"The Firing Squad" is based on Colin McDougall's novel THE EXECUTION. The plot line and the characters' names are basically the same as McDougall's story with some minor alterations like Sydney Jones becomes Daniel Jones and Brigadier Hatfield becomes Lt. General HAR-field. The story centres around Captain John Adam who is pressured by his military superiors to be the leader of the firing squad who will execute Private Jones, the first Canadian sentenced to death in WWII. If Adam accepts, his dishonourable service record will be erased and he'll be a hero; if Adam refuses, he will be further dishonoured and likely be the SECOND Canadian sentenced to death. Although the moral struggle suffered by Captain Adam is more impelling in the McDougall story, the film does offer the same satisfactory conclusion. Both the novel and film illustrate the irony of war and capital punishment. The subject matter draws the viewer in and they are kept in by the stellar Canadian cast which include familiar faces such as Albert Schultz, David Hemblen and Cedric Smith who is effectively villainous in the role of General Harfield. Overall, this film is worthwhile period piece.
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