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 »
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 <email@example.com>
Gritty tribute to G.I.s...excellent performances...
One of the most fascinating tributes to the foot soldier is this 1945 war film that follows Ernie Pyle, beloved war correspondent, as he treks along through mud and ambushes with a platoon of weary G.I. Joes.
Robert Mitchum earned an Oscar nomination as Lt. Bill Walker and many of the other males in the cast were real combat soldiers who actually participated in the making of the film. The plot is no more than a series of skirmishes the platoon faces on a mission against Nazis in Italy. Burgess Meredith makes Ernie Pyle a likeable human being who wins the trust and affection of the platoon as he trudges with them across marshlands and all of the "up front" activity involved.
Human touches abound without the emphasis on cliches that often abound in war films. Mitchum gives just the right touch to his role as the leader who understands the strain his soldiers are under. The inclusion of a sub-plot involving a soldier anxious to hear the sound of his son's voice on a recording; and a pooch that becomes the mascot for the troops, are touches that give the film added humanity.
There is some editing that seems a bit jumpy in the latter part of the film, as though some cuts were made--but all in all this is a very watchable war film with a close-up look at the men and their courage under fire. A fine tribute also to Ernie Pyle, a famous Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent during the dark days of World War II. Highly recommended.
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