The Legend

What, then, is the legacy that Patton leaves? It naturally provides a look at the general’s life and campaigns during World War II. It encourages audiences to question his command choices and to decide for themselves whether the main character is the hero or the villain. But it also leaves a lasting image of George S. Patton that will likely influence more people for longer than any of the man’s actual writings or personal effects. George C. Scott became Patton for the generations that never met or heard stories of the man himself first-hand. His image has become THE image, not only of George Patton himself, but also the late 20th century war movie. Of the books I read for this project, four had photographs on their covers: of those four books, 3 featured the still from the film’s opening scene as Patton salutes, the American flag behind him. That image has become the icon of the film, the man, and the genre, and a legacy worthy of the complicated man behind it all.