It's 1945, Burma, the day the war is over! For many this means they've survived and will be going home. But not for everyone. A Scottish soldier, Corporal Lachlan "Lachie" MacLachlan is the... See full summary »
Budding actress Sally Middleton agrees to a date with Bill Page, a soldier on a weekend pass, after he's stood up by her worldly friend, Olive. When Bill has a problem getting a hotel room,... See full summary »
Married couple Jim & Ella Merchant set up their single friend Al Schmid on a blind date with Ruth Hartley. The two hit it off and begin dating. A welder, one day at the workplace, Al learns of a friend's enlistment in the Marine Corps and decides to join himself. Al and Ruth have a last date, with Al insisting that she forget about him as he is about to go into combat. However, when Ruth goes to meet his departure train, he is overjoyed and gives her an engagement ring. Assigned to Guadalcanal, Al and his squad are tasked with preventing the Japanese from breaching their line. During a night attack, many of his fellow Marines are slain, but Al ends up single-handedly saving the day, killing scores of Japanese. However, he is wounded by a suicide bomber near the end of the the battle. At the hospital, Al learns that he is blind, a condition that persists even after surgery. Feeling sorry for himself, he dictates a letter to a nurse, informing Ruth that he is relieving her of any ... Written by
Jon C. Hopwood
Earnest, realistic look at war and rehabilitation - well done.
This along with THE LOST WEEKEND marked 1945's turning of the tide in film narrative from glossy Hollywood product to the neo-realism that was to take over the industry well into the early 1950s. The story is simple and has been done a number of times. Wounded man decides to turn his back on friends and family, fearing pity and helplessness, and must be won back to the fold. This was a real life story. Al Schmid (John Garfield) lost his eyesight in a foxhole battle during WW II, received the Navy Cross, and after a struggle, regained a foothold on life. The first half hour is devoted to his love/hate romance with Ruth Hartley (Eleanor Parker). We then see a harrowing twenty minute segment (very realistic for the time) of the foxhole barrage that ended in his loss of eyesight. The last hour is devoted to his bitterness, rage, denial and refusal to return to life. The screenplay deservedly received an Oscar nom. The superb cinematography and the pair of supporting performances from Rosemary DeCamp and Dane Clark (their finest work on screen) also deserved Oscar noms but did not receive them. The script contains a number of well written scenes - the discussion among the men recuperating in the hospital as to what is awaiting them in terms of returning to take up their interrupted lives (shades of the following year's THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES), the earnest and angry confrontations of best friend, Dane Clark, and fiancee Eleanor Parker, trying to get through to the embittered Garfield - among them. This is one of Hollywood's finest biographies and it is given superb production values by WB. Very worth seeking out
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