Battle of the Bulge

Battle of the Bulge

3.8 5
Director: Ken Annakin

Cast: Henry Fonda, Robert Shaw, Robert Ryan


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In December of 1944, the Allied high command is convinced that German forces in Belgium are in a low state of readiness, and perhaps even about to withdraw. Only one officer on the front lines, intelligence specialist Lt. Col. Kiley (Henry Fonda), believes otherwise -- that the Germans are actually planning an attack. His opinion is rejected by his immediate superior …  See more details below


In December of 1944, the Allied high command is convinced that German forces in Belgium are in a low state of readiness, and perhaps even about to withdraw. Only one officer on the front lines, intelligence specialist Lt. Col. Kiley (Henry Fonda), believes otherwise -- that the Germans are actually planning an attack. His opinion is rejected by his immediate superior (Dana Andrews) and his commanding general (Robert Ryan). Kiley spots several suspicious signs of German activity behind enemy lines on a reconnaissance flight, and he is at the front looking for evidence when the German counter-offensive starts. Taking advantage of Allied unpreparedness and a weather front that grounds all aircraft, their heavy tank units, supported by infantry, roll over the American forces, assaulting the lines at five different points in an attempt to ultimately divide the Allied forces in the west. The German top tank officer, Colonel Hessler (Robert Shaw), has planned his operation perfectly, but he is in a race against time, to take as much territory as possible before the weather front moves out and American aircraft can fly again, and to capture the American fuel supplies so that the offensive can continue right to the port of Antwerp. He has the total dedication of his men, but engenders doubts from his aide, Conrad (Hans Christian Blech), who is weary of the fighting and wonders what it is all for. Meanwhile, Kiley is trying to uncover the weak spot in the German offensive, and he crosses paths with several other key players in this drama: Charles Bronson as a combat officer charged with the defense of the collapsing American position, James MacArthur as a neophyte lieutenant who becomes a leader, and Telly Savalas as a conniving sergeant in command of a tank who unexpectedly finds a nobler, less mercenary side of himself.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
German tanks pulverize everything in their path in this 1965 motion picture chronicling the Third Reich's counteroffensive against allied troops marching across Europe. Though the script is so-so, and the personal stories fictionalized, the battle scenes are spectacular. The star of the film is the panzer: a tank wrapped in a thick hide of heavy metal. It is the new Achilles, seemingly invulnerable, a battlefield terror that lays waste with surgical precision during a campaign in the Ardennes region of Belgium, Luxembourg, and France between December 15, 1944, and January 15, 1945. A German war room tracks the progress of the tank commander, Col. Martin Hessler Robert Shaw, a ruthless taskmaster who loves war. Arraying his tanks on a hilltop, he reduces an American-occupied town to cinders, smoke, and fear. Defending troops retreat, helping to create a backward "bulge" in the allied line, and in the process, ascribing a name to the battle. There is only one problem: Hessler's tanks are running out of gas. Shaw is fun to watch, and hate, as he fashions Hessler into a monomaniac willing to risk everything for the pleasure of the kill. His raw recruits, many mere boys, are ready to die for him, and they even break into a rousing song, the "Panzerlied," that whets his craving for blood. Henry Fonda portrays an American colonel who flies reconnaissance in heavy fog to find Hessler. He and other old warhorses (Robert Ryan, Dana Andrews, George Montgomery, Telly Savalas, and Charles Bronson) give adequate performances. Hans Christian Blech portrays the most interesting character in the film: Hessler's toady, Corporal Conrad. Realizing that Hessler is a madman, he dares to reproach the panzer commander, condemning his brutality. In doing so, he shows that a German soldier can think and feel the prick of conscience. Of course, he loses his stripes. But he marches back to Germany drawing his coat about him -- and his integrity. The musical score by Benjamin Frankel is brilliant.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

New digital HD transfer from restored picture and audio elements; Audio commentary; 2 vintage featurettes: The Filming of Battle of the Bulge/History Recreated; Soundtrack remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1 ; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Henry Fonda Lt. Col. Kiley
Robert Shaw Colonel Hessler
Robert Ryan Gen. Grey
Dana Andrews Col. Pritchard
Telly Savalas Guffy
George Montgomery Sgt. Duquesne
Ty Hardin Schumacher
Anna Maria Pier Angeli Louise
Barbara Werle Elena
Charles Bronson Major Wolenski
Werner Peters Gen. Kohler
Hans-Christian Blech Conrad
James MacArthur Lt. Weaver
William Conrad Narrator
Donald Pickering Actor
Steve Rowland Bit part
Robert Woods Actor
Janet Brandt Actor
Carl Rapp Actor
Axel Anderson Actor
Ben Tatar Actor
Victor Brandt Actor
Richard Baxter Actor
John Clark Actor
Karl Otto Alberty Von Diepel

Technical Credits
Ken Annakin Director
Trevor Crole-Rees Makeup
Laure de Zarate Costumes/Costume Designer
Benjamin Frankel Score Composer
Bernard Gordon Screenwriter
Jack Hildyard Cinematographer
Eugène Lourié Art Director
Dudley Lovell Camera Operator
John Melson Screenwriter
Richard Parker Special Effects
Derek Parsons Editor
José Lopez Rodero Asst. Director
Gregorio Sacristan Production Manager
Jose Maria Sanchez Makeup
Milton Sperling Producer,Screenwriter
Alex C. Weldon Special Effects
Kit West Special Effects
Philip Yordan Producer,Screenwriter

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Battle of the Bulge
1. Chapter 1
2. Chapter 2
3. Chapter 3
4. Chapter 4
5. Chapter 5
6. Chapter 6
7. Chapter 7
8. Chapter 8
9. Chapter 9
10. Chapter 10
11. Chapter 11
12. Chapter 12
13. Chapter 13
14. Chapter 14
15. Chapter 15
16. Chapter 16
17. Chapter 17
18. Chapter 18
19. Chapter 19
20. Chapter 20
21. Chapter 21
22. Chapter 22
23. Chapter 23
24. Chapter 24
25. Chapter 25
26. Chapter 26
27. Chapter 27
28. Chapter 28
29. Chapter 29
30. Chapter 30
31. Chapter 31
32. Chapter 32
33. Chapter 33
34. Chapter 34
35. Chapter 35
36. Chapter 36
37. Chapter 37
38. Chapter 38
39. Chapter 39
40. Chapter 40
41. Chapter 41
42. Chapter 42
43. Chapter 43
44. Chapter 44
45. Chapter 45
46. Chapter 46
47. Chapter 47


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3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Historicly acurate with a good cast. A must-see!
CrusaderGA More than 1 year ago
An exciting and suspenseful action/war film.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
A loose adaptation on the historical events during Germany's 1944 winter counter-offensive in the Ardennes. This movie is terrible in almost every conceivable way. In addition to historical falsehoods, virtually none of the characters depicted are real. Although some of the events shown in the film are historical (The siege of Bastogne, the massacre of POWS, and German counterintelligence operatives dressing up as U.S. MPs), most other aspects of the film are completely fictional. The worst parts are Vietnam-era US tanks being passed off as German Tiger IIs and them suddenly fighting in the Spanish andalusian desert instead of Belgium's snow covered Ardennes forest. Even for its time, the film is just bad when compared to 'A Bridge Too Far' or 'The Longest Day.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
This war movie has lots of action and suspense, with a few laughs here and there. Everybody in this movie did a good job.