Synopsis: We follow a band of American soldiers as they engage the Germans in a snowy, foggy winter near Bastogne in World War II. They're low on fuel, rations, and ammunition; the Germans are constantly encouraging their surrender via radio and leaflets, and most importantly, the pervasive thick fog makes movement and identification difficult and prevents their relief by Allied air support. This film focuses much more on the psychology and morale of the soldiers than on action footage and heroics.
Genre: Action, Drama, War
Director(s): William A. Wellman
Production: MGM
  Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
118 min

To the rear, march! To the rear, freeze!

Forward! To the right flank, freeze!

Forward! Platoon, halt.

At ease.

What was that number in Paris?

All heads up. Right face.

Forward march.

Extend. Hut!

Swing right. Hut!

"Merry Christmas." That's a crock.

Beats those replacement camps.

You said the war would be over

by Christmas.

What do you want, egg in your beer?

Here we are, two hours from Paris.

The spitting image

of Camp Wolters, Texas.

You know, they got a man in the army.

A two-star general.

But all he does is fly around

in a private plane looking for ugly places.

Flat, sandy places. No trees, no water.

Then he checks up on the climate.

If it's too hot in summer for human life

and too cold in winter...

and if it has more rain, fog, wind,

and snow...

than any other spot he can find,

then he plants the American flag...

and proclaims it a US Army camp.

Did they drill that way at Camp Wolters?


Box steps.

To the rear, freeze! Forward!

To the right flank, freeze!

Forward! Platoon, halt!

At ease!

Forty-two sixty what?

- Forty-two sixty-ten.

- Seventy!

Platoon, attention. Right face.

Forward march!

The Screaming Eagle.

They know who you are

when you wear that on your sleeve.

It wasn't bad enough

being in Infantry Replacement.

We have to volunteer

for the 101st Airborne.

You go in gliders instead of trucks.

That's the only difference.

There must be a difference

or they wouldn't give you extra pay.

Hooper, I don't think

I'll take in that movie tonight.

I'll be kind of busy getting acquainted

and sewing on shoulder patches.

Why did they have to put us

in different companies?

- Lf we ask them, they might do something.

- No. There's another major general.

His job is to find out who your buddy is

and then to split you up.

- Don't forget, I'm in K Company.

- I won't.

And don't you forget, I'm in I Company.

Third platoon, second squad.

So long, Hooper.


Remember that lieutenant in Normandy...

who said he'd court-martial the first man

who tossed his gas mask away?

We ripped out the masks...

and used the carriers

for toting that cognac we liberated.

"Take care of that gas mask, soldier.

It might save your life someday."

- Hiya. How did you make out?

- The lights were pretty bad...

but I was really flipping them in there.

Six completed passes.

- I'll be hot in that game tomorrow.

- Tomorrow? You ain't going to Paris?

Him? He'd rather play football than eat.

With the chow we've been getting,

I don't blame him. But Paris...

It's gonna be lonesome here.

The whole platoon's going.

All except the replacements.

- Sgt. Wolowicz?

- Yeah?

My name is Layton.

I've been assigned to your squad.

Make yourself at home,

but on some other sack.

- That one's mine.

- I'm sorry, I didn't know.

Li'I Abner in Paris.

Boy, that's gonna be something.

Daisy Mae won't know you

when you get back to Dogpatch.

That's for dang sure.

Abner, will you please stop saying that?

Fellows, look what I found.

- Holley.

- The Purple Heart kid.

At ease, men.

I heard the war was on its last legs,

so I thought I'd come back.

Rough in the ETO.

A little scratch on his leg...

and a month later he comes back in time

for a three-day pass to Paris.

It was misery in that hospital, Kipp.

Passes every night, champagne, I'amour.

And me brooding all the time

about my dear buddies back there...

defending the Republic.

Will you look at that girl bait.

I'm getting me a mess of that fruit salad

just as soon as we hit Paris.

You can have the sack next to me.

Nobody's got it, have they?

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Robert Pirosh

Robert Pirosh (April 1, 1910 – December 25, 1989) was an American motion picture and television screenwriter and director. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Battleground" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 6 Dec. 2023. <>.

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