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

 -  Drama | War  -  October 1953 (Japan)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 348 users  
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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 »

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Steve 'Canada' McKendrick
...
Major J. Snow
Susan Stephen ...
Penny Gardner
...
R.S.M. Cameron
...
Taffy Evans
Anthony Bushell ...
Major General A.B.C. Whiting
Patric Doonan ...
Flash
...
Sergeant Breton
Lana Morris ...
Pinky
Tim Turner ...
Rupert
Michael Kelly ...
Corporal Dawes
Anton Diffring ...
The Pole
Thomas Heathcote ...
Alf
Carl Duering ...
Rossi
John Boxer ...
Flight Sgt. Box
Edit

Storyline

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 <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The skies go black with thousands of fighting men hurtling into battle! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

October 1953 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Paratrooper  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some of the characters in the film are based on actual people, but their names have been changed in suggestive ways. Major Snow is based on the real John Frost. Major General Whiting represents the real General Browning (and the actor bears quite a resemblance to him). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Red River Valley
(uncredited)
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

 
More than just an Alan Ladd movie.
26 September 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Red Beret (AKA Paratrooper) is directed by Terence Young and stars Alan Ladd & Leo Genn. It is based on the book of the same name written by Hilary Saint George Saunders.

"This story tells of one small part of the war. The story of those men who joined the parachute regiment—Men from many different countries and creeds, who were to find themselves one day in a parachute training establishment." "Only in the telling and in the spirit of these men themselves do history and fiction meet—even if we dare not show in this film what some of these men did in fact and in real life achieve. For nobody would ever believe it."

Somewhere in England. The year 1940 after Dunkirk.

A rather popular film at the Worldwide box office on release, this in spite of some British complaints about American actor Ladd playing the lead in a British war story, The Red Beret is serviceable as an action character piece. The story is in effect a play on real war hero John Frost, who is here played by Genn as Major Snow (Frost was portrayed by Anthony Hopkins in A Bridge Too Far). With this in mind it's obvious that Ladd, who does OK in his role of the reluctant leader, is purely there for American audience enticement. However, the makers do a good enough job of not letting Ladd's part in the film be the sole point of reference and detract from the real heroes from which the core of the film is based. There's some poor technical aspects to put up with, such as major superimposed sequences that stick out like a sore thumb, but these are off set a touch by the well constructed battle scenes.

If in an undemanding war film mood this just about leaves a favourable impression. 6/10


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