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 ...
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Josef von Sternberg,
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
William A. Wellman, nicknamed "Wild Bill", was a fighter pilot in World War I and hated the infantry, and therefore had no interest in making a film about them. Producer Lester Cowan tried several times to convince Wellman to direct the film, including showing up uninvited at Christmas with gifts for Wellman's children. Wellman finally agreed to take the job only after meeting and spending several days with Ernie Pyle at Pyle's home in New Mexico, where he saw how much former infantrymen revered him. See more »
In a night battle scene of US soldiers advancing, it is lit only by artillery explosions; a cameraman is visible in the middle distance pointing a hand-held camera back towards the men. See more »
The film is now available after years of litigation.
I found this to be a particularly poignant film about WWII - no heroics, just the simple getting through the day & night of a company of US infantry. Much like Ernie Pyle humanized the 'G. I.' in his written pieces, Wellman does the same on film. The heat, dirt, cold, mud, rain...fear, uncertainty, waste - it's all here without the bombast and manipulation of "Saving Private Ryan'. The performances are wonderful - most of the performances were given not by professionals but by the soldiers themselves. There is one scene between Mitchum and Meredith that was apparently an audition film
it was so right, it was simply inserted into the film. There are human
touches throughout, as well as the insanity of war. I would strongly recommend this film to anyone who has an appreciation for the director, actors, theme. It's not a grisly film, and it is slow, but overall well worth watching.
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