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Valentine "Snakeskin" Xavier, a trouble-prone drifter trying to go straight, wanders into a small Mississippi town looking for a simple and honest life but finds himself embroiled with problem-filled women.
The professional mercenary Sir William Walker instigates a slave revolt on the Caribbean island of Queimada in order to help improve the British sugar trade. Years later he is sent again to... See full summary »
Ex-GI Ken who as a result of a war wound is paralyzed below the waist. In the hospital back home, he passes through an initial period of depression with the help of a sympathetic Dr. Brock and his faithful fiancée Ellen. Ken's bitter isolation is also overcome with the help of his fellow patients, especially the intelligent young cynic Norm, the witty Leo and serious young Angel. Soon Ken throws himself into the work rehabilitation and after a long period of physical therapy even suspects he may regain the use of his limbs. With the approval and help of the doctor, he and Ellen marry, but on their wedding night both have misgivings about the marriage: the full realization of Ellen's new responsibilities frighten her and makes her more uncertain than ever, and Ken reverts to self-pity. There is a violent argument, and he goes back to the hospital. But his blazing anger finds no sympathy from his buddies, and after a surprising conversation with Dr. Brock, Ken realizes that he must ...Written by
Marlon Brando's screen debut. He is reported to have prepared for his role as an embittered paraplegic by lying in bed for a month in a veterans' hospital. See more »
When Ken faints, Norm wets a little towel and puts it untidily on Ken's forehead. In the next shot the towel is perfectly neat. See more »
If he loves you as much you love him, he'll make you go.
You've been so clever, so logical, I've never knew that you handled words so well.
That's not an answer, Elly.
You weren't quite so logical a few years ago when we needed some boys to ground and get killed or paralyzed.
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I recently re-watched Zinneman's classic ode to paralyzed veterans. In the wake of the recent bombings here in New York, this excellently crafted and realistically acted film made me cry more than ever before. Jack Webb is astonishingly good as a cynical vet who puts aside his cynicism for love only to get kicked in the teeth.
Brando and Wright are excellent as the couple who find they are meant neither to be saints nor martyrs nor villains, merely human beings. The rehab scenes are grittily performed and sincerely executed. I probably suffer from post-traumatic syndrome even more than other New Yorkers, and watching the veterans cope with their mental, emotional, AND PHYSICAL post-traumatic distress made me realize just how fortunate I am to be among the survivors.
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