There were eighteen years of planning before the movie Patton, the life of General George S. Patton, could be made. In Making Patton: A Classic War Film's Epic Journey to the Silver Screen, published in September by the University Press of Kansas, Nicholas Evan Sarantakes chronicles the story of the making of the classic film.
"Sarantakes recounts how filmmakers had to overcome the reluctance of Patton’s family, copyright issues with biographers, competing efforts for a biopic, and Department of Defense red tape. He chronicles the long search for a leading man—including discussions with Burt Lancaster, John Wayne, and even Ronald Reagan—before settling on George C. Scott, a brilliant actor who brought to the part both enthusiasm for the project and identification with Patton’s passionate persona. He also tracks the struggles to shoot the movie with a large multinational cast, huge outlays for military equipment, and filming in six countries over a mere six months. And he provides revealing insider stories concerning, for example, Scott’s legendary drinking bouts and the origins of and debate over his famous opening monologue."