Down 1,199 this week

Red Ball Express (1952)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.3/10 from 351 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 4 critic

Story of the military truck drivers who kept the Allied armies supplied in Europe during WW2.



(screenplay), (story) (as Marcel Klauber) , 1 more credit »
0Check in

The 25 Most Immersive Worlds in Cinema

Highly immersive cinematic worlds can carry a movie, and we've rounded up the best of the best.

See the full list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 405 titles
created 02 Jan 2011
a list of 48 titles
created 23 Sep 2012
a list of 1196 titles
created 30 Sep 2012
a list of 46 titles
created 22 Mar 2014

Related Items

Search for "Red Ball Express" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Red Ball Express (1952)

Red Ball Express (1952) on IMDb 6.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Red Ball Express.


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Attack (1956)
Drama | War | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1945, an American Infantry company sets up an artillery observation post but tensions between captain Cooney and lieutenant Costa run high.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Jack Palance, Lee Marvin, Eddie Albert
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An American destroyer captain is determined to confront a Soviet submarine caught violating territorial waters. Perhaps too determined.

Director: James B. Harris
Stars: Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier, James MacArthur
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An American colonel who has never been in combat is assigned to create a special forces unit from Canadian Army troops and a ragtag group of U.S. Army misfits.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: William Holden, Cliff Robertson, Vince Edwards
Action | Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An American POW leads a group of mainly British prisoners to escape from the Germans in WWII.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Trevor Howard, Raffaella Carrà
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

During the 1900 Boxer Rebellion against foreigners in China, U.S. Army Major Matt Lewis, aided by British Consul Sir Arthur Robertson, devises a strategy to keep the rebels at bay until an international military relief force arrives.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Guy Green
Stars: Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, David Niven
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The story of a U.S. naval ship and its crew in the Pacific, 1943-1945.

Director: Joseph Pevney
Stars: Jeff Chandler, George Nader, Lex Barker
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Norwegian resistance tries to stop German troops to produce an atomic bomb component during WW2. Based on a true story.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Richard Harris, Ulla Jacobsson
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The destiny of three soldiers during World War II. The German officer Christian Diestl approves less and less of the war. Jewish-American Noah Ackerman deals with antisemitism at home and ... See full summary »

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Dean Martin
Horizons West (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Two brothers end up on opposite sides of the law in post-Civil War Texas.

Director: Budd Boetticher
Stars: Robert Ryan, Julie Adams, Rock Hudson
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Bardone, a petty con man, is arrested by the Gestapo and coerced into impersonating a partisan leader in order to expose another resistance organizer.

Director: Roberto Rossellini
Stars: Vittorio De Sica, Hannes Messemer, Sandra Milo
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The World War II story of the British Navy's effort to defeat Nazi Germany's most powerful warship.

Director: Lewis Gilbert
Stars: Kenneth More, Dana Wynter, Carl Möhner
Beyond Glory (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Thinking he may have caused the death of his commanding officer Captain Daniels in Tunisia, Rocky visits Daniels' widow. She falls for him, he falls for her, she encourages him to go to ... See full summary »

Director: John Farrow
Stars: Alan Ladd, Donna Reed, George Macready


Complete credited cast:
Sgt. Red Kallek
Charles Drake ...
Pvt. Ronald Partridge / Narrator
Judith Braun ...
Joyce McClellan
Jacqueline Duval ...
Antoinette Dubois
Bubber Johnson ...
Pvt. Taffy Smith
Davis Roberts ...
Pvt. Dave McCord (as Robert Davis)
Pvt. Wilson
Frank Chase ...
Pvt. Higgins
Cindy Garner ...
Kitty Walsh
Gregg Palmer ...
Tank Lieutenant (as Palmer Lee)
John Hudson ...
Tank Sergeant
Howard Petrie ...
Maj. Gen. Lee Gordon


August 1944: proceeding with the invasion of France, Patton's Third Army has advanced so far toward Paris that it cannot be supplied. To keep up the momentum, Allied HQ establishes an elite military truck route. One (racially integrated) platoon of this Red Ball Express encounters private enmities, bypassed enemy pockets, minefields, and increasingly perilous missions, leavened by a touch of comedy. Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Drama | War


See all certifications »





Release Date:

29 August 1952 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Les conducteurs du diable  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


James Edwards was originally cast in the role of Robertson but was fired during production when he refused to testify before HUAC. He was replaced by Sidney Poitier. See more »

Crazy Credits

No credits besides the title, seven minutes in the film. See more »


Featured in Budd Boetticher: A Man Can Do That (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

workmanlike war
24 November 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is obviously a war film that will never be dated. Even after 60 years, it is fresh and relevant, because it tells about life the way it was in World War II, as experienced by people of the era, in a way that is credible.

We get a good mix of the "workmanship" of war, combined with "down time" and "deadly time". Chandler plays the officer who realizes how dangerous it is to be "lax", as one might be when 98% of your duty is simply workmanship, like driving, loading, and unloading supply trucks. It is the "unforeseeen" incident that gets you. It is being unready. It is the fluke or freak occurrence that will be deadly.

We have a star studded cast here, fairly common for old war films, but impossible for the twenty-first century, simply because of the dilution of movie making. Not that "dilution" is bad, but it's simply the fact that if everyone and his cousin is making a movie, then there are millions of actors, and thus no way for more than a few dozen to ever gain the sort of fame that hundreds of actors used to have.

The integration was splendid in this film, and believable. The white and black troopers behaved and spoke in a way that made you think they were from the mid twentieth century.

This is hard to do today. It is done today, but it is hard to sell that concept today. However, one must remember one thing in making World War II movies. If one makes it for the lingo of the era, as this film does, then it always remains true and credible. If one makes it for the lingo of 1990 or 2000, it will get a huge following for that generation, but in 80 years, it will be scoffed at by later generations, while films like "Red Ball Express" continue to stick around.

The acting is great, and the characters are great. Each character brings his own story to the screen, so we have many subplots. There are 3 major ones, each involving the major stars.

The subplots are handled well, and while the one with Chandler and Nicol is over the top, it is dramatic and theatrical, and well handled.

Chandler was the big star at the time. O'Brien is a minor mainstay, somehow always remaining a recognizable individual that is rare for leading man types. Poitier is a legend, with "Lillies", "Heat", "Dinner", and "Bedford" insuring his status. Drake will always remain a mainstay as a player of lovable rogues. This may be his best role, as he pretty much steals the show. Alex Nicol is the wild card. Films like this, "Then There Were Three", and "The Man From Laramie" will go back and forth to and from classic status, and he will be a huge name in classic film a hundred years from now. He probably never realized this while he was making "B" budget movies.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Spike Lee! - Remake this movie... bella_furie
Discuss Red Ball Express (1952) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: