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

Mess Sergeant: [Bastogne is about to be overrun and everyone is being rallied to defend the town, he runs into motor pool] Fall out and draw rifles and ammo right now!
motor pool PFC: [shuts down motor he's working on] Chow?
Mess Sergeant: You ain't even warm! Follow me all of you, on the double!

[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.

The Chaplain: [at an interfaith service for the soldiers] Now it's nearly Christmas... and here we are in beautiful Bastogne enjoying the winter sports. And the $64 question is: "Was this trip necessary?" I'll try to answer that. But my sermons, like everything else in the army... depend on the situation and the terrain. So I assure you this is going to be a quickie. Was this trip necessary? Let's look at the facts. Nobody wanted this war but the Nazis. A great many people tried to deal with them, and a lot of them are dead. Millions have died... for no other reason except that the Nazis wanted them dead. So, in the final showdown, there was nothing left to do except fight. There's a great lesson in this. Those of us who've learned it the hard way aren't going to forget it. 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. My answer to the sixty-four dollar question is yes, this trip was necessary. As the years go by, a lot of people are going to forget. But you won't. And don't ever let anybody tell you you were a sucker to fight in the war against fascism. And now, Jerry permitting, let us pray. Almighty God...
[artillery drowns him out]
The Chaplain: The organist is hitting those bass notes a little too loud for me to be heard. So let each of us pray in his own way, to his own God.

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Facts about

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie onDecember 7, 1954 with Van Johnson and George Murphy reprising their film roles.
Douglas Fowley, who plays Pvt. Kippton (he of the continually lost false teeth) served in the Navy in the South Pacific in World War II and lost all his own teeth in an explosion aboard his aircraft carrier during battle.
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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