Go for Broke!

What you have is a minyan of misfits thoroughly demoralized by ostracization, what you do is order Van Johnson in as a DI to shape them up. Johnson’s performance, pacing up and down the lax barracks, is such a nice calculation between him and Pirosh that it’s worth seeing by itself, but that’s just for openers in a brilliant film on the most highly-decorated American unit in World War II, by the author of Battleground and Combat!.

The final battle opens with a shot repeated in reverse by Robert Altman at the end of the Combat! episode, “The Prisoner”. Pirosh dollies in slowly through the woods, where GI’s are chopping down trees, and they scatter before a tank shell clears the trees and the tank is seen advancing from the background.

Altman ends his prisoner exchange on an idyllic scene. The Germans realize they’ve been had, and start shelling. Explosions advance toward the camera one by one.