A serious and frequently powerful re-enactment of WWII's Battle of the Bulge that centres on a platoon virtually lost in a blanket of fog in the harsh Ardennes winter, convincingly recreated on the back lot. It may well have been an influence on several Vietnam movies - notably Platoon and Hamburger Hill - in its unglamorous portrait of men in war. A major battle was also fought behind the scenes. It was the pet project of Dore Schary, MGM's newly arrived left wing production chief, who had the backing of MGM's president Nick Schenck in New York, but not Louis B Mayer, who hated the script and thought the film would be a disaster. Schary won the day (the film was a huge commercial success and was nominated for all the major Oscars), and Mayer's days were numbered. He was toppled in a coup led by Schary a year later.
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