Attack (1956)

Certainly one of the great war films, and possibly superior to Robert Aldrich’s better-known neurotic-noir Kiss Me Deadly, there is nonetheless one thing about it that has bugged me that gelled watching it again: the finale is false, and has that antiseptic stink of that epidemic of ‘50s righteous romantic masochism, where heroes Stand Up For What They Believe In whether it fucks them over or not, in the mould of the most famous example of that style, Kazan's On The Waterfront and Miller’s The Crucible. Nonetheless, the film has a hard and bitter force. Like so much of Aldrich’s oeuvre, the acting has a nervous, edgy, almost hysterical quality, as if Aldrich is holding a gun on them out of frame. Obviously a major influence on Saving Private Ryan. Plus Jack Palance was The Man.

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