Sgt. Thorne Ryan, who once fought bravely in Korea, now serves as a hard-nosed drill instructor to new Army recruits at Fort Bliss, Texas. But is he really the man he is often described as?... See full summary »
Sgt. Thorne Ryan, who once fought bravely in Korea, now serves as a hard-nosed drill instructor to new Army recruits at Fort Bliss, Texas. But is he really the man he is often described as? His fellow instructor, and friend helps him to face the ghosts of his past experiences in Korea. One night in a bar across the border in Juarez, Mexico, Sgt. Ryan meets a lady who begins to turn his life around. Will this be enough to help him deal with the past? Or will he continue to be so hard on his troops? This movie was filmed mostly on location at Fort Bliss, Texas in El Paso. Written by
Vincent Merlaud <email@example.com>
Thorne Ryan holds the enlisted rank of Sergeant First Class (E-7), Verne Holt that of Staff Sergeant (E-6), and Ryan's nemesis Opperman is a Master Sergeant (E-8). See more »
In the first scene, of a firefight in Korea, one soldier is seen drinking from a canteen in view of the enemy defenders on a hill. Next, a rifle barrel is seen pointing downhill toward the oncoming American soldiers. And then the drinking soldier is seen again as he's shot. The problem is that the front end of the rifle is clearly an American Garand M-1, not an enemy rifle. See more »
Solid comedy/drama of basic training, expertly written and directed.
It is something of a misnomer to call this of the "War" genre. It is basically a comedy with some dramatic elements thrown in as well. The story (later paraphrased in the expert comedy, THE PRIVATE WAR OF MAJOR BENSON) is of a martinet of a marine sergeant, played by Richard Widmark, who's a cynic and a hardnosed drill man. We see him take a group of raw recruits and after numerous personality clashes, turn them into expertly trained and loyal soldiers. Widmark and Karl Malden work well together and the recruits are well played by Russ Tamblyn (at his most appealing), Robert Arthur, William Hairston, Jerome Courtland and Carleton Carpenter. Their own stories get to emerge and a number of psychological problems are cleared away by the end of the film, including Widmark's. The screenplay by Millard Kaufman was quite deservedly nominated for an Oscar. The expert direction of a young Richard Brooks also deserved a nod - we know we're in good hands here -he shows the promise he would later achieve in CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF and ELMER GANTRY. In addition to these two areas of expertise I would nominate Dimitri Tiomkin's score, both amusing and dramatic as it fits the scenes. This is a surprisingly good film - it is unfortunate that the title leads us to believe it is a combat film, when indeed it is not.
9 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?