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
Jay Kantor, a mail-room clerk at Lew Wasserman's talent agency Music Corp. of America in 1949, was sent to pick up Broadway actor Marlon Brando and drive him to the agency. Impressed by the young man, Brando promptly appointed Kantor his agent. Kantor got Brando his first film role, that of the paraplegic Army officer in this film, for $50,000 (approximately $400,000 in 2006 money). See more »
After Norm recites a fragment of Shakespeare, Ken's arms change 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 little-known film surprised me with the depth of its emotional involvement with its characters. Conflict, pain, tragedy, suffering, doubt, and triumph are all present in generous and convincing doses, as we witness the travails of wartime paraplegics. Marlon Brando is excellent in a very auspicious beginning to his film career. We are really drawn into Ken and Ellen's tortuously conflicted relationship. Jack Webb is also very good here, which surprised me in light of his storied woodenness as Joe Friday (I guess that was just part of his characterization of the detective). Another round of kudos to American Movie Classics for bringing us this gem.
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