IMDb > Between Heaven and Hell (1956)
Between Heaven and Hell
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Between Heaven and Hell (1956) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Harry Brown (screenplay)
Francis Gwaltney (novel)
View company contact information for Between Heaven and Hell on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 December 1956 (Japan) See more »
The spoiled rich son of a wealthy Southerner is changed by his experiences in the Pacific during World War II. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Oscar. See more »
(11 articles)
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User Reviews:
Interesting for Its Time See more (18 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Robert Wagner ... Pvt. Sam Francis Gifford

Terry Moore ... Jenny Gifford

Broderick Crawford ... Capt. 'Waco' Grimes - 'G' Co. CO

Buddy Ebsen ... Pvt. Willie Crawford

Robert Keith ... Col. Cousins

Brad Dexter ... Lt. Joe 'Little Joe' Johnson

Mark Damon ... Pvt. Terry - Co. G

Ken Clark ... Morgan

Harvey Lembeck ... Pvt. Bernard 'Bernie' Meleski - Co. G

Skip Homeier ... Pvt. Swanson - Co. G

L.Q. Jones ... Pvt. Kenny - Co. G
Tod Andrews ... Lt. Ray Mosby

Biff Elliot ... Tom Thumb - Co. G
Bart Burns ... Pvt. Raker - Co. G
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ilene Brown ... The Rakers' Younger Daughter (uncredited)

Scatman Crothers ... George (uncredited)

Sam Edwards ... Soames (uncredited)
Darlene Fields ... Mrs. Raker (uncredited)
Frank Gerstle ... Col. Miles (uncredited)

Frank Gorshin ... Pvt. Millard - Co. G (uncredited)
Gregg Martell ... Sellers (uncredited)
Ray Montgomery ... Medic (uncredited)
Boyd 'Red' Morgan ... Jeep Driver (uncredited)
Rollin Moriyama ... Japanese Sergeant (uncredited)

Scotty Morrow ... Roy Raker (uncredited)
Pixie Parkhurst ... The Rakers' Elder Daughter (uncredited)
Tom Pittman ... Replacement (uncredited)
Bill Stevens ... Corporal (uncredited)

Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer ... Savage (uncredited)
Langdon A. Viracola ... Soldier (uncredited)
Dick Walsh ... Stockade Guard (uncredited)

Directed by
Richard Fleischer 
Writing credits
Harry Brown (screenplay)

Francis Gwaltney (novel)

Produced by
David Weisbart .... producer
Original Music by
Hugo Friedhofer 
Cinematography by
Leo Tover (director of photography)
Film Editing by
James B. Clark 
Art Direction by
Addison Hehr 
Lyle R. Wheeler 
Set Decoration by
Walter M. Scott 
Charles Vassar 
Costume Design by
Mary Wills 
Makeup Department
Ben Nye .... makeup artist
Helen Turpin .... hair stylist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Stanley Hough .... assistant director
Sound Department
Eugene Grossman .... sound
Harry M. Leonard .... sound
Visual Effects by
Ray Kellogg .... special photographic effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Don Anderson .... camera operator (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Charles Le Maire .... executive wardrobe designer (as Charles LeMaire)
Sam Benson .... wardrobe supervisor (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Leonard Doss .... color consultant
Orven Schanzer .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Lionel Newman .... conductor
Edward B. Powell .... orchestrator
Morris Boltuch .... musician: trumpet (uncredited)
Frank Comstock .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Skip Martin .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Paul Shure .... musician: violin (uncredited)
Felix Slatkin .... musician: violin (uncredited)
Urban Thielmann .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Other crew
Gust E. Olson .... technical advisor (as Lt. Col. Gust E. Olson U.S.A)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
94 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-16 | South Korea:12 | Sweden:15 | UK:PG | UK:A (original rating) | USA:TV-PG | USA:Approved (certificate #18043) | West Germany:12 (f)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The novel by Francis Gwaltney on which this film is based, '"he Day the Century Ended", was also the film's working title.See more »
Revealing mistakes: After Gifford and his men procure a couple cases of beer, and upon drinking a can each, beer spays over the soldier's faces and uniforms. In the next shot, their faces and uniforms are dry.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Broadway by Light (1958)See more »


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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Interesting for Its Time, 11 January 2009
Author: dougdoepke from Claremont, USA

I expect this 1956 war movie was passed over by critics because its star, Robert Wagner, was considered just another light-weight pretty boy of the day. Nonetheless, the movie is better than just another celebrity vehicle, while Wagner is a much better actor than his good-looks suggest, and, I think, time has proved.

Two features distinguish this film from others of the day. First is the subplot of tenant farmers and the class barrier separating them from the land owners they work for. A number of pre-Vietnam movies dealt with racial differences in the military; this is the only one I know of dealing with white Southern sharecroppers and their difficulties. Wagner's unit is a National Guard battalion which means that the unit is made up of men from the same locale with the same class distinctions of civilian life carried over into the ranks of the unit itself. Thus, Robert Keith a patriarchal rich man in civilian life is in similar command of the battalion as the colonel, while Tod Andrew's land owner heads up a platoon as a lieutenant. In short, land owners make up the ranks of commissioned officers, while share-croppers make up the enlisted ranks.

Now, the screenplay departs from this logic in Wagner's case. Though a land owner, he's not an officer; instead he's a sergeant in the enlisted ranks. The reason I think is pretty clear. Officers do not fraternize with enlisted men. But for the plot to deliver its main message, it must break down the social barrier between tenant farmer Buddy Ebsen and land owner Wagner, and that requires that they fraternize. Hence, the screenplay makes Wagner an enlisted man. But this curious departure is for a good cause. Only by getting to know a man (Ebsen) personally can the haughty Wagner overcome the cruelty he has shown his share- croppers in civilian life. The lesson here is similar to that of racially inspired films—it's personal contact that ultimately humanizes and breaks down social barriers. Thus, once the social distance is overcome, the two can become friends and equals and be carried off to the same hospital ship, side-by-side. A humane message, well delivered.

The second feature is perceptively pointed out by Kayaker36. There's an unmistakable homosexual subtext to Broderick Crawford's command center scenes. Today, that wouldn't merit much mention, but remember this is 1956 when about the only thing worse than being a gay was being a communist. And to even hint that gays might be in the military—and in a position of command—is really quite remarkable. The screenplay is adapted from a novel, and I suspect the idea comes from the novel and was rather boldly adapted into the screenplay. But, whatever the source or reason, this is the only war film of the post-war era I know of to even hint at that forbidden topic.

Anyway, the movie is well produced by TCF, with just enough battle scenes to satisfy war- movie fans. The screenplay is also unusual in its depiction of death by friendly fire, a much more common occurrence among soldiers than movies led us to believe. On the other hand, note how, in passing, the script works in a love interest for Wagner so that Terry Moore's name could go up on the marquee and broaden audience appeal. Note too, how Crawford gets a rather lengthy and unnecessarily histrionic scene to justify, I suppose, his starring credit. Remember, he was only a few years past his Best Actor Oscar, at a time when his name still carried audience weight. Actually, combining this film with Tony Curtis's 1954 war movie Beachhead would make a revealing double-feature, showing again how slick and entertaining films from Hollywood's studio period could be. This may not rank with the best or most suspenseful war films of the period. But it does remain an interesting oddity.

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