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Between Heaven and Hell (1956)

 -  Drama | War  -  5 December 1956 (Japan)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 687 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 10 critic

The spoiled rich son of a wealthy Southerner is changed by his experiences in the Pacific during World War II.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: Between Heaven and Hell (1956)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Sfc. Pvt. Sam Francis Gifford
Jenny Gifford
Capt. 'Waco' Grimes, CO Co.G
Pvt. Willie Crawford
Robert Keith ...
Col. Cousins
Lt. Joe 'Little Joe' Johnson
Mark Damon ...
Pvt. Terry Co. G
Pvt. Bernard "Bernie" Meleski (Co. G)
Skip Homeier ...
Pvt. Swanson Co.G
Pvt. Kenny Co.G
Tod Andrews ...
Lt. Ray Mosby
Tom Thumb Co.G
Bart Burns ...
Pvt. Raker Co.G


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 Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


From the best-selling novel of young love in war! See more »


Drama | War


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 December 1956 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The Day the Century Ended  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When studio Twentieth Century-Fox bought the rights to the Francis Gwaltney novel 'The Day the Century Ended', they contracted Twilight Zone (1959) television-playwright and Philippines war veteran Rod Serling to write the film script. In World War II, Serling was a member of the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 11th Airborne Division. However, Serling's draft script was too long and was rejected. Other writers were then assigned script duties. Serling does not receive a writer's billing in this film's credits and as such it is not known the extent to which his work ended up in the final shooting script. In an interview, Serling once told of his involvement on this movie: "My first screen job was at Fox on a war flick called 'Between Heaven and Hell'. I turned in a script that would have run for nine hours on the screen. As I recall, it was over five hundred pages. I didn't know what the hell I was doing. They just said ''ere'' fifteen hundred bucks a week --write!" So I wrote. They eventually took the thing away from me and handed it over to six other writers, but I lay claim to the fact that my version had some wonderful moments in it. In nine hours of script, by God, there has to be a couple of wonderful moments!" See more »


The soldiers in this movie are wearing jump type boots. They should be wearing either combat boots or leggings. Jump type boots were not issued until well after WW II. See more »

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User Reviews

Another Out Of Nowhere
4 July 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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