In 1944 a patrol of American soldiers, after having been driven off their observation post by German troops, tries to make it back through enemy-occupied territory to the safety of their own lines with a partisan girls, and with the Germans in hot pursuit.
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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Other than rank insignia, none of the soldiers' uniforms bear any markings, whatsoever. It was standard practice to mark soldiers' helmets with chalk numbers so that they would know which landing craft they were assigned to board for the invasion. It was also standard practice to wear insignia to denote the soldiers' units for identification purposes, although sometimes the shoulder sleeve insignia were removed to impede enemy intelligence gathering. Also, the soldiers' helmets are shown buckled at all times. It was common for soldiers to leave their helmets unbuckled, as there was a belief that, in the event of a nearby explosion, the helmet would break the soldier's neck when it reacted to the concussion. See more »
[after a desperate battle with many casualties Windy's platoon captures their objective]
Dear Frances, we just blew a bridge and took a farmhouse. It was so easy... so terribly easy.
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The beginning shows an unseen male narrator grabbing a book from a shelf and the cast and crew are set out in the pages of a book. See more »
This is one of the great war films ever made. Yet there are few combat scenes, and no mock heroics. What makes this movie successful is its depiction of war from the viewpoint of the men in the platoon. The film takes place primarily during the course of a walk from the beach at Salerno, Italy where the platoon has landed to a farmhouse they are to capture 6 miles away.
Although Dana Andrews is listed as the nominal star of the film, the scenes are divided up equally among several men each with their own take on the mission and ultimately the war.
Other than Andrews(approaching the peak of his career as Sgt Tyne)the rest of the cast were young up and comers, many who went on to great acting careers. They included Richard Conte, Lloyd Bridges(his first important role), John Ireland, George Tyne, Huntz Hall(on hiatus from the East Side Kids films and very effective) and Norman Lloyd(bitterly brilliant as Archambeau). There is an understated narration by Burgess Meredith and a folk ballad score sung by Earl Robinson. They all perfectly fit in to the picture
The key player in all of this is director Lewis Milestone. A veteran of films since the twenties, his credits included "All Quiet On The Western Front", "The Front Page", and "Of Mice and Men". In "A Walk In The Sun" a Milestone independent production he incorporated the successful elements of the other three and the result is one of the greatest of it's genre. It is a movie not to be missed.
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