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Force of Arms (1951)

 -  Romance | War | Drama  -  13 August 1951 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 300 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 3 critic

During World War II in Italy, an American sergeant and WAC lieutenant take time out for romance.

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Title: Force of Arms (1951)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Sgt. Joe 'Pete' Peterson
...
Lt. Eleanor MacKay
Frank Lovejoy ...
Maj. Blackford
Gene Evans ...
Sgt. Smiley 'Mac' McFee
Dick Wesson ...
Kleiner
...
Sheridan
Katherine Warren ...
Maj. Waldron
Ross Ford ...
Hooker
Ron Hagerthy ...
Minto
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Storyline

Winter, 1943. The German army has halted the American advance in the mountains of Italy; back-and-forth combat decimates Joe Peterson's platoon. On leave in Naples, Joe meets WAC lieutenant Eleanor MacKay; initially cool, she begins to melt during a bombing raid. Their romance develops despite Joe's periodic returns to the front. But whether he'll come back in the end becomes more than doubtful... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The most beautiful love story ever told!

Genres:

Romance | War | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

13 August 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Girl for Joe  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Just after Frank Lovejoy (Maj.) tells William Holden (Sgt.) about his promotion to Lt.; Holden puts on a jacket with his sergeant stiles on it. They drive to a restaurant/bar (Mama Mia's) and his jacket no longer has any sign of stripes. When stripes are removed the impression of the stripes and the stitching can still be seen. His jacket is absolutely pristine. Even if the stripes came off without leaving any marks at all; there would a clean spot where the stripes were. See more »

Quotes

Sgt. Joe Peterson: You mean you were a civilian once?
Lt. Eleanor MacKay: Oh, if you consider schoolteachers civilians.
Sgt. Joe Peterson: You, honest?
Lt. Eleanor MacKay: Mm-hmm.
Sgt. Joe Peterson: Well, and me without an apple!
See more »

Connections

Version of A Farewell to Arms (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

Curtiz the pro
3 September 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Just caught it on Turner. The reviews calling it "routine" show how dull-normal some people are. In fact, the old pro Michael Curtiz (look him up) brings an extraordinary sensibility to the film. Gone are his romantic stylings of Casablanca and Robin Hood, his lush, overdone Warner's agreeable foolishness. Instead, he portrays war as bitter and without glory, full of random death and meaningless violence. The three combat sequences are superb, and Holden, as he would later demonstrate in "Bridge on the River K" is brilliant as a reluctant soldier who has no sense of glory and no wish to be a hero, but is nevertheless the everyman Infantryman, who knows he must do his duty. Curtiz doesn't turn this evocation of battle into boy's fantasy; it's hard, bitter, terrifying and brutally unfair to children and especially young American men who never thought they'd be dying in the slopes of Mt. Casino. The romance is nicely done, even if the ending is trite (but, in the way that cheap melody can be, amazingly satisfying). Olsen and Holden have great chem (as they proved in three other films as well) and all in all, the whole piece is kept in a register of near-realism that's very affecting. A neglected minor gem from the great Curtiz.


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