Three hours and I wasn't bored for one second. I found myself shaken at times by the scenes on the battlefields. The bodies, the fires, the animals. I guess age hasn't immunized me to death or to scenes like these. So when Paul said, after, that he found it "harder to take" than he had when it came out, I thought, amazed, that maybe he was feeling the same thing. But no. Paul is something of a military historian. He meant the types of planes and tanks that were used in the film. He meant the way the German army advanced in a block, rather than spread out as they would have been. These things were wrong. I suppose that it would have bothered me if I had known, too. Maybe I was lucky in that I didn't.
George C. Scott did one hell of a job. He was completely believable in that role. I do not know if the real man differed significantly - Scott thought that he did, thought that he (Scott) had not really pulled it off. He created, for me, a fascinating character. The film is so dominated by its main character that I felt like I knew him and understood him.
It was refreshing to see the Germans portrayed as another capable armed force, rather than as the stereotypes they are so often. Yet the character of the British field marshall Montgomery is so outrageous that I asked Paul if that were really a caricature and why. He said that in 1970 the Germans were our friends, but the British, not so much. Perhaps that's why.Also, said Paul, more had come out about Montgomery by the time the film was made and he was known to be a not-so-great.
No matter.It really is an extraordinary film. IMDB has quite a bit on it.