“Battleground” is a film rarity that probably will never happen again. The film’s Oscar winning screenplay was drafted by an Infantryman that survived the Battle. Plus, a chunk of the supporting cast had actually been in the battle. Staged with a masterful eye by William Wellman, “Battleground” recreated one of World War II’s greatest battles just five years after it happened. Still, the thrust of the film isn’t about tanks and brutal fights.
It’s about a group of soldiers trying to remember what they saw in the final days of the War. Civilians fighting over food in garbage, people freezing to death and Europe burning in the flames of War all dot the film’s landscape. Van Johnson carries the majority of the film, as he offers a surrogate for the audience. His wisecracks make light of the tragedy, but eventually he breaks due to the brutality of the upcoming Battle.
In light of a history of Oscar winning War movies, Battleground tends to get forgotten. Thankfully, WB Archive has decided to take this movie into glorious HD. Use this tech jump as a chance to catch up with this film. Hell, throw together a Wellman film festival. The guy was a talented director.
- Vintage Cartoon
- Vintage Featurette
- 1.37:1 1080p transfer
- DTS-HD 2.0 MONO