General George S. Patton became known for his aggressiveness, ego and strategic prowess in leading soldiers into battle during World War II. His notoriety and battlefield accomplishments began when he was the first officer assigned to the new U.S. Army Tank Corps during World War I. His love of glory, his courage and the adrenaline rush of matching wits with other commanders, led to his promotion through the ranks over the next several decades. The movie, Patton, takes places when Commander Patton, played by George C. Scott, reaches the high point of his career during World War II, leading the U.S. 7th Army in its invasion of Sicily.
The famous speech he gave to his troops, the ego clashes between him and British commander Bernard Montgomery and the image of tanks sweeping across northern France at the head of the 3rd Army makes this movie worth experiencing again. Moreover, George C. Scott received an Academy Award for his outstanding performance, which he declined due to philosophical differences. His acting, along with a rousing opening monologue (one of the most famous in Hollywood's history) makes this movie a classic worth viewing again and again. So grab a bowl of popcorn, put your feet up and recall one of the greatest movies of all time by taking this quiz!
"Patton" is a movie about which type of historical figure?
"Patton" is a 1970 movie all about U.S. Gen. George S. Patton, who gained everlasting fame during World War II. The well-received film helped to cement Patton's legacy.
Who plays the role of Gen. Patton?
George C. Scott received unanimous critical acclaim for his performance and then turned down an Academy Award due to philosophical differences.
What's happening during the iconic opening scene?
The movie's opening scene finds Patton giving a rousing speech to a group of soldiers that we never see. It's one of the most famous monologues in Hollywood history.
Patton's famous opening speech addresses an unseen group of soldiers in what situation?
The general is espousing the virtues of courage and honor as his men prepare to go to war. In Patton's mind, war is a great adventure, both for him and for his men.
Did Patton actually give the speech that opens the film?
The general did say many of these legendary words but the movie version combines real-life multiple speeches into one that's perfectly moving for the big screen.
The general is best known for leading what sort of army units?
The general is best known for his battlefield coordination of tank units. His armored columns have become a potent Allied force against the Nazis and other Axis countries.
In the movie, Patton arrives to help out with a battle in which area?
The Allies have suffered a terrible blow in North Africa. Patton is called in to halt the Axis and hopefully mount some sort of counterattack.
When Patton arrives in North Africa, he's not happy about the behavior of the men under his command. What are they doing?
When Patton arrives on his trusty Jeep, his men are lollygagging about, apparently not too concerned that they're at war. Patton immediately sets about changing their attitudes.
When the general reaches camp for the first time, he finds a cook who isn't wearing his entire official uniform. What does Patton do to the man?
An undisciplined camp cook isn't wearing his regulation leggings. Patton decides that this is a punishable offense, and thus, fines the man $20. The general's strict rules force the men to follow all army guidelines.
Patton is sent to counter the Nazis in North Africa. How does the general regard his foes?
He understands that the Nazis are formidable enemies and he treats them as such.
After arriving in Africa, Patton tells a British commander that the American defeat was caused by which factor?
Patton insists that lack of air cover was to blame for the American defeat. The British commander promises that his planes will step up their effort and moments later, a Nazi plane swoops over the camp.
The general's forces beat the Nazis at the Battle of El Guettar, and afterward, Patton finds out that his German counterpart, Erwin Rommel wasn't even present. Why?
The general is nearly distraught when he learns that Rommel was sick and not present at the battle. He wanted to beat the legendary Nazi on the battlefield.
The Allies push the Nazis out of North Africa. Then Patton and his men are sent to liberate which nearby area?
Once North Africa is liberated, Patton's men are ordered to invade Sicily. Two commanders (Patton and British Gen. Bernard Montgomery) are told to come up with a plan for the invasion.
How is British commander Bernard Montgomery portrayed in the film?
Like Patton, Montgomery has a huge ego, and he's got a rather wide arrogant streak. He and Patton frequently clash in terms of personality and battlefield strategy.
Before the invasion of Sicily, American commander Eisenhower rejects Patton's attack plan and adopts Montgomery's instead. Patton is relegated to which role?
Eisenhower decides that Montgomery's cautious invasion plan is best. Then, to Patton's dismay, Eisenhower places Patton at the rear in support of Montgomery's units.
As the invasion begins, what does Patton do?
Patton has no intention of taking a backseat to Montgomery. As the invasion begins, Patton defies his orders and decides to race Montgomery toward the objective.
Montgomery and his men beat the Germans and march victoriously into the city of Messina. What do they find?
The British general believes that he has heroically liberated Messina, but as he reaches the city center, he realizes that the smirking Patton has done an end-around and already beaten him there.
During the Italian campaign, Patton encounters a traumatized Allied soldier. What does he do to the soldier?
The egotistical American general sees the shell-shocked soldier and thinks he's a coward who's scared of battle. He slaps him and mocks him and orders him back to the front.
Patton suffers consequences for abusing one of his own soldiers?
Patton thinks he's above the law, but he's not. Eisenhower learns of the abuse incident, and he decides to relieve Patton of his command. He also forces the abusive general to apologize in front of multiple groups of soldiers.
In spite of his dressing down, Patton thinks that he will be in charge of which operation?
Patton is sure he's only experienced a temporary setback. He's certain that Eisenhower will put him in charge of the D-Day invasion of Europe, one of the most important campaigns of World War II.
How does Patton perceive the press?
Patton is a manipulator, and he sees the press as a way to shape public opinion and as a means to grow his own power. It's just one more reason that Eisenhower often doesn't trust the brash American general.
Before D-Day, Patton is placed in charge of the First United States Army Group. What's special about this unit?
The First United States Army Group is a fake army group that exists only on paper. It's meant as a decoy to confuse German spies and military leaders.
The First United States Army Group decoy worked in large part because _______.
The Germans respected and feared Patton's abilities as an offensive commander, and they were convinced that he would lead the D-Day invasion. The decoy worked very well in the movie, and in real life, too.
D-Day begins without Patton in command of any real units. What does he do?
Patton is agonized that history is happening without him. He grovels to Gen. Omar Bradley for a chance to take command as the Allies fight the Germans in Europe.
Gen. Bradley puts Patton in command of the Third Army and then what happens?
Patton has no intention of letting another opportunity slip through his fingers. He summons his battlefield prowess and sends the Germans reeling, liberating parts of Europe faster than any other Allied commander.
The general's strategy works flawlessly, but then his tanks stop moving. Why?
Patton's tanks are overrunning Geman positions all along the front. But then they run out of fuel because his fuel supply has been diverted to his rival, Bernard Montgomery.
A huge group of American troops is surrounded by Germans during the Battle of the Bulge. What does Patton do?
During the Battle of the Bulge, the Germans pin down the Americans near Bastogne. In what became one of the most legendary moments of the war, Patton frantically sends his men to the town and rescues the trapped Americans.
As it becomes clear that the Nazis will lose the war, how does Patton respond?
Patton is downright sad at the idea of the war ending. He thinks war is an exciting challenge and doesn't want Hitler and his cronies to give up.
At the end of the movie, Patton realizes that he's a lion with no more battles to fight. He says that all glory is ______.
Patton speaks about ancient Roman conquerors and the glory they felt after winning a war. But he also realizes that "all glory is fleeting."
In the movie (and real life) Patton was one of America's best-known war heroes. How did he die?
Just a few months after the war, Patton died following a car accident. It was perhaps a fitting end for a man who felt that his real purpose was to fight a war that was over.
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