1932. The tyrannical and despotic government of President Machado has headed Cuba for seven years. The latest measure of that tyranny is the outlawing of public gatherings of more than four... See full summary »
During the Civil War, a young man enthusiastically joins the Union army thirsting to find glory and honor, but his first battle opens his eyes to the reality of how un-glorious and dishonorable war really is.
During the Korean War, a glory-hunting sergeant leads his platoon on a mission against the enemy--not telling them that a cease-fire has just been declared--so that he can win medals. ... See full summary »
Plot centers around how a young recruit (Audie Murphy) faces the horrors of war. Character vascilates between wanting to fight and doubting his own courage. In midst of first bloody encounter, Youth runs away. After seeing dead and wounded, sense of shame leads him back to his unit, where he distinguishes himself in the next battle. Having overcome his fear of "the great Death" he knows e can face whatever comes. Somewhat sentimental "coming of age" tale was pet project of John Huston, who fought MGM over casting of Murphy and Bill Mauldin in lead roles.Written by
The 34-star US flag was used from 1861-1863. See more »
All the soldiers in Audie's infantry outfit have crossed rifles on their forage hats. The crossed rifle insignia was not adopted by the US army until the year 1876, before this it was a hunter's horn. See more »
Wives, dogs, and chestnut trees - the more you beat 'em the better they be.
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There have been a large number of Civil War movies of every type made over the years. Yet The Red Badge of Courage is probably the best movie of this period, perhaps because it is also the simplest of any of them. It is based on Stephen Crane's great novelette of the same name. It almost makes one think Crane experienced the War himself, but he wasn't born until four years after the end of the Civil War and learned about the feelings of the veterans by reading magazines issued for Civil War veterans when he was in his early 20s. There is also some speculation that he visited veterans at a nearby old soldiers home and asked them about their experiences.
And how could Houston pick a better person to play the lead then Audie Murphy? Murphy was a combat veteran of the greatest war ever fought, and suffered post-traumatic nightmares from it. I fully understand why this great director fought the studio bosses to give Murphy the lead role. Bill Mauldin, a WW II veteran himself, also does an excellent job as the companion of "The Young Soldier."
I've been reading about the Civil War for 44 years and have seen most of the movies on that period, but I am always amazed at how this film captures the emotions and illusions of the millions of young men who fought in it. As a veteran of another, later, war, I can identify with the emotions of the young men depicted here.
The fact that there is very little dialogue (narration is supplied from Crane's book) actually helps the movie convey the mood of the volunteer soldier. And although Murphy plays a Federal soldier, he could easily represent a Confederate.
The movie espouses no side or cause, it is about the individual solider and his personal battle as he prepares to "meet the elephant," as the soldiers of that time called experiencing combat for the first time.
One last remark... the 1974 TV remake of the Red Badge of Courage, with John Thomas, suffers greatly in comparison, in both acting and authenticity.
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