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Company K (2004)

R | | Drama, War | 22 April 2004 (USA)
World War I troubled veteran Joe Delaney attempts to compile a history of his U.S. Marines company but nightmares about the German soldier he killed haunt him still.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ari Fliakos ...
Pvt. Joseph Delaney
...
Sgt. James Dunning
Steve Cuiffo ...
Pvt. Edward Carter
...
Pvt. Emil Ayres
Rik Alan Walter ...
Capt. Terence Matlock
...
Sgt. 'Pig Iron' Riggin
...
Cpl. Clarence Foster
...
Pvt. Nate Mountain
...
Pvt. Bernie Glass
Matt Seidman ...
Sgt. Raymond Prado
Ian Pfister ...
Pvt. Al Nallett
James Nardella ...
Pvt. Archie Lemon
...
Cpl. Richard Mundy
...
Hope
Hillary Keegin ...
Annette
Edit

Storyline

A troubled veteran of World War I named Joe Delaney struggles to write a history of the Marine company in which he served. In the nightmare of war, each man is defined by a singular moment in which his true character is revealed. Finally Delaney must confront the dead German soldier who still haunts his dreams. Written by Robert Clem

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on the classic William March novel.

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for war violence | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

22 April 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Compañía K  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A well acted and authentic World War I film that gets better with each re-seeing.
4 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Company K by Robert Clem is a serious work that should be seen, and, more importantly, re-seen.

The film begins with a quotation from William March's autobiographical World War I novel of the same name, but it could have begun with the quotation from Erich Maria Remarque's novel, All Quiet on the Western Front: "This book is neither an accusation nor a confession. It will simply tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped its shells, were destroyed by the war." There are differences. Remarque's book was about German soldiers, whereas Company K is about American soldiers. And Company K is more of an accusation and a confession, although the film has an overall documentary feel.

The plot is a string of episodes, each focusing on a key experience of a different soldier in the unit. The structure follows March's plan for his book where each story is placed on a wheel and the wheel spun "in an unending circle of pain." Some viewers might find this narrative structure too unusual because there isn't really a high climax. The end of the war is simply a brief episode bridging to the postwar traumas of Private Joe Delaney (March) and others. This anticlimactic episode is handled subtly: The soldiers don't jump up and throw their helmets in the air; they sigh, stare dumbly, and drop their helmets to the ground.

Many other episodes have similar ironic strength. A country soldier who has never seen an airplane exclaims one's approach; he is strafed. Inexperienced officers talk Ivy League politics but make battlefield blunders; one attempts suicide and another is murdered by an exhausted enlisted man. Two soldiers with grumbling stomachs eat blood-soaked enemy pumpernickel. An experienced French prostitute admits that she had promised to save herself for her boyfriend until he was killed early in the war.

In a prologue scene before the opening credits, Delaney tells his wife of his book about the war. She advises him to leave out the part about murdering a group of German prisoners. It's a well-chosen prologue -- the events surrounding that episode and its aftermath are the film's most powerful.

The young actors are excellent and perform with conviction. Dialog is well written and delivered. The authenticity of uniforms, weapons, vehicles, and battlefield locations is impressive. There is no cast of a thousand extras, but the judicious use of actual WWI footage expands the scope some.

Company K is one of those few films that get better with re-seeing. Fresh nuances appear each time – wiping blood off bayonets, soldiers crossing themselves as shells falls on friends, battle-fatigued faces – and the effect grows. This film ought to be studied alongside the novel in college courses.


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