6.5/10
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15 user 4 critic

Force of Arms (1951)

During World War II in Italy, an American sergeant and WAC lieutenant take time out for romance.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Orin Jannings (screenplay), Richard Tregaskis (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
William Holden ... Sgt. John 'Pete' Peterson
Nancy Olson ... Lt. Eleanor MacKay
Frank Lovejoy ... Maj. Blackford
Gene Evans ... Sgt. Smiley 'Mac' McFee
Dick Wesson ... Kleiner
Paul Picerni ... Sheridan
Katherine Warren ... Maj. Waldron
Ross Ford ... Hooker
Ron Hagerthy ... Minto
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Storyline

Winter, 1943. The German army has halted the American advance in the mountains of Italy; back-and-forth combat decimates Joe Peterson's platoon. On leave in Naples, Joe meets WAC lieutenant Eleanor MacKay; initially cool, she begins to melt during a bombing raid. Their romance develops despite Joe's periodic returns to the front. But whether he'll come back in the end becomes more than doubtful... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The most beautiful love story ever told!

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

13 August 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Girl for Joe See more »

Filming Locations:

Malibu, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The lapel insignia Lt. MacKay wears on her uniform is the head of the Greek goddess Pallas Athene, which represents Wisdom, Crafts and Victory - meant to symbolize the purpose of the WACs in WWII. See more »

Goofs

The number on the side of the jeep that Blackford picks Pete up in camp with is different from the number on the side of the jeep Pete says is Blackford's when he picks up Eleanor outside the cafe. Later, after their drink as the jeep drives in the rain, the number switches back to the first number. In an amazing coincidence, the jeep Eleanor later requisitions for her 3-day leave with Pete appears to be the jeep Blackford had earlier in the film (same number on hood). See more »

Quotes

Sgt. Joe Peterson: You mean you were a civilian once?
Lt. Eleanor MacKay: Oh, if you consider schoolteachers civilians.
Sgt. Joe Peterson: You, honest?
Lt. Eleanor MacKay: Mm-hmm.
Sgt. Joe Peterson: Well, and me without an apple!
See more »

Connections

Version of A Farewell to Arms (1932) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Anything but another war flick
29 December 2017 | by tonyirwin-58946See all my reviews

It would be easy to pass off Force of Arms as just another post-WWII action/romance movie until you're a few frames into viewing it. Surprisingly realistic with actual combat footage interspersed with filming. Strong yet sensitively-understated performances by Holden, Olson, and, in a supporting role, Frank Lovejoy. An inspired and superior script helps convey the chaos of combat, its effects on those who are scarred by it, and the powerful force of love that can somehow emerge in the midst of the sheer will to survive. A classic that feels as real in 2017 as when it was filmed.


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