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Story of G.I. Joe (1945)

 -  Biography | Drama | War  -  13 July 1945 (USA)
7.4
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War correspondent Ernie Pyle joins Company C, 18th Infantry as this American army unit fights its way across North Africa in World War II. He comes to know the soldiers and finds much human... See full summary »

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Title: Story of G.I. Joe (1945)

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Ernie Pyle - Scripps-Howard War Correspondent
...
Freddie Steele ...
Sgt. Warnicki
Wally Cassell ...
Pvt. Dondaro
Jimmy Lloyd ...
Pvt. Spencer
John R. Reilly ...
Pvt. Murphy (as John Reilly)
William Murphy ...
Pvt. Mew (as Bill Murphy)
Sicily and Italy Combat Veterans of the Campaigns in Africa ...
Themselves
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Barney Noto ...
Staff Sergeant Barney Noto
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Storyline

War correspondent Ernie Pyle joins Company C, 18th Infantry as this American army unit fights its way across North Africa in World War II. He comes to know the soldiers and finds much human interest material for his readers back in the States. Later, he catches up with the unit in Italy and accompanies it through the battles of San Vittorio and Cassino. He learns from its commanding officer, Lt. (later Capt.) Bill Walker of the loneliness of command, and from the individual G.I.'s of the human capacity to survive drudgery, discomfort, and the terror of combat. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Mitchum's greatest...is the screen's mightiest action drama ! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

13 July 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ernie Pyle's Story of G.I. Joe  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several of the humorous lines spoken by G.I.s in the film are taken, uncredited, from WWII cartoonist Bill Mauldin's "Willie and Joe" characters. See more »

Goofs

When Ernie leaves his sleeping bag and other heavy gear before crossing a small stream, the shadows of the camera crew, boom mics, etc are clearly visible as he begins entering the water. See more »

Quotes

Capt.Bill Walker: The new kids that come up, that's what gets you. The new ones, some of them have just got a little fuzz on their faces. They don't know what its all about. Scared to death. You know, Ernie, I know it ain't my fault that they get killed, but it makes me feel like a murderer. I hate to look at 'em, the new kids.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are absolutely no credits at the end of the film, not even the words "The End". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Into the Breach: 'Saving Private Ryan' (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Santa Lucia
(uncredited)
[Traditional Neopolitan song often credited to Louis Cottrau. Played on mandolin in Italy]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Chronicler of the Infantry
11 July 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

It's odd that a director noted for his aviation films would choose to direct a film about the infantry, but William Wellman knew a great subject when he saw it. Remember he also did the deservedly highly acclaimed Battleground.

Independent producer Lucas Cowen got together with Ernie Pyle and approached Wellman. They left copies of the stories Pyle wrote from the front in Africa and Italy and Wellman read them in a night's sitting and agreed to do the film.

The Story of GI Joe is based on the various stories and characters that World War II's most famous correspondent encountered. In fact aside from Robert Mitchum and a couple of other actors, the men in this film are real GIs who were in transit from the European to the Pacific Theater and a lot were killed after they arrived in the Pacific as did the real Ernie Pyle who never got to see the finished product.

Burgess Meredith does a fine job recreating the modest chronicler that was Ernie Pyle. In civilian life aside from news stories, Pyle was famous for his cross country travels and stories he wrote about people from all walks of life. Very much like the late television commentator Charles Kuralt did on CBS morning news on Sundays.

When war broke out Pyle did not cover the war of the generals, he spent his time with the troops and told their story. For that he was respected and beloved as now other war correspondent has ever been before or since. In this film Pyle is introduced to the men of one company which transports him to that first American battle and defeat at Kasserine Pass in north Africa. And he runs into them again and again through Sicily right to the liberation of Rome.

Robert Mitchum plays the lieutenant later captain in charge of this company. He'd broken into films with some Hopalong Cassidy pictures and did bits in other films. In fact when its cowboy star Tim Holt enlisted in the armed forces, RKO pictures had signed Mitchum to be his replacement and he'd done two films Nevada and West of the Pecos when he read for the part of Lieutenant Walker.

If it weren't for this film, Robert Mitchum might have continued to be a B picture cowboy star. For his portrayal of the stern, but compassionate officer in whom Pyle finds a kindred spirit, Robert Mitchum got his only Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He lost that year to James Dunn for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. He never received another nomination, but he certainly became a legend although he'd have been the first to debunk that title.

Lots of newsreel footage from the Mediterranean theater make The Story of GI Joe one of the most realistic war films ever done. That's remarkable too, considering most of the Hollywood product back then was propaganda hype, good and bad. It has remained a classic to this day and a wonderful tribute to that chronicler of the infantry, Ernie Pyle.


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