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The Way Ahead (1944)

Approved | | Drama, War | 3 June 1945 (USA)
World War II drama that follows a group of British draftees, starting with their rigorous basic training, and ending with their deployment in North Africa.

Director:

Carol Reed

Writers:

Eric Ambler (original story), Eric Ambler (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Niven ... Lt. Jim Perry
Stanley Holloway ... Pte. Ted Brewer
James Donald ... Pte. Evan Lloyd
John Laurie ... Pte. Luke
Leslie Dwyer Leslie Dwyer ... Pte. Sid Beck
Hugh Burden ... Pte. Bill Parsons
Jimmy Hanley ... Pte. Geoffrey Stainer (as Jimmie Hanley)
William Hartnell ... Sgt. Ned Fletcher (as Billy Hartnell)
Reginald Tate Reginald Tate ... The Training Company Commanding Officer
Leo Genn ... Capt. Edwards
John Ruddock John Ruddock ... Chelsea Pensioner
A. Bromley Davenport A. Bromley Davenport ... Chelsea Pensioner (as Bromley Davenport)
Renée Asherson ... Marjorie Gillingham (as Renee Ascherson)
Mary Jerrold Mary Jerrold ... Mrs. Gillingham
Tessie O'Shea Tessie O'Shea ... Herself - ENSA Entertainer
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Storyline

A group of draftees are called up into the infantry during World War II. At first, they appear to be a hopeless bunch, but their Sergeant and Lieutenant have faith in them and mould them into a good team. When they go into action in North Africa, they realize what it's all about. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Story of Today---YOU'LL REMEMBER FOREVER! (original ad - several caps)

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

3 June 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Immortal Battalion See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Two Cities Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (recorded on) (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

An homage to the last scene of this movie with the men advancing with bayonets fixed through a smoke filled battlefield, was used as the end credits to the British sitcom Dad's Army (1968). John Laurie (Private Luke) also had a starring role in Dad's Army (1968) as Private Fraser. He faithfully re-created his scene from this movie exactly in the end credits of the series. See more »

Goofs

The Vickers gun used by Brewer and Luke changes from having a smooth barrel casing/water jacket, in the exterior shots, to a corrugated pattern once inside the Cafe Rispoli. See more »

Quotes

Pvt. Ted Brewer: Only one good man ever got into Parliament.
Pvt. Herbert Davenport: Oh really? Who?
Pvt. Ted Brewer: Bleedin' Guy Fawkes.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film ends with THE BEGINNING See more »

Alternate Versions

The version seen on American TV under the alternate title "The Immortal Battalion" has been re-edited and extensively cut (from 115 to 91 or 86 minutes) by Ed Fitz with an added preface and epilogue by war correspondent Quentin Reynolds. See more »

Connections

Referenced in My Grandfather The Doctor (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Lily of Laguna
(uncredited)
Written by Leslie Stuart
Sung in Rispoli's Cafe by the platoon and others
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well scripted and directed film of the time.
27 February 1999 | by hedgehog-10See all my reviews

A film that despite being made in 1944, avoids sterotyping British Characters. A story about a group of people, from various civilian jobs, who receive their call-up papers. It shows them progressing through their training and entering action in North Africa.


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