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Paratrooper (1953)
"The Red Beret" (original title)

Approved  |   |  Drama, War  |  October 1953 (Japan)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 413 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 1 critic

Alan Ladd is the focus of this story based on the wartime raid on the German radar station at Bruneval. The raid was a combined services operation and the 2nd Battalion of the 1st Parachute... See full summary »



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Frank Nugent) , 2 more credits »
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Title: Paratrooper (1953)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Major Snow
Susan Stephen ...
Penny Gardner
Anthony Bushell ...
General Whiting
Patric Doonan ...
Lana Morris ...
Tim Turner ...
Michael Kelly ...
Anton Diffring ...
The Pole
Thomas Heathcote ...
Carl Duering ...
John Boxer ...
Flight Sgt. Box


Alan Ladd is the focus of this story based on the wartime raid on the German radar station at Bruneval. The raid was a combined services operation and the 2nd Battalion of the 1st Parachute Brigade was led by Major 'John Frost' (Major Snow). An RAF radar expert, Flight Sergeant C.W.H. Cox (Sergeant Box) accompanied the raiders to tell them what to take back to England. Written by Steve Crook <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Alan Ladd at his greatest in this ripcord thriller that rips at your emotions! See more »


Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

October 1953 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Paratrooper  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)


(Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Debut movie as a producer for producer Albert R. Broccoli. See more »


When McKendrick, Penny and Major Snow are waiting for the arrival of the DC3 Dakotas, we see a DC3 landing with the markings of the United States Air Force, which was not formed until 1948. During the time period of the film it was still The US Army Air Corps. See more »


Referenced in Cubby Broccoli: The Man Behind Bond (2000) See more »


Red River Valley
Traditional, lyrics modified as a parachutists' song
Sung on the pub, and whistled and hummed throughout the film as a theme
See more »

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User Reviews

Somehow One of My Favorites
17 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Somehow 'The Red Beret,' by no measure a fine film, remains one of my sentimental favorites, perhaps because in my teens it aired often on late night TV, under its U.S. title 'Paratrooper.' Alan Ladd, even when he wasn't acting, appeared as the sexy strong stoical silent type, and here he again fills that bill. I also love this film because it's one of the many that carved out for Harry Andrews his reputation for playing tough-tender sergeants and sergeant majors; in 'The Red Beret' his last-words line, "Pity the man who hears the pipes and was na born in Scotland," has stuck pleasantly with me into my sixth decade; he also gives a lovely little take when the red berets are issued to him and his men and his character must part with his beloved regimental headgear. Also very sexy here, in his own astute, urbane way - quite different from Ladd's, is Leo Genn (who, in my experience, never gave a poor screen performance, and who was very good as the psychiatrist in 'The Snake Pit' and as Mr. Starbuck in John Huston's adaptation of 'Moby Dick'). Pert, pretty Susan Stephen - in a curls-and-frizz hairdo that was fifteen years ahead of its time! - doesn't act very well here, but I still find her effort affecting as Ladd's character's love interest.

I suppose my affection for 'The Red Beret' is one more proof that "There's no accounting for taste." Which helps to explain, if not to excuse, most of the rubbish studios churn out nowadays for uncritical mass consumption. I wish 'The Red Beret' would release on disc so that once, and many times over, in the wee hours I could snuggle down on the sofa and enjoy it as I did when I was a teenager.

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