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True-life account of the military career of Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier in WWII. Native of Texas, he was placed in charge of his many younger siblings on the death of his mother and decided to join the military at the age of 18 to provide for them. His many acts of bravery and heroism during the US military advance through Italy, France and into Germany earn him increasing rank and responsibility as well as the respect of his comrades in arms. Eventually he receives two dozen of the highest medals the US and France can bestow, culminating in the awarding of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Written by
Doug Sederberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Audie Murphy is known as the most decorated US soldier of World War II. According to this film, when he applied for service with the Navy, the Marines and the Paratroopers, young Murphy was turned-down by all three military arms. Moreover, when he joined his combat unit, one of his superiors considered transferring him out of the company for being unfit for combat. See more »
In the final combat scene Audie Murphy is shown on an abandoned and burning M4 Sherman tank, firing its .50-caliber machine gun at the German attackers. In fact, Murphy performed this heroic action on an M10 tank destroyer, not an M4 tank. See more »
[after a jumpy Murphy shoots at his own image in a mirror]
Man, that's the first time I ever seen a Texan beat himself to the draw.
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It's a shame that more people haven't seen this movie in recent years. As much as Saving Private Ryan introduced a new generation to horrors and heroism of World War II, "To Hell and Back" introduces you to one of the men who lived through it. It doesn't attempt to glorify the War, it simply relates what happened to America's most decorated soldier based on his own story and actually staring him. While it's amazing that the baby faced Murphy still looks young enough in 1955 for the story to work 15 years after the fact, the truly amazing thing is that from most accounts, Murphy understates his own role in many of the events described in the movie. The final war scene for instance shows him holding off an entire German regiment using artilery and the machine gun of a burning tank. The fact is that he held that ground alone for well over an hour before the germans finally gave up. All the while the tank was burning and could have exploded at any time. Like many great soldiers, however, he had trouble adjusting to life after the war even with a semi-successful acting career aided by James Cagney after the war. Still, it's men like this, who risked and often gave their lives on the fields of Europe and Africa and in the waters and islands of the pacific, that we have to thank for the Freedoms we enjoy in the United States today. Too often we forget this.
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