7.3/10
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75 user 18 critic

A Walk in the Sun (1945)

Approved | | Drama, War | 25 December 1945 (USA)
During WWII, a platoon of American soldiers trudge through the Italian countryside in search of a bridge they have been ordered to blow up, encountering danger and destruction along the way.

Director:

Writers:

(by), (screenplay)
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On TV

Airs Thu. Aug. 23, 1:30 AM on TCM

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Sgt. Bill Tyne
... Pvt. Rivera
... Pvt. Jake Friedman
... Pfc. Windy Craven
... Sgt. Ward
... McWilliams
... Pvt. Archimbeau
... Sgt. Eddie Porter
... Pvt. Tranella
... Pvt. Carraway
... Sgt. Hoskins
... Pvt. Tinker
... Pvt. Judson
... Sgt. Pete Halverson
Chris Drake ... Rankin
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Storyline

In the 1943 invasion of Italy, one American platoon lands, digs in, then makes its way inland to blow up a bridge next to a fortified farmhouse, as tension and casualties mount. Unusually realistic picture of war as long quiet stretches of talk, punctuated by sharp, random bursts of violent action whose relevance to the big picture is often unknown to the soldiers. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THEY FOUGHT BEST WHEN IT WAS HOPELESS! (print ad for 1951 reissue "Salerno Beachhead" - all caps)

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

25 December 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Salerno Beachhead  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Feature-film debut (uncredited) of Robert Horton. See more »

Goofs

When taking a 10 minute break, the soldiers state that it is 7:30 am, but the shadows indicate that the sun is clearly high in the sky, more like noon. See more »

Quotes

Rivera: Good thing they invented trains for travelling salesmen.
Friedman: OK, kill me: what's the gag?
Rivera: No gag. But if they didn't have trains, all the travelling salesmen would have to walk.
Friedman: *You're* a travelling salesman; you ain't been taking any trains lately.
Rivera: Whaddaya mean, *I'm* a travelling salesman? I'm a murderer!
Friedman: You're a travelling salesmen. You're selling democracy to the natives.
Rivera: So that's what I am, huh? Whaddaya know. Where'd you get that malarkey, Jake?
Friedman: Out of a book.
Rivera: A book!
Friedman: You're a decadent ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: It was just a little walk In the warm Italian sun But it was not an easy thing And poets are writing The tale of that fight And songs for children to sing See more »

Connections

Featured in Blue in the Face (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

The Ballads
Words by Millard Lampell
Music by Earl Robinson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
My Favorite Film of WWII

I usually hate to name a favorite film in a genre because I always have several I rate equally well, but, if asked to name one that tops the rest I have to say, in the WWII genre, this film is it. It is an intelligent and honest film about men in war; no heroics, no jingoism, no evil enemy, just regular Joes who are caught up in something big and deadly and would rather be home, but are doing their job. There are no clichés, no obligatory guy from Brooklyn, no high sounding phrases, no patriotic slogans, just an honest and realistic depiction of strictly ordinary guys caught in war. Lewis Milestone, the director, obviously understood the combat soldier.

I love the dialog, the banter among the men of "a fighting platoon", especially that between Pvts Rivera, played by Richard Conte, and Friedman, played by George Tyne. Coincidentally, Dana Andrews, one of my favorite actors, character is Sgt. Tyne. I wonder what was made of that by actor George Tyne. The cast also includes a young Lloyd Bridges and Huntz Hall, in the only roll I can recall seeing him in outside the East Side Kids/ Bowery Boys films.

The novel by Harry Brown, from which the film was made, was republished a few years ago and the dialog in the film is lifted straight out of it, which is part of what makes the film so great. In fact, this is one of those rare cases where the movie follows the book faithfully, almost to the letter.

I was nine years old when this film was released and I well remember the night I first saw it. My parents, who have just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary, thought it was a romance film. I didn't want to go but when we arrived at the old Westmore Theater, now long gone, which was in walking distance of our home, and I saw the lobby photos and saw it was a war film, I was the one delighted. There was always at least one scene from these films that stayed in my mind over the years and in this one it was the hand of the German soldier with the ring on it hanging out of the wrecked armored vehicle, and the assault on the farmhouse.

"It was just a little walk in the warm Italian sun, but it wasn't an easy thing."

An excellent film made from an excellent novel with an excellent cast, all making an excellent viewing experience.


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