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Patton ... Winner for Best ORIGINAL Screenplay?


sewhite2000
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Interesting that a film which states in its own opening credits to be "based on factual material" from two books should be nominated in (and win for) the Best Original Screenplay category. I suppose there is some Academy committee or something that rules on which category a screenplay should be considered.

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I think there are a variety of reasons for "Patton"s Original Screenplay win: perhaps, yes, it is based on events detailed in history books: but, the dialogue, the scenarios, the structure, and (some of) the action were all fleshed out by the author Francis Ford Coppola from the dry facts. a lot of Patton's famous soliloquys, for example, were (I believe) written entirely by Coppola using a lot of speculation on his part.

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I think there are a variety of reasons for "Patton"s Original Screenplay win: perhaps, yes, it is based on events detailed in history books: but, the dialogue, the scenarios, the structure, and (some of) the action were all fleshed out by the author Francis Ford Coppola from the dry facts. a lot of Patton's famous soliloquys, for example, were (I believe) written entirely by Coppola using a lot of speculation on his part.

 

Here's a partial transcript of Patton's farewell speech to his troops.  You can see that Coppola cribbed part of the movie version from it, and the censors obviously cleaned up much of the language.  It was originally transcribed in Dwight Macdonald's Politics magazine in the August issue of 1945, and reprinted in Macdonald's 1957 book, Memoirs of a Revolutionist.

 

Sorry about the spacing, but I can't figure out how to eliminate it after about 10 tries.

 

(Oh, and P.S.:  There's a longer version of this speech here, though it's also cleaned up, if not as much as the movie version. This longer version has some more of the wording contained in the movie.)

 

          “Men! This stuff we hear about Americans wanting to stay out of this war–not wanting to fight–is a lot of b u l ls h i t. Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting of clash of battle. America loves a winner. America will not tolerate a loser.Americans despise a coward. Americans play to win. That’s why America has never lost and never will lose a war, for the very thought of losing is hateful to an American. never lost and never will lose a war, for the very thought of losing is hateful to an American.
           You are not all going to die. Only 2% of you right here today would be killed in a major  battle. Death must not be feared. Every man is frightened at first in battle. If any man say she isn’t, he’s a god d a m n e d liar. But a real man will never let the fear of death overpower his honor, his sense of duty to his country and to his manhood.
          All through your army career, you’ve bitched about what you call ‘this chicken-s h i t drilling.’ That drilling was for a purpose: instant obedience to orders and to create alertness. If not, some son of a b i t c h of a German will sneak up behind him and beat him to death with a sock full of s h i t.
          An army is a team. It lives, sleeps, eats and fights as a team. This individual hero stuff is alot of c r a p. The bilious b a s t a r d s who wrote that kind of stuff for the Saturday Evening Post don’t know any more about real fighting under fire than they know about f u c k i n g.
          Even if you are hit, you can still fight. That’s not b u l l s h i t either. . . . Every d a m n man has a job to do. Each man must think not only of himself but of his buddy fighting beside him.We don’t want yellow cowards in this army. They should be killed off like flies. If not,they will go back home and breed more cowards. We got to save the f u c k i n g for the fighting men. The brave man will breed more brave men.
          Remember, men! You don’t know I’m here. . . . Let the first b a s t a r d s to find out be the god d a m n e d Germans. I want them German b a s t a r d s to raise up on their hind legs and howl:‘JESUS CHRIST! IT’S THE G O D D A M N E D THIRD ARMY AND THAT SON OF A B I T C H PATTON AGAIN!’
      We want to get the hell over there and clean the g o d d a m n thing up. And then we’ll have to take a little jaunt against the purple p i s s i n g Japs and clean them out before the Marines get all the credit.
          There’s one great thing you men will be able to say when you go home. You may all thank God that thirty years from now, when you are sitting at the fire with your grandson on your knee and he asks you what you did in the Great World War II, you won’t have to say: "I shoveled s h i t in Louisiana."
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Here's another version, the one in Wiki, only nannified by TCM:

 

Men, all this stuff you hear about America not wanting to fight, wanting to stay out of the war, is a lot of ****. Americans love to fight. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle. When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, the big-league ball players and the toughest boxers. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. That's why Americans have never lost and will never lose a war. The very thought of losing is hateful to Americans. Battle is the most significant competition in which a man can indulge. It brings out all that is best and it removes all that is base.

 

You are not all going to die. Only two percent of you right here today would be killed in a major battle. Every man is scared in his first action. If he says he's not, he's a **** liar. But the real hero is the man who fights even though he's scared. Some men will get over their fright in a minute under fire, some take an hour, and for some it takes days. But the real man never lets his fear of death overpower his honor, his sense of duty to his country, and his innate manhood.

 

All through your army career you men have bitched about what you call 'this chicken-**** drilling.' That is all for a purpose—to ensure instant obedience to orders and to create constant alertness. This must be bred into every soldier. I don't give a **** for a man who is not always on his toes. But the drilling has made veterans of all you men. You are ready! A man has to be alert all the time if he expects to keep on breathing. If not, some German son-of-a-**** will sneak up behind him and beat him to death with a sock full of ****. There are four hundred neatly marked graves in Sicily, all because one man went to sleep on the job—but they are German graves, because we caught the bastard asleep before his officer did.

 

An army is a team. It lives, eats, sleeps, and fights as a team. This individual hero stuff is ****. The bilious bastards who write that stuff for the Saturday Evening Post don't know any more about real battle than they do about ****. And we have the best team—we have the finest food and equipment, the best spirit and the best men in the world. Why, by God, I actually pity these poor bastards we're going up against.

 

All the real heroes are not storybook combat fighters. Every single man in the army plays a vital role. So don't ever let up. Don't ever think that your job is unimportant. What if every truck driver decided that he didn't like the whine of the shells and turned yellow and jumped headlong into a ditch? That cowardly bastard could say to himself, 'Hell, they won't miss me, just one man in thousands.' What if every man said that? Where in the hell would we be then? No, thank God, Americans don't say that. Every man does his job. Every man is important. The ordnance men are needed to supply the guns, the quartermaster is needed to bring up the food and clothes for us because where we are going there isn't a hell of a lot to steal. Every last damn man in the mess hall, even the one who boils the water to keep us from getting the GI ****, has a job to do.

 

Each man must think not only of himself, but think of his buddy fighting alongside him. We don't want yellow cowards in the army. They should be killed off like flies. If not, they will go back home after the war, **** cowards, and breed more cowards. The brave men will breed more brave men. Kill off the **** cowards and we'll have a nation of brave men.

 

One of the bravest men I saw in the African campaign was on a telegraph pole in the midst of furious fire while we were moving toward Tunis. I stopped and asked him what the hell he was doing up there. He answered, 'Fixing the wire, sir.' 'Isn't it a little unhealthy up there right now?' I asked. 'Yes sir, but this **** wire has got to be fixed.' I asked, 'Don't those planes strafing the road bother you?' And he answered, 'No sir, but you sure as hell do.' Now, there was a real soldier. A real man. A man who devoted all he had to his duty, no matter how great the odds, no matter how seemingly insignificant his duty appeared at the time.

 

And you should have seen the trucks on the road to Gabès. Those drivers were magnificent. All day and all night they crawled along those son-of-a-**** roads, never stopping, never deviating from their course with shells bursting all around them. Many of the men drove over 40 consecutive hours. We got through on good old American guts. These were not combat men. But they were soldiers with a job to do. They were part of a team. Without them the fight would have been lost.

 

Sure, we all want to go home. We want to get this war over with. But you can't win a war lying down. The quickest way to get it over with is to get the bastards who started it. We want to get the hell over there and clean the **** thing up, and then get at those purple-**** Japs. The quicker they are whipped, the quicker we go home. The shortest way home is through Berlin and Tokyo. So keep moving. And when we get to Berlin, I am personally going to shoot that paper-hanging son-of-a-**** Hitler.

 

When a man is lying in a shell hole, if he just stays there all day, a Boche will get him eventually. The hell with that. My men don't dig foxholes. Foxholes only slow up an offensive. Keep moving. We'll win this war, but we'll win it only by fighting and showing the Germans that we've got more guts than they have or ever will have. We're not just going to shoot the bastards, we're going to rip out their living goddamned guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We're going to murder those lousy Hun cocksuckers by the bushel-****-basket.

 

Some of you men are wondering whether or not you'll chicken out under fire. Don't worry about it. I can assure you that you'll all do your duty. War is a bloody business, a killing business. The Nazis are the enemy. Wade into them, spill their blood or they will spill yours. Shoot them in the guts. Rip open their belly. When shells are hitting all around you and you wipe the dirt from your face and you realize that it's not dirt, it's the blood and gut of what was once your best friend, you'll know what to do.

 

I don't want any messages saying 'I'm holding my position.' We're not holding a goddamned thing. We're advancing constantly and we're not interested in holding anything except the enemy's balls. We're going to hold him by his balls and we're going to kick him in the ****; twist his balls and kick the living **** out of him all the time. Our plan of operation is to advance and keep on advancing. We're going to go through the enemy like **** through a tinhorn.

 

There will be some complaints that we're pushing our people too hard. I don't give a damn about such complaints. I believe that an ounce of sweat will save a gallon of blood. The harder we push, the more Germans we kill. The more Germans we kill, the fewer of our men will be killed. Pushing harder means fewer casualties. I want you all to remember that. My men don't surrender. I don't want to hear of any soldier under my command being captured unless he is hit. Even if you are hit, you can still fight. That's not just **** either. I want men like the lieutenant in Libya who, with a Luger against his chest, swept aside the gun with his hand, jerked his helmet off with the other and busted the hell out of the Boche with the helmet. Then he picked up the gun and he killed another German. All this time the man had a bullet through his lung. That's a man for you!

 

Don't forget, you don't know I'm here at all. No word of that fact is to be mentioned in any letters. The world is not supposed to know what the hell they did with me. I'm not supposed to be commanding this army. I'm not even supposed to be in England. Let the first bastards to find out be the goddamned Germans. Some day, I want them to rise up on their ****-soaked hind legs and howl 'Ach! It's the goddamned Third Army and that son-of-a-**** Patton again!'

 

Then there's one thing you men will be able to say when this war is over and you get back home. Thirty years from now when you're sitting by your fireside with your grandson on your knee and he asks, 'What did you do in the great World War Two?' You won't have to cough and say, 'Well, your granddaddy shoveled **** in Louisiana.' No sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say 'Son, your granddaddy rode with the great Third Army and a son-of-a-goddamned-**** named George Patton!'

 

All right, you sons of bitches. You know how I feel. I'll be proud to lead you wonderful guys in battle anytime, anywhere. That's all.

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I can't attest to screenplay musings but I do know General Omar Bradley was an advisor to the film and the authentic presentation of the Great General Patton. My Uncle served in Patton's 3rd Army & said the movie pegged him to a T. My Uncle spoke very little of his experience.

 

General Patton revered the Great Confederate Generals Robert E Lee & Stonewall Jackson.

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I can't attest to screenplay musings but I do know General Omar Bradley was an advisor to the film and the authentic presentation of the Great General Patton. My Uncle served in Patton's 3rd Army & said the movie pegged him to a T. My Uncle spoke very little of his experience.

 

General Patton revered the Great Confederate Generals Robert E Lee & Stonewall Jackson.

thanks for that information.

 

I was also going to add in my previous post that my grandfather served with Patton in North Africa. he was honorably discharged when he was seriously hurt in a jeep accident, but he also REVERED Patton and said all the soldiers did ( and my grandfather was most certainly not one to follow the crowd.)

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So those two books where NOT published prior to the writing of the screenplay?    If that is the case,  yea,  very confusing.

 

Not confusing at all. In 1970, the Academy Awards presented the two Writing Awards like this:

 

Writing (Story and Screenplay--based on factual material or material not previously published or produced)

 

Winner

Patton

Francis Ford Coppola, Edmund H. North

Coppola and North based their screen story and screenplay on factual material from two sources:

Patton: Ordeal and triumph by Ladislas Farago, who published his book in 1963; and

A Soldier's Story by General Omar Bradley. >his book was published in 1953.

 

Nominees

 

Five Easy Pieces

Story by Bob Rafelson, Adrien Joyce; Screenplay by Adrien Joyce

 

Joe

Norman Wexler

 

Love Story

Erich Segal

 

My Night at Maud's

Eric Rohmer

 

 

Writing (Screenplay--based on material from another medium)

 

Winner

 

M*A*S*H

Ring Lardner, Jr.

 

Nominees

 

Airport

George Seaton

 

I Never Sang for My Father

Robert Anderson

 

Lovers and Other Strangers

Renee Taylor, Joseph Bologna, David Zelag Goodman

 

Women in Love

Larry Kramer

 

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...My Uncle served in Patton's 3rd Army & said the movie pegged him to a T. My Uncle spoke very little of his experience.

 

Same with my father, Jake. And yeah, Pop never spoke much of his war experiences either.

 

However, I do remember going to see this film with him when it was first released and recalling him laughing out loud knowingly at the scene in which two G.I.s exchange the follow lines as they see Patton drive by in his staff car:

 

Soldier 1: "There goes Old Blood and Guts!"

 

Soldier 2: 'Yeah, our blood and his guts!"

 

(...btw, Pop had all of Bill Mauldin's "Willie and Joe" books, and he loved Mauldin's sense of humor too)

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Not confusing at all. In 1970, the Academy Awards presented the two Writing Awards like this:

 

Writing (Story and Screenplay--based on factual material or material not previously published or produced)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for clearing that up.   Yea,  what I didn't understand until now was the 'or' in this sentence:  Writing (Story and Screenplay--based on factual material or material not previously published or produced)

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Same with my father, Jake. And yeah, Pop never spoke much of his war experiences either.

 

However, I do remember going to see this film with him when it was first released and recalling him laughing out loud knowingly at the scene in which two G.I.s exchange the follow lines as they see Patton drive by in his staff car:

 

Soldier 1: "There goes Old Blood and Guts!"

 

Soldier 2: 'Yeah, our blood and his guts!"

 

(...btw, Pop had all of Bill Mauldin's "Willie and Joe" books, and he loved Mauldin's sense of humor too)

Yeah, had an uncle who never liked to talk too much about HIS experiences.  but, my AUNT told me he was in the Army corps of engineers---you might have SEEN him in one of the many old films they show of bulldozers pushing huge mountains of bodies into mass graves at the DEATH CAMPS.  He drove one of the bulldozers.  And the most memorable time he expressed his experience was when some dimwitted "good ol' boy" babbled something about the HOLOCAUST being,..."A bunch of JEWISH PROPAGANDA!".  Uncle Tom beat out ten of the jerk's teeth from the JAW he broke of his!  ALMOST lost his job at FORD'S due to it!

 

 

Sepiatone

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Same with my father, Jake. And yeah, Pop never spoke much of his war experiences either.

 

However, I do remember going to see this film with him when it was first released and recalling him laughing out loud knowingly at the scene in which two G.I.s exchange the follow lines as they see Patton drive by in his staff car:

 

Soldier 1: "There goes Old Blood and Guts!"

 

Soldier 2: 'Yeah, our blood and his guts!"

 

(...btw, Pop had all of Bill Mauldin's "Willie and Joe" books, and he loved Mauldin's sense of humor too)

I believe that in the film Soldier 2's line is "Yeah, our blood, his guts." :)

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I believe that in the film Soldier 2's line is "Yeah, our blood, his guts." :)

 

Yeah, I think you're right, ND.

 

Doncha hate it when some people add an "and" when a comma would suffice?!

 

(...throws the WHOLE timing off somehow, doesn't it!) ;)

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Dargo Posted Today, 11:14 AM

 

(...btw, Pop had all of Bill Mauldin's "Willie and Joe" books, and he loved Mauldin's sense of humor too)

 

Bill Mauldin is almost forgotten today by anyone much under 60, but to the GI in World War 2 he was a hero on a level just below Eisenhower.   Look at this YouTube sampling of his cartoons and you'll see why.  Unfortunately some of the captions have been cropped, but there are enough that aren't to get across the message.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czkFi_wLMR0

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Actually now I'm even more confused because Love Story was nominated for Best Original Screenplay (with whatever codification they attached to the title that year), when I always thought it was a book first.

 

 

I'm pretty sure my mother had a copy of the book Love Story but I'm not sure if the book or movie came first.

I always thought the movie was adapted from the book.

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Actually now I'm even more confused because Love Story was nominated for Best Original Screenplay (with whatever codification they attached to the title that year), when I always thought it was a book first.

 

That, and the fact that it SUCKS make its nomination a lot more head-scratching than Patton's.

 

Yea, something isn't adding up as it relates to Love Story;  The screenplay is based on published material,  the book, a #1 best seller (according to the movie poster ad for the film).

 

The story isn't based on factual events.   So what gives? 

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I'm pretty sure my mother had a copy of the book Love Story but I'm not sure if the book or movie came first.

I always thought the movie was adapted from the book.

That's what I thought, too, but apparently the novel was written as a companion piece to the movie, and released on Valentine's Day of 1970, in a wildly successful attempt to goose up interest in the film that was released 10 months later during the Christmas season.  So while the book was released well before the movie, the screenplay actually was written before the book.  The confusion is understandable.

 

The author, Erich Segal, was a Yale prof who was lampooned and ridiculed endlessly for writing such an obvious piece of schlock, but considering all the cheese he pocketed from both the book and the movie, I'm sure he could have afforded a pair of world class earplugs. ;)

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