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Red Ball Express (1952)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 338 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 3 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story) (as Marcel Klauber) , 1 more credit »
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Title: Red Ball Express (1952)

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Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Alex Nicol ...
Sgt. Red Kallek
Charles Drake ...
Pvt. Ronald Partridge / Narrator
Judith Braun ...
Joyce McClellan
...
Robertson
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
...
Heyman
Howard Petrie ...
Maj. Gen. Lee Gordon
Edit

Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

FROM BEACHHEAD TO BATTLEFRONT! THEY CARRY THE AMMO FOR PATTON'S TANKS! (original print ad - all caps)

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

29 August 1952 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Les conducteurs du diable  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Patton's Secret Weapon
19 April 2004 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

It's a sad commentary that before the Armed Services were integrated post World War II by President Truman, the Red Ball Express was one of the few that black American soldiers could fully participate in and that one was relatively behind the lines.

Jeff Chandler plays the steely eyed commander of this bunch of formerly civilian truck drivers now chosen as a unit to supply Patton's advancing army with needed fuel. Among the cast is a young Sidney Poitier as one of the drivers. They may have been behind the lines, but the picture clearly shows their participation in the war wasn't an easy street.

Chandler's job is to weld this disparate bunch into a unit and he succeeds despite a lot of racial tension. The cast performs admirably in this picture.

One of the great stories of World War II was the rapid advance across France of Patton's army after the breakout from the Normandy beachhead. He could have never done it without the heroic efforts of the men depicted in this movie. It was Ike's and Patton's secret weapon and this picture an admirable tribute to them.


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