The story of Captain Richard Francis Burton's and Lt. John Hanning Speke's expedition to find the source of the Nile river in the name of Queen Victoria's British Empire. The film tells the... See full summary »
Richard E. Grant
Highly fictionalized account (see 'goofs' for examples) of the life of George Armstrong Custer from his arrival at West Point in 1857 to his death at the battle of the Little Big Horn in ... See full summary »
Olivia de Havilland,
Sergeant Joe Gunn and his tank crew pick up five British soldiers, a Frenchman and a Sudanese man with an Italian prisoner crossing the Libyan Desert to rejoin their command after the fall ... See full summary »
J. Carrol Naish
Hounded by the police on charges of inflammatory writing, the once handsome Marquis De Sade seeks refuge in an abandoned family mansion. This colorful movie depicts DeSade's life from ... See full summary »
Dark tale of one man's determination to survive his tour of duty. Separated from his new wife after only eight days of marriage, private Doll suddenly decides that he will no longer blindly follow the orders of his superiors, following his own mind instead. What follows are a series of poorly planned attacks, in which Doll saves the day, time after time; eventually leading to the taking of the Elephant in the battle of Guadalcanal during World War II. Sgt. Welsh, Doll's immediate line officer grows an affinity for Doll, helping him through his first Kill, but never quite allowing himself to admit his admiration for the young soldier. The final scene of the movie brings home the true horror of war and the meaninglessness of it all. Written by
The film's title comes from James Jones's novel and, in turn, from an old saying. In the movie, Captain Stone, played by Ray Daley, says, "I remember an old Midwest saying, 'There's only a thin red line between the sane and the mad.' " See more »
Those who don't see the realism in this film are probably either from Generation X, or they never were in the military. Today's audiences are inured to violence captured in contemporary films, and aren't willing to watch films made on a small budget from independent filmmakers, such as those responsible for this 1964 foray into the futility of war. There are certainly a number of points to this version that stand out, never mind the one or two actions sequences that aren't technically up to the flashiness of today's films. The relationships among ranks, from officers to enlisted men, captures the flavor of the military hierarchy existing since time immemorial. Soldiers are asked to face the withering machine gun fire, artillery, and booby traps, not to mention climatic privations, without wincing. It goes without saying that the acting of the principals in such circumstances is expert, with paranoia balancing precariously between heroism and the will to live. Men who have been in the military will no doubt identify with the characters, from the C.O. played with hardened determination by James Philbrook, to Jack Warden's combat wise sergeant, and down to Keir Dullea's survivalist mentality in the face of an enemy that takes no prisoners. The viewer is given a look at the motivations behind Dullea's seeming obsession to be "prepared" for combat with as much in his bag of combat tricks as possible. When Dullea steals a .45 automatic, his prophetic line of dialogue to his buddy, "It just might give me the edge I need", rings ironically true several times over the course of the picture. In fact, irony is the film's strongest point, evidenced in several scenes in which Dullea is saved from death by his purloined sidearm, and which ultimately is responsible for his survival by film's end. Opposing Dullea's character, Warden is a career NCO who plays by the rules of war, but who in the end loses his life after shielding Dullea from a Japanese soldier unleashing lead. The viewer realizes that Warden's death results from heroism, while Dullea's survival from the madness of a trapped rat. Screenwriter Philip Yordan's dialogue is at once sensitive and insightful, lending credence to his reputation in Hollywood as a no-nonsense, rough-hewn, but literate genius.
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