Battleground (1949 movie)

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Battleground is a 1949 war film which tells the story of a squad of the 101st Airborne Division trying to cope during the Battle of the Bulge at Bastogne, Belgium. It stars Van Johnson, John Hodiak, Ricardo Montalban, George Murphy, Marshall Thompson, Jerome Courtland, Don Taylor, Bruce Cowling, James Whitmore, Douglas Fowley and Leon Ames.

The movie was written by Robert Pirosh and directed by William A. Wellman.

It won Academy Awards for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White and Best Writing, Story and Screenplay. It was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (James Whitmore), Best Director, Best Film Editing and Best Picture.

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This film was notable for being the first post-World War II film to portray American soldiers as vulnerable and human, as opposed to inspirational and gung-ho. While there is no question concerning the courage and steadfastedness of the members of the squad, they each have at least one moment in the film where they seriously consider running away, or scheme to get sent away from the front line, or vocally complain about being in the situation they are in. In spite of all their fears and misery, though, they stay at their posts when the battle is at its worst, and exhibit great pride in their unit and in themselves. A refreshingly realisitic look at the "Greatest Generation", very close in time to the events portrayed.

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