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Three performers for six roles: this is the game of the film. A melodrama about two love triangles. In the first, Hagalin is killed by his mistress and her lover. In the second, attorney ... See full summary »
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Sam Gifford remembers : In prewar years he was an arrogant southern cotton plantation owner, married to the daughter of a colonel. At the beginning of the war he was mobilized with his National Guard unit as a sergeant. Came the day when, revolted by the cowardice of his lieutenant, who had fired at his own men, he hit him. Downgraded, he was sent to a disciplinary battalion. Sam now discovers his new detachment, his new commanding officer, just another cowardly brute, Captain Waco Grimes. While in combat, Sam will gradually become closer to the privates, working-class people he used to despise. He will become another man, a better man. Written by
Another reviewer said it best when he called this film 'unpretentious'. Today, of course, most films are pretentious and overblown. Maybe it's because we now live in a pretentious and overblown country, one where people would never listen to the message of a movie like this.
This is one of those rare occurrences where a movie is so well done it seems to exist outside its era. This film was made in 1956, which is amazing, considering the outstanding photography and the striking characterizations. Nobody talks or acts like '50s characters. Things seem a little more dangerous, more savage, so that it would seem you were watching a film from the '80s instead. Of course, in the '80s they didn't make movies like this, they made pretentious ones. But they should have.
The big war films of the '50s were usually full of stock characters and unlikely situations, crammed with out of place stock footage. An example of that kind of mediocre war movie is 'To Hell And Back'. This movie is everything that 'To Hell And Back' was not. 'Between Heaven And Hell' has more interesting and unique characters, more authentic weaponry, and the photography is of a much higher standard.
The reasons why some rather dull movies become well known, while others, like this, remain obscure, has always been a mystery to me.
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