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Hell to Eternity (1960)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, War | 1 August 1960 (USA)
When his adoptive Japanese-American family is sent to Manzanar after Pearl Harbor, a young Chicano enlists in the marines to become a hero in the Battle of Saipan.

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Guy Gabaldon
...
Sgt. Bill Hazen
...
Cpl. Pete Lewis
Patricia Owens ...
Sheila Lincoln
...
Guy - as a Boy
...
Capt. Schwabe
...
Leonard
Michi Kobi ...
Sono
George Shibata ...
Kaz Une
...
Famika
Richard Gardner ...
Polaski
Bob Okazaki ...
Papa Une
George Matsui ...
George - as a Boy
Nicky Blair ...
Martini
...
George Une (as George Takai)
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Storyline

True life story of Guy Gabaldon, a Los Angeles Hispanic boy raised in the 1930s by a Japanese-American foster family. Later, during the war, as his foster parents are interned at a camp for Japanese Americans, Gabaldon's ability to speak Japanese helps him become a lone-operating Marine hero. During the bloody capture of the island of Saipan, he convinces 800 Japanese to surrender after their general commits suicide. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The guts! Glory! Gallantry of America's hell-bent for victory Marines! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

1 August 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beyond the Call  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tsuru Aoki's first credited filmed role of any kind in 36 years. See more »

Goofs

The tanks used by the Marines were M-48 Patton tanks, which were not produced until 1952, seven years after thew war ended. See more »

Quotes

Gen. Matsui: The was not a pretty sight for me to see.
Guy Gabaldon: Neither was Pearl Harbor.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A true World War II story of tremendous emotional impact
9 September 2003 | by (Boulder, Colorado) – See all my reviews

World War II hero Guy Gabaldon's story could hardly have been entrusted to a more suitable director than Phil Karlson. Karlson brings a tough masculine style, as well as an emotional impact that would have eluded many a director of action films. Operating as usual on a less-than-A budget, Karlson nonetheless makes the most out of every scene and elicits excellent performances from his cast.

Hell to Eternity is by far the most violent war film made up to that time. But Karlson's outbursts of violence are always tied to a strong emotional response, making the violence anything but gratuitous.

The film is also notable for a surprisingly provocative striptease by Patricia Owens and and an equally provocative kiss between her and Jeffrey Hunter. In terms of its violence and sexual content, Hell to Eternity probably went as far as the censors would allow in 1960.

As Gabaldon, Jeffrey Hunter gives a performance of great sympathy, but also one of considerable edge in his battle scenes. It's a difficult role, because he has to express the moral dilemma of a man raised by a Japanese-American family who is tasked with fighting the Japanese during WW2. The fact that Hunter made King of Kings only one year after this film and also offered diverse characterizations in Key Witness and Sergeant Rutledge the same year as Hell to Eternity is a testament to his versatility as an actor.

Leith Stevens provides an outstanding dramatic score, which unfortunately was poorly represented by the soundtrack album, which contained mainly his jazz-oriented incidental music.

The lower-than-A budget for this film more than likely accounts for it not being better known. But make no mistake about it - it's one of the most powerful war films ever made.


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