In 1930's Cuba, a bank clerk and an American mercenary assist a revolutionary group in a plan to kill the President but the Cuban Secret Police chief and the dictator's military complicate the plan's execution.
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.
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
Louis B. Mayer was loathe to greenlight the film as he felt (largely correctly) that Civil War pictures never made money. He also disliked it because it had no marquee names or female roles. He only agreed to the making of the film because he was pursuing John Huston to direct Quo Vadis (1951), a film that Huston ultimately dropped out of. See more »
In close-ups of Henry Fleming, particularly in the initial engagement with the enemy, the lock plate on his musket is apparently stamped near the rear with a British Crown. While British arms were used by the Confederates lacking sufficient arms production capabilities, Fleming's group would have been issued US-produced rife muskets. In a close-up of another soldier, the US eagle stamped on the lock plate is clearly visible. See more »
captures the civil war like no other film before or since.
stephen crane's best work. audie murphy's best work. any serious student of the civil war will recognize this film as the best, most honest portrayal of civil war action. it captures the fear and dread of deadly combat like no other film on the american civil war. during bloody battles, if your side was not having a successful day, the usual way out was "skedaddling" or running like the wind. both sides did it. a great little film that all civil war students and scholars should own and view every so often.
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