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Paratrooper (1953)

The Red Beret (original title)
Approved | | Drama, War | October 1953 (Japan)
In 1940, an American claiming to be Canadian volunteers for the British Army's paratroop school.



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Frank Nugent) | 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Major Snow
Penny Gardner
General Whiting
Patric Doonan ...
Michael Kelly ...
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 <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

October 1953 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Paratrooper  »

Box Office


$700,000 (estimated)


$1,750,000 (USA) (31 December 1954)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)


(Colour by) (Technicolor) (as Color by in U.S. print)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Alan Ladd's wife, Sue Carol, had a big influence on Alan's career and contract negotiations. For this movie, she demanded it be shot in Technicolor, have a major studio's distribution guarantee and first class travel and accommodation for her, their four children and their nurse during the shoot. Sue was a catalyst in closing the deal after Alan's agent Lew Wasserman initially rejected the producers' offer of US $200,000 plus 10% of the profits. See more »


Right before the raid on the airfield at Bone, some of the paratroops bolt for a taxiing DC-3 and, without official authorization, climb aboard, so as not to miss their chance to take part in the airborne assault. This DC-3 has distinctive side markings, including a very visible "602" on the tail. Yet, when these same paratroops jump from this same plane, the side markings are now completely different, not the least of which is the total absence of the "602" tail number. The serial appears as "TG602". TG602 was an RAF Handley Page Hastings C1, the standard RAF Transport Command aircraft used for para dropping and current at RAF Abingdon, in 1952-1953. RAF Hastings served at that time in a natural aluminum finish. The filming of this particular aircraft occurred prior to 12 January 1953, which is when it was lost in an accident in Egypt. See more »


R.S.M.: I'm sorry for the man who hears the pipes, and who wisnae born in Scotland.
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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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