner Spudler Jerome Courtland
Standiferd Don Taylor
Wolowicz Bruce Cowling
Kinnie James Whitmore
Kipp Kippton Douglas Fowley
Director William A Wellman
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: Metro-Goldwyn-MayerGuidance: Violence.Available on: video and DVD