Review of Patton (1970)
On the latest Narrative Control podcast, I discuss the film Patton (1970) with Rob Henderson.
We talk about what it's like in 2021 trying to understand a movie released in 1970 portraying the America of the Second World War. The discussion also addresses the military's role in society; what the movie tells us about American culture during WWII and in the generation after; and divisions between elites and the masses in the US across time.
On Nixon’s obsession with the movie.
Patton on Sicilians.
You can listen to it as a podcast, or watch on YouTube below.
Merry Christmas everyone!
The speech at the beginning of the movie is a verbatim transcript of the speech that Patton made to the troops before the Normandy invasion. In America in 1970 people who were 20 years old in 1944 we’re 46 years old. They were in the prime of their professional and adult life, and they still had children in the house. There were millions of men who had just fought that war, and to them it seemed like yesterday. Nixon was a World War II veteran himself. They did not look at their military service or fighting against Nazi Germany and imperial Japan with any irony, irony was not a thing yet. The antiwar movement got a lot of attention, but it was far from a majority of the people in the country. Most people supported the war as late as 1970.
This is simple, if you want to understand Nixon's arrogance and the nation under him, just like to Putin. Same personality, same megalomania, same bizarre narcissism, same fascistic followers. Dmitry Simes and Richard Burt link the two for a reason.