6.6/10
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19 user 15 critic

Between Heaven and Hell (1956)

Approved | | Drama, War | 29 December 1956 (Japan)
The spoiled rich son of a wealthy Southerner is changed by his experiences in the Pacific during World War II.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
Reviews

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Pvt. Willie Crawford
...
Col. Cousins
...
Lt. Joe 'Little Joe' Johnson
...
Pvt. Terry - Co. G
...
Morgan
...
Pvt. Bernard 'Bernie' Meleski - Co. G
...
...
Pvt. Kenny - Co. G
...
Lt. Ray Mosby
...
Tom Thumb - Co. G
...
Pvt. Raker - Co. G
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

THE FIERCE FIGHTING FLAMING FURY OF THE SOUTH'S FINEST...THE DIXIE DAREDEVILS WHO BECAME THE HELL-FIGHTERS OF THE PACIFIC! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

29 December 1956 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The Day the Century Ended  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,520,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In February 1956 writer James Poe was working on this film's screenplay. He does not receive a writer's credit, and therefore it's not known exactly how much of his work actually wound up being used. See more »

Goofs

In the cast listing, Robert Wagner is listed as Sfc/Pvt. Sam Francis Gifford. He should be listed as T/Sgt/Pvt. Sam Francis Gifford. The rank Sfc (Sergeant First Class) did not exist during WWII. At that time it was T/Sgt (Technical Sergeant). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Broadway by Light (1958) See more »

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User Reviews

 
BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL (Richard Fleischer, 1956) **1/2
8 April 2006 | by See all my reviews

I rented this on DVD in honor of director Fleischer's passing a week ago. While it's not among the best of its kind, this underrated war flick is quite well done in most respects - notably the cinematography, in color and Cinemascope, by Leo Tover. Still, with a title like that - as well as its flashback structure and the inspired use of "Dies Irae" on the soundtrack (given a military arrangement!) - one feels that the film had pretensions above its station, which neither hesitant scripting nor the generous budget of a major studio (Fox) could hope to accommodate!

That said, the film features a plethora of gripping action sequences and a solid cast, led by Robert Wagner in a better-than-expected performance as the callous-landowner-turned-jittery-soldier and featuring, among others, Mark Damon (whom I saw in person at the 2004 Venice Film Festival, where he was invited to introduce Vittorio Cottafavi's delightful picaresque epic I CENTO CAVALIERI aka SON OF EL CID [1965]!). Indeed, one might say that BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL only falters whenever the narrative feels the need to return to Wagner's civilian life...which almost turns the film into one of those novelettish upper-crust domestic sagas that were popular Hollywood fixtures around this same time!


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