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An investigator is asking Mrs. Gubbins about a William Foster, who was a friend of her stepson Jimmy. Both are listed as killed in action during the Great War. It is Armistice Day, 1918, ... See full summary »
H. Bruce Humberstone
Joe Smith is an average American citizen, working in an aircraft factory. He has access to the plans for a new bomb-sight and is kidnapped by enemy agents who unsuccessfully torture him to ... See full summary »
Doctor John Abbott is a single parent who settles in the town of Westport, with his son Dick, trying to eke out a living for them. He also inherits, by way of his doorstep, an unwanted baby... See full summary »
Stanley Kramer's WW-II character study has Lee Marvin as the Sergeant of a small squad laid over during fighting in Italy. During the otherwise boring time between battles, tensions arise as they are ordered not to rescue a squad mate pinned down by the enemy, for fear of risking more lives. Based on the stage play "A Sound of Hunting", by Harry Brown. Written by
This is a tense little war drama from Columbia. The production values aren't much, but they really don't have to be. Released in 1952 and directed by Edward Dmytryck, it deals more with the personal than the patriotic. It is a WW2 drama that tried to find an audience during the Korean War. That couldn't have been easy.
It deals with the inter-personal relations between eight war weary GI's stuck up on the line in war torn European town. The lead is an ex-pat New Yorker named Bonar Colleano. He isn't well known in the states, but he was a big star in England during the war. Always playing the wise cracking Yank. His co-lead is Lee Marvin. He plays the squad leader and the glue that keeps these dogfaces together. The cast is rounded out by Arthur Franz, Dick(ie) Moore, and Richar Kiley. None of them big names in 1952, but all of them up to the job.
We find this beat up group jammed in a cellar while one of them is pinned down in a foxhole by a German machine gun. The squad is told they will be pulled off the line and they have to decide if or how they are going to rescue their buddy. Each squad member faces his own moment of truth. Some show bravery, some cowardice, some indecision, and one is just trigger happy and about ready to go over the edge.
I like this movie, but it does have a couple of problems. I mentioned the production values. It's a little set bound - almost like a stage play. Most of the action takes place in the cellar, and the exteriors are stock WW2 war torn European street. The dialogue does get a little corny in spots. But the main problem I have with this movie is the basic premise. I can understand an isolated group of guys, faced with the prospect of being pulled out of combat having mixed emotions about putting themselves back in harm's way to rescue a comrade, but that's the dilemma. How could they, in good conscience, leave him behind? Besides, this is an experienced infantry squad loaded with weapons. How could they not figure out a way to successfully assault a single machine gun nest. Despite these criticisms, the movie holds up well. The characters are human - not cartoons.
It's hard to find, but if you're a war movie buff, keep looking.
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