During the Korean War, the lieutenant in charge of a Marine rifle platoon is killed in battle. Before he dies, he places the platoon's sergeant, who's black, in charge. The sergeant figures... See full summary »
During the Korean War, the lieutenant in charge of a Marine rifle platoon is killed in battle. Before he dies, he places the platoon's sergeant, who's black, in charge. The sergeant figures on having trouble with two men in his platoon: a private who has much more combat experience than he does, and a racist Southerner who doesn't like blacks in the first place and has no intention of taking orders from one. Written by
1960 was an in-between year. Between Eisenhower and Kennedy. Between the Beats and the Hippies. Between Elvis and Fabian. Between Korea and Vietnam. And in that in-between year, there was a grab bag of rehashed styles in fashion and music. The 1920's were "in" for a while and remakes of "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" and "When the Saints Go Marching In" became contemporary hits in 1960. "All the Young Men" is a grab-bag of a movie, apparently written by a committee composed of agents and accountants, which tossed in music, themes, topics, scenes, and personalities designed to appeal to the movie audience of 1960. To try to understand the film from any other historical or logical or artistic or symbolic perspective would be an exercise in futility. In 1960 we had has-beens Alan Ladd ("Shane") and Richard Davalos ("East of Eden") marching along the Korean countryside with breaking-the-color- barrier Sidney Portier, topical night club comic Mort Sahl, new face Glenn Corbett, and teen heart throb James Darren all to the tune of "The Saints" which, as mentioned, was an old song during the Korean War but a re-vamped hit in 1960. So, although the portrayed drama was of the Korean war of the early 1950's, "All the Young Men" is really a kind of filmed time capsule of 1960 America. As such, it is a combination piece of nostalgia, a reminder that 1960 really was a pretty "dumb" time in America, and a kind of scary reminder that in 1960 America was living in blissful ignorance of the horror and chaos that was to befall in a few years in the form of a presidential assassination, counter-culture struggles, and an eleven year quagmire in Vietnam.
9 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?