Battleground Overview:

Battleground (1949) was a War - Action Film directed by William A. Wellman and produced by Dore Schary and Robert Pirosh.


The story of a U.S. Army division in the European Theater at the end of WWII. In a last-ditch effort to turn the tide of the war, the Germans launch their famous final attack, the Battle of the Bulge. Detailed study of the drama within a fighting unit of men brought together by war.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).


Academy Awards 1949 --- Ceremony Number 22 (source: AMPAS)

Best Supporting ActorJames WhitmoreNominated
Best CinematographyPaul C. VogelWon
Best DirectorWilliam A. WellmanNominated
Best Film EditingJohn DunningNominated
Best PictureMetro-Goldwyn-MayerNominated
Best WritingRobert PiroshWon

BlogHub Articles:

Battleground (1949): Bastogne and The Screaming Eagles

By 4 Star Film Fan on Dec 1, 2020 From 4 Star Films

“We must never again let any force dedicated to a super-race or a super-idea, or super-anything become strong enough to impose itself upon a free world. We must be smart enough and tough enough in the beginning to put out the fire before it starts spreading.”? ~ Leon Ames as the Chaplain... Read full article

Warner Archive Blu-ray: A Cast of Sympathetic Characters in Battleground (1949)

By KC on Mar 17, 2017 From Classic Movies

We must be smart enough and tough enough in the beginning. To put out the fire before it starts spreading. Battleground (1949) performs a balancing act of great precision. It plunges you into the devastation of war, but it also shows flickers of light. Though it can often be difficult to watch, thi... Read full article

Battleground (1949)

By Bonnie on Jul 4, 2016 From Classic Reel Girl

Freedom is not free. On this Independence Day, I would like to remember all those who fought for the freedom we enjoy by sharing Battleground (1949), a World War II film with authentic details and realistic characters. The movie is further fitting because one of its stars is George Murphy, t... Read full article

Battleground (1949)

By Beatrice on May 27, 2015 From Flickers in Time

Battleground Directed by William A. Wellman Written by Robert Pirosh 1949/USA Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer First viewing/Amazon Instant Soldier: Look, you’re not selling it to me, you’re showing me how to fire it. Late in life, William A. Wellman still could direct a mean action sequence. Th... Read full article

Battleground (1949)

By smumcountry on Apr 14, 2014 From Smum County

April 14, 2014 by smumcounty ?This story is about, and dedicated to, those Americans who met General Heinrich von Luttwitz and his 47 Panzer Corps and won for themselves the honored and immortal name ‘The Battered Bastards of Bastogne.’? Thus begins ?Battleground? (1949) and you can bet ... Read full article

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Quotes from

[as Bettis is digging a foxhole]
Holley: Let's not try to reach China this time, hey Bettis?
Bettis: Well there's no sense digging if you don't go deep.
Holley: The last one we dug one together, you went so deep that when I climbed out in the morning I got the bends.

Major: Thank you Sergeant.
Holley: That's P.F.C. to you major as in praying for civilian

[while being bombarded by German artillery during a driving blizzard]
Holley: We've had good deals before, but this is the best one yet. This is great. I don't ever wanna go back. I found a home in the army.

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Facts about

The white "card suit" stencils on the sides of the soldier's helmets in the film are accurate. The WWII 101st Airborne Division used the different suits to identify their three parachute infantry (diamonds, hearts, and spades) and one glider infantry (clubs) regiments. A white "tic" at either the twelve, three, six or nine o'clock positions around the suit indicated Headquarters, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Battalions, respectively. The soldiers in "Battleground" wear the club suit of the 101st's 327th Glider Infantry Regiment, with a "tic" at the nine o'clock position, indicating they belong to that regiment's 3rd Battalion.
The American small units - companies and platoons - depicted did not actually exist. The glider infantry regiment assigned to the 101st Airborne Division was the 327th. When these glider infantry regiments were constituted in the early part of World War II, they had only two battalions. There was no third battalion in the regiment at the time of the battle of Bastogne. Instead, the first battalion of the 401st Glider Infantry Regiment was detailed to the command of the 327th. This meant that the glider infantry component of the 101st Airborne Division at this time had no "Item," "King," "Love," or "Mike" companies - the companies mentioned in this movie. This was done cleverly to avoid having any veterans of the 101st come forward to say something like: "I was in Item Company at Bastogne, and no such thing ever happened to us."
James Whitmore, who played the hardened Sgt. Kennie, served in the Marine Corps. during World War II.
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Best Writing Oscar 1949

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Also directed by William A. Wellman

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Also produced by Dore Schary

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Also released in 1949

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More "World War II" films

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More "Army" films

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