[box cover]

Patton: Cinema Classics Collection

"It wasn't a conventional war film," Francis Ford Coppola understates early in the new commentary track on this two-disc edition, the third and best DVD release of Patton (1970). At around age 27, he tells us, he was this Fox biopic's original screenwriter. His goal: to portray the essence of an unconventional, controversial World War II general as a model for those "who chose to see that kind of hawkish military man as a kind of hero." But that was only half of it. Simultaneously, for moviegoers on the left side of the aisle, he aimed to depict Patton as a "complex, tragic" figure, a "Don Quixote tilting at windmills at a time when warriors and warriors' values were no longer quite treasured." Those complexities come through George C. Scott's career-defining performance in an epic biopic shot across the scope and scale of 73 European and North African locations, on sets measured in terrain geography rather than in board feet. Fox's two-disc Cinema Classics Collection edition sports a new transfer (2.20:1, anamorphic) from a clean and vivid 70mm print. Audio is strong in DD 5.1 Surround and DD 2.0 Surround. Abundant new and carried-over documentary supplements go a long way toward chronicling the film's grand-scale production history as well as distinguishing between the raw facts and the myths, and filling in those spots where dramatic requirements trumped fine-resolution adherence to historical detail. Two-disc digipak in paperboard sleeve.
—Mark Bourne

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