Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Third

In one of those strange little coincidences, I noted that Patton was coming on and, while it would not be the full length version, I still told Tivo to fetch it.

I cannot explain why that movie and his story is so evocative for me. I saw it once when I was rather a punk. I believe it was a piece of the puzzle that moved me on from that place in my life to something more...tolerable.

Everyone knows, of course, that amazing footage of George C. Scott in front of the giant flag...but the story is here. And the speech in all its unexpurgated glory. Read what the directors chose to leave out. I think this bit will stay with me a time...

"We'll win this war, but we'll win it only by fighting and by showing the Germans that we've got more guts than they have; or ever will have. We're not going to just shoot the sons-of-bitches, 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-fucking-basket. War is a bloody, killing business. You've got to spill their blood, or they will spill yours. Rip them up the belly. Shoot them in the guts. When shells are hitting all around you and you wipe the dirt off your face and realize that instead of dirt it's the blood and guts of what once was your best friend beside you, you'll know what to do!"

You'll know what to do.

I do hope so...

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