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A Walk in the Sun (1945)

 -  Drama | War  -  25 December 1945 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,488 users  
Reviews: 67 user | 17 critic

During WWII, a platoon of American soldiers trudge through the Italian countryside in search of a bridge they have been ordered to blow up, encountering danger and destruction along the way.

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Title: A Walk in the Sun (1945)

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
George Tyne ...
...
...
...
...
Herbert Rudley ...
Richard Benedict ...
Huntz Hall ...
Pvt. Carraway
James Cardwell ...
George Offerman Jr. ...
Steve Brodie ...
Matt Willis ...
Chris Drake ...
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THEY FOUGHT BEST WHEN IT WAS HOPELESS! (print ad for 1951 reissue "Salerno Beachhead" - all caps)

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

25 December 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Salerno Beachhead  »

Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of John Ireland. See more »

Goofs

When the platoon is being strafed, the airplane that attacks them is a P-51D Mustang, although it is intended by the producers to represent a German or Italian plane. Machine-gun bursts can be seen in only two guns - one in each wing. Me-109s, FW-190s, and C-205s had guns mounted in the nose of the aircraft, rather than just in the wings. See more »

Quotes

Windy: Hey, Tinker? How do you spell "Mare Nostrum?"
Tinker: What's that?
Windy: The Mediterranean. It's what the Eye-ties call it. It means "our sea."
Tinker: Why?
Windy: I'm writing to my sister.
Tinker: Whattya mean, you're writing to your sister? You're packed on a landing barge, bouncing on your Mare Nostrum, and waiting to hit the beach like the rest of us slobs.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits: It's the walk that leads down through a Philippine town, And it hits Highway seven,north of Rome; It's the same road they had coming out of Stalingrad, It's the old Lincoln Highway back home It's when ever men fight to be free. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Young Lions (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Battle Hymn of the Republic
(uncredited)
[incorporated instrumentally to background music during assault on farmhouse]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
My Favorite Film of WWII
4 June 2005 | by (Huntington, WV) – See all my reviews

I usually hate to name a favorite film in a genre because I always have several I rate equally well, but, if asked to name one that tops the rest I have to say, in the WWII genre, this film is it. It is an intelligent and honest film about men in war; no heroics, no jingoism, no evil enemy, just regular Joes who are caught up in something big and deadly and would rather be home, but are doing their job. There are no clichés, no obligatory guy from Brooklyn, no high sounding phrases, no patriotic slogans, just an honest and realistic depiction of strictly ordinary guys caught in war. Lewis Milestone, the director, obviously understood the combat soldier.

I love the dialog, the banter among the men of "a fighting platoon", especially that between Pvts Rivera, played by Richard Conte, and Friedman, played by George Tyne. Coincidentally, Dana Andrews, one of my favorite actors, character is Sgt. Tyne. I wonder what was made of that by actor George Tyne. The cast also includes a young Lloyd Bridges and Huntz Hall, in the only roll I can recall seeing him in outside the East Side Kids/ Bowery Boys films.

The novel by Harry Brown, from which the film was made, was republished a few years ago and the dialog in the film is lifted straight out of it, which is part of what makes the film so great. In fact, this is one of those rare cases where the movie follows the book faithfully, almost to the letter.

I was nine years old when this film was released and I well remember the night I first saw it. My parents, who have just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary, thought it was a romance film. I didn't want to go but when we arrived at the old Westmore Theater, now long gone, which was in walking distance of our home, and I saw the lobby photos and saw it was a war film, I was the one delighted. There was always at least one scene from these films that stayed in my mind over the years and in this one it was the hand of the German soldier with the ring on it hanging out of the wrecked armored vehicle, and the assault on the farmhouse.

"It was just a little walk in the warm Italian sun, but it wasn't an easy thing."

An excellent film made from an excellent novel with an excellent cast, all making an excellent viewing experience.


37 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Farmhouse Tactical Error Skrappy
American war films are the best bettygrablelove
Should I watch this? Jege_87
Should have earned some Oscar consideration! oldsenior
Lewis Milestone--a MAGNIFICENT director of war films! hptaylor
One of the best in the genre tflanster
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