In Hawaii in 1941, a private is cruelly punished for not boxing on his unit's team, while his captain's wife and second-in-command are falling in love.

Director:

Fred Zinnemann

Writers:

Daniel Taradash (screen play), James Jones (based upon the novel by)
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Won 8 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Burt Lancaster ... Sgt. Milton Warden
Montgomery Clift ... Robert E. Lee Prewitt
Deborah Kerr ... Karen Holmes
Donna Reed ... Alma - aka Lorene
Frank Sinatra ... Angelo Maggio
Philip Ober ... Capt. Dana Holmes
Mickey Shaughnessy ... Sgt. Leva
Harry Bellaver ... Mazzioli
Ernest Borgnine ... Sgt. 'Fatso' Judson
Jack Warden ... Cpl. Buckley
John Dennis ... Sgt. Ike Galovitch
Merle Travis ... Sal Anderson
Tim Ryan ... Sgt. Pete Karelsen
Arthur Keegan Arthur Keegan ... Treadwell
Barbara Morrison ... Mrs. Kipfer
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Storyline

It's 1941. Robert E. Lee Prewitt has requested Army transfer and has ended up at Schofield in Hawaii. His new captain, Dana Holmes, has heard of his boxing prowess and is keen to get him to represent the company. However, 'Prew' is adamant that he doesn't box anymore, so Captain Holmes gets his subordinates to make his life a living hell. Meanwhile Sergeant Warden starts seeing the captain's wife, who has a history of seeking external relief from a troubled marriage. Prew's friend Maggio has a few altercations with the sadistic stockade Sergeant 'Fatso' Judson, and Prew begins falling in love with social club employee Lorene. Unbeknownst to anyone, the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor looms in the distance. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The boldest book of our time... Honestly, fearlessly on the screen! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Future director Joseph Sargent had a role as soldier. He also met Mary Carver, his wife at that time, on the set of the film. See more »

Goofs

Towards the end of the movie, there is a long shot showing a very drunk Prew sitting down in a dirt road next to Warden. Prew then crosses his legs. In the medium shot following, we see that the wrong leg is crossed in front of the other. See more »

Quotes

Alma: Prew, it's true we love each other now, we need each other, but back in the States it might be different.
Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: That ain't the real reason.
Alma: You're right, it's not.
Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: What is the real reason?
Alma: I - I won't marry you because I don't want to be the wife of a soldier.
Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: Well, that... would be about the best I could ever do for you.
Alma: Because nobody's going to stop me from my plan. Nobody, nothing. Because I want to be proper!
Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: Proper.
Alma: Yes, proper! In another year I'll have enough money saved. Then I'm going to go back to...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: SCHOFIELD BARRACKS HAWAII 1941 See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Starter Wife: The Remains of the Snow Day (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Aloha Oe
(1908) (uncredited)
Music by Queen Liliuokalani
Sung by Liselotte Malkowsky
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User Reviews

 
Pearl and the shells
28 July 2012 | by LejinkSee all my reviews

Classic 50's Hollywood feature documenting the lives and times of the US Army personnel in Hawaii leading up to the Japanese air attack on the Pearl Harbour naval base which precipitated the US entry into the second world war. Shot in black and white by Fred Zinnemann to emphasise the war-time setting, the drama is peopled with convincingly realistic characters with a credible, episodic narrative edging ever closer to the pivotal date of December 7th.

Multiple plot lines are skilfully interwoven until their climactic convergence at the end aided by top acting from a superb cast. The dramatic thread to the film is Montgomery Clift's Prewett character and his relationships with the characters played by Burt Lancaster, the firm but fair sergeant himself drawn into a sexually charged relationship with his superior officer captain's disaffected wife, played against type by Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed as the "hostess" he falls in love with and especially Frank Sinatra's rascally but likeable and always supportive Maggio.

Sinatra famously begged for the chance to show his acting skill in a straight role to reignite his career and duly given the chance, he grabs it with both hands. Lancaster and Kerr fire up the screen in their doomed relationship, especially in the famous scene by the crashing waves, Reed plays her part with admirable restraint but Clift's acting exceeds them all, whether in his reluctant fight scenes, blowing a bugle like Satchmo or playing a drunk after he's exacted revenge on Maggio's tormentor, played memorably by the recently deceased Ernst Borgnine.

The action climax as the Japanese attack is thrillingly portrayed especially the high camera shots, although I would question the too obvious and thus jarring insertion of real footage of the actual attack.

Controversial in its day for its unblinkingly honest depiction of the US army, it can be seen now as one of the best films of the 50's, a master class in dramatic narrative and character acting.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 August 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

From Here to Eternity See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,650,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,176, 7 December 2003

Gross USA:

$36,416

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$36,416
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

3 Channel Stereo (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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