The US Army Initially Refused to Support the Movie Patton
The Oscar-winning Patton is probably the most recognized war biographical movie of all time. However, the US Army refused to help with its production at first. For a change, that refusal was not because it did not like the script or other censorship-related reasons. Instead, it was because when the idea for the movie was floated in 1951, only a few years after Patton’s death, his family wanted no part of it, and the Army honored their wishes. Fortunately, both Patton’s family and the Pentagon eventually got on board, and the film was released to great acclaim in 1970. Its subject, George S. Patton, is America’s most famous fighting general of WWII. He led the US Seventh Army in North Africa and Sicily, and commanded the Third Army as it stormed through France, across Germany, and into Czechoslovakia.
A man of contradictions, Patton was hard charging, profane, and often obnoxious. He also had a softer side, and liked to write poetry – although not very well. And then there was the crazy side: Patton believed he was an eternal soldier, who had been reincarnated numerous times over the millennia as a warrior. In short, Patton was a man of extremes. He also elicited extreme reactions: people loved or hated him. He gave the latter plenty to hate, as his wartime exploits were often marred by controversies stemming from his propensity to abuse his authority and those under his command.