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Ex-GI Ken who as a result of a war wound is paralyzed below the waist. In the hospital back home, he passes through an initial period of depression with the help of a sympathetic Dr. Brock and his faithful fiancée Ellen. Ken's bitter isolation is also overcome with the help of his fellow patients, especially the intelligent young cynic Norm, the witty Leo and serious young Angel. Soon Ken throws himself into the work rehabilitation and after a long period of physical therapy even suspects he may regain the use of his limbs. With the approval and help of the doctor, he and Ellen marry, but on their wedding night both have misgivings about the marriage: the full realization of Ellen's new responsibilities frighten her and makes her more uncertain than ever, and Ken reverts to self-pity. There is a violent argument, and he goes back to the hospital. But his blazing anger finds no sympathy from his buddies, and after a surprising conversation with Dr. Brock, Ken realizes that he must ... Written by
Stars 49 of the men from Birmingham Veterans Administration Hospital. See more »
When Ellen touches Ken's face in the car, her hand changes position between shots. See more »
If he loves you as much you love him, he'll make you go.
You've been so clever, so logical, I've never knew that you handled words so well.
That's not an answer, Elly.
You weren't quite so logical a few years ago when we needed some boys to ground and get killed or paralyzed.
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This 1950 film had a triple threat in bringing it to the screen. There was Stanley Kramer producing, Carl Foreman writing and Fred Zinneman directing. Mr. Zinneman also distinguished himself as a director with the likes of FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, THE SEARCH, MAN FOR ALL SEASONS and THE NUN'S STORY. The film is also under the title of BATTLE STRIPE.
It marked the introduction of Marlon Brando to the movie goers fresh from his Broadway success as Stanley Kolowski in STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, which he also brought to film. And what a debut this dynamic actor made in the world of film and acting. It was the time of James Dean, Montgomery Clift and Brando.
Brando plays a war veteran, paralyzed in combat, facing the torturous ordeal of rehabilitation as a paraplegic. He is thorough and totally convincing in the role. Playing his fiance and eventually his wife is the lovely Theresa Wright, in another heartwarming performance that is expected of her. She works well with Brando, which, I'm sure, was no easy task.
In supporting roles, outstanding were Jack Webb and Richard Erdman as fellow veterans. Webb was excellent and far from his DRAGNET persona. I also liked Everett Sloan as the doctor who had to deal with watching "the men" face the reality of the world as it was. Arthur Jurado plays a young veteran that works hard to bring himself back to normalacy, whatever that is. There were 45 Men of Birmingham Veteran's Hospital playing themselves.
An excellent picture of it's time. And Brando's film legend beginning. A time when he was in top form with such films as STREETCAR, VIVA ZAPATA and THE WILD ONE that soon followed.
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