Plot centers around how a young recruit (Audie Murphy) faces the horrors of war. Character vascilates between wanting to fight and doubting his own courage. In midst of first bloody encounter, Youth runs away. After seeing dead and wounded, sense of shame leads him back to his unit, where he distinguishes himself in the next battle. Having overcome his fear of "the great Death" he knows e can face whatever comes. Somewhat sentimental "coming of age" tale was pet project of John Huston, who fought MGM over casting of Murphy and Bill Mauldin in lead roles. Written by
Director John Huston lost control of this picture when, over his objections, his bosses at MGM recut it, editing out over 20 minutes. Whole scenes, including one featuring Royal Dano, were discarded. Huston did not waste any time fighting over it, as he was focused on the pre-production of his next picture, The African Queen. Lillian Ross wrote about the trials of producing "The Red Badge of Courage" in her book "Picture". See more »
None of the soldiers is wearing the proper cartridge box which would have been slung over the shoulder and which had a round "Eagle" breastplate. See more »
This is really a very fine film and after seeing it on has to wonder why Audie Murphy never had more substantial roles in his career, as he was quite good in this film. As was mentioned in a previous post he was playing himself in the movie To Hell and Back and was essentially a B-Western actor the remainder of his career. This films shows that he was much more talented than one would ever know from watching the bulk of his films.
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