I recently viewed this movie after not seeing it in several decades. It had always stuck out in my memory as one of the best of the 1950s war movies.
The writing was excellent, a great story of men in war, the brave, the bold, the fallen, the fallen women, and the pious men. The crux of the plot concerns a religious zealot that disdains alcohol, women and gambling, yet feels no empathy at blowing away the enemy. God and Country I guess. As the story progresses, he feels betrayed by his comrades.
The problem I had, was that during the first half of the movie, the acting seemed stiff and all but Rooney seemed to be over-acting...to the point of parody. Then about half way thru, things pick up and so does the acting. I wonder, since Rooney is "un-credited" as one of the directors, perhaps he stepped in to pull this one out of the fire.
The crap game is legendary, and the final action is quite good. The ballad sung over the opening credits and at the conclusion are an added bonus.
While not quite as good as "Attack"(1956) or "The Steel Helmet"(1951) this is still fun 50s war stuff.
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