The story of men at war and that of the esteemed Pulitzer prize winning war correspondent Ernie Pyle. Soon after the U.S. entry into World War II, Pyle joined C Company, 18th Infantry in North Africa. There he got to know the men and often wrote about them in his columns mentioning them by name, something both the soldiers and their families back home appreciated. Pyle moved to other units but as C Company is the first he went into combat with, he considers them "his" company and rejoins them in Italy. Many will die but his reporting brings a human face to war. Written by
The nurse is played by director William Wellman's 5th wife, Dorothy Coonan Wellman. They remained married until his death in 1975. She died in 2009 at 95. See more »
Much of this film revolves around the battles around Monte Cassino and the controversial bombing of the abbey, with several references to the monastery being used by the Germans as an observation post. Although the film acknowledges that the Germans used it as a defensive position after the bombing, it does not mention that the abbey had been unoccupied by the Germans and that the bombing was unnecessary. Given that this movie was filmed in 1945 while the war was still being fought, it is perhaps understandable that this fact was not mentioned. See more »
(Voice-over): For those beneath the wooden crosses, there is nothing we can do, except perhaps to pause and murmur, "Thanks pal, thanks."
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There are absolutely no credits at the end of the film, not even the words "The End". See more »
Perhaps the best film of infantry combat ever made
After searching for the best war films all my life, and after seeing so much tripe, I was completely flabbergasted by this film, of which I had heard, but had never seen until last night. Most films made during the Second World War were pure propaganda, all dash and glory, but with little resemblance to real battle. "The Story of G.I. Joe" is the real McCoy, especially considering that it was made near the end of the war. You can feel, taste and smell the muck and fear these men lived with. The dialogue is gritty, the combat scenes, especially of urban fighting bang on. One exceptional and rare scene was of an anti-tank gun crew swinging into action and firing 12 rounds a minute in a town. It was a battle ballet and an example of the lethality of a well-trained and seasoned team. In my opinion, this film ranks with Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan" as the best film of infantry in combat ever made. In fact, I believe that Spielberg may even have made 'Ryan' as an homage to Wellman's great earlier film; many of the scenes and much of the dialogue is very similar. In 1945, General Eisenhower called 'G.I. Joe' the greatest war film ever made. I'm sure he would say the same thing today. This should be a must-see for every student studying this country's fighting history and every American in uniform should see it.
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