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The Naked and the Dead (1958)

 |  Drama, War  |  28 October 1958 (Japan)
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In the Pacific during World War 2, the officers live a comfortable life with good food, good drink and good quarters. To them, war is a game which they know they will win and the common ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sgt. Sam Croft
Lt. Robert Hearn
Gen. Cummings
Willa Mae aka Lily
Mildred Croft
Robert Gist ...
Woodrow 'Woody' Wilson
Col. Dalleson (as Casey Adams)
John Beradino ...
Capt. Mantelli (as John Berardino)
Edward McNally ...


In the Pacific during World War 2, the officers live a comfortable life with good food, good drink and good quarters. To them, war is a game which they know they will win and the common soldiers are the pawns on the board. When the campaign slows down, the Commander sends a squad to the top of a mountain behind enemy lines to report on the Japanese troop movements. The squad is commanded by a tough cynical Sergeant who takes no prisoners and even takes the gold from the teeth of the enemy dead. Before the mission starts, the lieutenant, who has had a cushy job due to a life of wealth and privilege, criticizes the Commander over his attitude towards the common soldier and is re-assigned to lead the squad. The veteran Sergeant wants to complete this mission as ordered, and he will do everything he can do to see that it is successful. Written by Tony Fontana <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The bigness and the boldness of the Naked and the Dead.


Drama | War


See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 October 1958 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

A Morte Tem Seu Preço  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film was not actually shot in wide screen. It was converted to Cinemascope in the final print after having been shot in a standard Academy ratio, much like some films which are "matted" after having been filmed in a normal size. See more »


In the film, General Cummings is shown to be a Brigadier (one star) General. In the Norman Mailer novel on which the film is based, General Cummings is a Major General (two stars), the normal rank an Army division commander holds. See more »


Referenced in The New York Ripper (1982) See more »


Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart
Music by James F. Hanley
Played at the club at the beginning
See more »

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User Reviews

a little messy
8 August 2015 | by See all my reviews

It's 1943. A group of men set off for a Pacific island in a campaign headed by General Cummings (Raymond Massey). He's dictatorial and wants his men to fear him more than the enemy. His aide Lt Hearn (Cliff Robertson) is an idealist living under the shadow of his legendary father. Cummings sends Sgt Croft (Aldo Ray) and his men into the jungle on a seemingly pointless mission to test a mountain pass that should be easily defended by the Japanese. Croft is a hard-nosed leader who kills prisoners and has his men dig gold from the dead's teeth. After a dispute with Cummings, Hearn is also sent on the mission. Cummings goes off to headquarters to argue for more troops to stage a big attack. However the small pointless mission may actually hold the key to the island.

This is based on Norman Mailer's novel which he infuses with some of his war experiences. First off, I don't like the start in Honolulu and the flashbacks. They take the audience out of the war experience. It feels melodramatic and old school like a bad 50s war movie. At its best, the movie has a feel of Malick's film 'The Thin Red Line'. The wide field of grass and shots that come out of nowhere give the movie a feeling of foreboding. The cast of characters get scattered in the mission. There is a message being delivered but it's a bit muddled. The movie needs to narrow the focus.

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