Stanley Kramer's WW-II character study has Lee Marvin as the Sergeant of a small squad laid over during fighting in Italy. During the otherwise boring time between battles, tensions arise as they are ordered not to rescue a squad mate pinned down by the enemy, for fear of risking more lives. Based on the stage play "A Sound of Hunting", by Harry Brown.Written by
As a war veteran, Lee Marvin taught the crew how men fell when they were hit by a gun shot. See more »
About a minute in as Pvt Coke ducks into a building through a wooden door, two bullet holes can be seen in the door. The scene cuts to a sniper's rifle barrel. When the scene cuts back to Pvt Coke at the door, the bullet holes are gone until the sniper shoots the door. See more »
"Eight Iron Men" is a war film filled with familiar faces--both of actors whose faces you'll recognize but not their names as well as a few folks before they hit stardom...as well as one guy who used to be a very big child star back in the day.
The plot is simple. While a group of eight G.I.s are hunkered down in the remnants of an Italian town, one in the group gets pinned down by a German machine gun nest. The rest of the company want to try to rescue him...but they are ordered by the Major not to attempt this, as he doesn't want to lose additional troops.
The most interesting cast member is Lee Marvin--playing pretty much the sort of guy he really was during WWII. He's great...and it's one of his earliest roles. Additional interesting cast members include Bonar Colleano, Dickie Moore and Richard Kiley. Colleano is a familiar face and he was an American living in Britain, so whenever a British film wanted a stereotypical American, they'd cast Colleano. Moore was a HUGE child star and member of Our Gang. And Richard Kiley later went on to great fame playing many roles on TV and Broadway. What these men and the rest of the cast have in common is that they weren't yet stars and were excellent at playing average Joes.
The net effect of this film is an interesting psychological portrait of ordinary men stretched to the limits. You can see the best and the worst of some of the guys...but most just wanna protect their tushes and survive the see the end of the war. Overall, it's a nice little low budget film--excelling with realism and full of grit.
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