Battle Of The Bulge (film)
Battle of the Bulge is a widescreen war film produced in Spain that was released in 1965. It was directed by Ken Annakin. It starred Henry Fonda, Robert Shaw, Telly Savalas, Robert Ryan, Dana Andrews and Charles Bronson. The feature was filmed in Ultra Panavision 70 and exhibited in 70 mm Cinerama.
Battle of the Bulge had its world premiere on December 16, 1965, the 21st anniversary of the battle, at the Pacific Cinerama Dome Theatre in Hollywood, California. The original VHS release of the film for home video use was heavily edited to fit in one VHS tape (to reduce costs to the consumer) and used a full screen "pan and scan" technique often employed in network telecasts of widescreen motion pictures. The 1992 Laserdisc and 2005 DVD releases, however, run at their full length and are presented letterboxed in the original 2:76:1 aspect ratio. A Blu-ray release followed in 2007, though the aspect ratio says it is 2:35:1 on the back of the cover, the actual aspect ratio of the film is the original 2:76:1 like the previous DVD release.
The filmmakers attempted to condense a battle which stretched across parts of Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg and lasted nearly a month into under 3 hours. They also shot parts of the film on terrain that did not resemble actual battle locations. This left them open to criticism for lack of historical accuracy, but they claimed in the end credits that they had 're-organised' the chronological order of events to maximise the dramatic story.
Unlike most World War II epics, "Battle of the Bulge" contains virtually no portrayals of actual senior Allied leaders, civilian or military. This is presumably because of controversies surrounding the battle, both during the war and after. Though Allied forces ultimately won the battle, the initial Nazi counteroffensive caught them by surprise and caused high casualties.