An American tanker is sunk by a German U-boat and the survivors spend eleven days at sea on a raft. They're next assigned to the liberty ship "Sea Witch" bound for Murmansk through the sub-stalked North Atlantic.
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 ... See full summary »
William A. Wellman
Rick Leland makes no secret of the fact he has no loyalty to his home country after he is court-marshaled out of the army and boards a Japanese ship for the Orient in late 1941. But has ... See full summary »
Caroline Mason, on vacation with her father Mr. Bliss in Idaho, has fallen in love with gaucho Paco Del Valle, the two who plan to get married. The problem is is that she's already married,... See full summary »
Billy Austin served on the crew of the USN airship Macon until it crashed at sea during a storm. In the hospital, the captain has given him a watch with the motto of the crew 'It Shall Be ... See full summary »
In the 1943 invasion of Italy, one American platoon lands, digs in, then makes its way inland to blow up a bridge next to a fortified farmhouse, as tension and casualties mount. Unusually realistic picture of war as long quiet stretches of talk, punctuated by sharp, random bursts of violent action whose relevance to the big picture is often unknown to the soldiers. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
The song at the end of the movie reads on the screen differently than it is sung: first line reads "It's the walk", but is sung "It's that walk"; third line reads "And it hits", but is sung "And hits"; sixth line reads "It's the old", but is sung "It's that old". See more »
Real war, real emotion, real people, really good movie
This movie is beyond criticism. Within its celluloid record there clambers cold history. The tanks are real. The planes are real. The people are real. This was a contemporary war movie to the actual war, without the layers of myth laquered by years of failing memory.
Unlike recent high budget over-the-top productions and the copious blood spattering within, this little epic tends to mute the violence into the pathos of the moment of death. That being the death of heroes. And the emphasis appears to hinge on the suddenness, the randomness, and the tragedy of men dying hard. It is a stark memorial to the courage and sacrifice of the World War II soldier.
Amazingly, and very much in contrast to most other war films of the period which demonized the enemy, this film provides a neutral texture to the foe. Here the German soldiers are but shadows on the cave wall. The stray Italian soldiers appear as comic sidekicks in the maelstrom of a nation at peril from two sides. The enemy appears to escape the moral condemnation that other films embraced. This is war and this is what it is by those who fought it.
The film describes the landings of an infantry platoon on the Salerno beaches in Italy. All of a sudden they are left leaderless as two of the senior officers meets a soldier's fate. The beach scene remains a descriptive detail of what a soldiers paradox in modern warfare was. They bring the war but they do not know where it is, where they are, whether the war will visit them, or what lies in front of them. Without the need for special effects the director garnishes the film with the fog of war skillfully.
A startling moment is when the third ranking leader, a noncom sargeant succumbs to panic and shell shock. It is perhaps the kindest treatment of the condition ever presented cinematically during that period. The rest of the platoon appears to be supportive to the fallen insane sargeant. But the war goes on. They move on.
Rallied by a solid sargeant the platoon moves onto its objectives, a bridge and a farmhouse at a cost. The objectives are difficult and the angst of leadership and follower play the scene well. And unlike most war movies where heroism goes beyond definition, these heroes are all very much afraid.
The film has a solid core of young actors of the period. Dana Andrews, a very young Lloyd Bridges appear to anchor the cast. The black and white format suits this tiny epic. The cinematography, stunts are solid and consistently well done. It is a darkish film very much worth seeing.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?