6.3/10
375
15 user 7 critic

The Sergeant (1968)

R | | Drama | 25 December 1968 (USA)
A story of a brilliant master sergeant with a great career behind him and transferred to yet another post, his attraction to a younger man eventually overrides him, to a point where his latent homosexuality, finally emerges.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
MSgt. Albert Callan
...
Pfc. Tom Swanson
Ludmila Mikaël ...
Solange
Frank Latimore ...
Capt. Loring
Elliott Sullivan ...
Pop Henneken
Ronald Rubin ...
Cpl. Cowley
Philip Roye ...
Aldous Brown
Jerry Brouer ...
Sgt. Komski
Memphis Slim ...
Night Club Singer
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Storyline

THE SERGEANT is the story of the dark inner struggle of Master Sergeant Albert Callan to overcome the overwhelming attraction he feels for one of his charges. In the staid and stifling environment of a post-World War II army post in France, Callan's deeply repressed attraction to other men surfaces when he encounters handsome Private Swanson. Maintaining the rugged "man's man" image of a war hero, Callan barks orders to his underlings. Later, lonely in his solitude, he recalls the frightening experiences of war and the events that led to this crossroads. Filled with self-loathing and unable to act on the natural attraction he feels for Swanson, Callan's affection festers into antagonism. He pushes Swanson constantly with verbal assaults and undeserved punishments. Oblivious to Callan's attraction to him, Swanson comes finally to feel enmity for his Master Sergeant. Written by Mark Fleetwood <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Just one weakness.... Just one.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Az őrmester  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Simon Oakland campaigned hard to play the lead role and even told director John Flynn that he would do it for no salary. However, Rod Steiger was ultimately cast instead because he was a bigger name at the time. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Celluloid Closet (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

A dated but eyeopening film
1 September 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I haven't seen "The Sergeant" since its first release more than 30 years ago, and I've been disappointed that it hasn't been made available on VHS or recycled on cable TV. The ending of the movie is a cliche, and an unfortunate one, that likely would anger certain gay interest groups today. Yet I recall this film as one that opened the mind of a young heterosexual male who, until then, had been extremely homophobic. Rod Steiger's performance, as a supermacho soldier who is horrified of his own feelings of attraction to another man, is riveting. The outcome of the film, while dated, reflects the conflict and repression that gay men and women often experienced in our society prior to the advent of enlightenment in the 1970s (and, in the case of gay people in today's U.S. armed forces, still do). For my teenaged mind, it aroused the prospect that ALL human beings have the capacity to be sexually attracted to another person of the same sex, and that such attraction should be accepted and understood, rather than dreaded or shunned. Nothing in my subsequent experience has altered that perception. Despite the cliched ending, this is a film that displays empathy for its tormented lead character and demands that he be understood. It deserves revival.


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