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Brass Target

In the mood for an old fashioned war thriller loaded with 70's stars and set in the closing days of WW2? You could do worse than 1978's BRASS TARGET.

George Kennedy stars as General George Patton, and as much as I love Kennedy in "Airport" and "Cool Hand Luke" its fair to say his Patton pales next to any memory of George C. Scott in the role seven years earlier.

$250 million in German gold has disappeared under Patton's watch while he was attempting to move it away from the Germans and Russians and plenty of people on both sides of the battle want his head for it.

John Cassavetes is an American major who discovers an assassination plot against Patton, Robert Vaughn is a very strange Colonel with untrustworthy alliances, Sophia Loren is the love interest for several characters caught up in the plot and best of all, Max Von Sydow (The Exorcist, The Seventh Seal) is the hit man hired to take out Patton.

Sydow weaves a "Day of the Jackal" style path through our characters to get to Patton and Sydow's so good he makes the material seem better than it is.

OO7 fans watch for Bond regular Ed Bishop (You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever) as Patton's assistant Col Stewart.

It's always interesting, not horribly well written but very enjoyable in an old fashioned war thriller kind of style.

Director John Hough had done everything from "The Legend of Hell House" to Disney's "Escape from Witch Mountain" in the seventies and he brings a decent pace and an eye for international locations to the mix.

Van Sydow's assassin is much more on target than the film, but I'll give it a solid B-.

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