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From Here to Eternity (1953)

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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 14 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 ... Corp. Buckley
John Dennis ... Sgt. Ike Galovitch
Merle Travis ... Sal Anderson
Tim Ryan 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:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 August 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

De aquí a la eternidad See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,650,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$30,500,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only film to be nominated for the Best Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress Oscars that year, it won both awards. See more »

Goofs

1st Sergeant Warden is actually wearing the correct stripes. Modern 1st Sergeant stripes have a three up-three down configuration. However, from 1920 to 1942, 1st Sergeants had three chevrons and only two rockers, along with the center diamond. The modern version with three rockers was adopted in 1942, after the attack on Pearl Harbor. See more »

Quotes

Angelo Maggio: I just hate to see a good guy get it in the gut.
Cpl. Buckley: You better get used to it, kid. You'll probably see a lot of it before you die.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: SCHOFIELD BARRACKS HAWAII 1941 See more »


Soundtracks

Chattanooga Choo Choo
(1941) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Hummed by Frank Sinatra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Involving Military Soap Opera Elevated by Sturdy Performances from an Offbeat Cast
17 August 2009 | by EUyeshimaSee all my reviews

In hindsight, this 1953 classic doesn't seem as much a military drama as it does a highly charged soap opera, which shouldn't come as a surprise given that master filmmaker Fred Zinnemann ("the Nun's Story") was at the helm. The veteran director upended the western genre just a year earlier with the Gary Cooper classic "High Noon", and he places the same incendiary focus of character over action here, that is, until the inevitable climax which uses the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor as a catharsis for the characters' dilemmas now dwarfed by the coming world war.

Based on James Jones' epic novel, screenwriter Daniel Taradash manages to reduce the complexity of the book's themes without trivializing them, and then-offbeat casting enhances the movie immeasurably. Set on a U.S. Army base in Hawaii in the months leading up to the attack, the focus is on two men, both dedicated to the military with no aspirations to become the officers they have grown to detest. One is Private Robert E. Prewitt, a talented boxer (and bugler) who refuses to fight on his regiment's team since blinding a sparring partner. The other is First Sergeant Milton Warden, a take-charge, professional soldier who earns the trust of his men even as he kowtows to his weak-willed commanding officer.

Life in the barracks is fraught with adversarial personalities, chief among them Private Angelo Maggio, Prewitt's loudmouthed best friend, and Staff Sergeant "Fatso" Judson, the sadistic stockade warden. Both Prewitt and Warden meet women who seek to change their lives. Prewitt finds cynical nightclub "hostess" Lorene at a brothel masquerading as a social club, while Warden embarks on a passionate affair with his commanding officer's wayward wife Karen. Burt Lancaster is well cast as Warden, and he brings surprising nuance to his character's clandestine encounters with Karen. However, it's Montgomery Clift - despite looking too slight to be genuinely believable as a boxer - who transcends his loner role by playing off his innately sensitive nature to portray a man who will never sacrifice his honor despite how dire the consequences. Well within his comfort zone, Frank Sinatra's turn as Maggio is small but impactful.

Still two years away from "Marty", Ernest Borgnine makes Judson's malevolence palpable in just a few scenes. Deborah Kerr submerges her Scottish accent and previous lady-like demeanor to reveal the embittered, sexually assertive side of Karen without sacrificing any of the character's vulnerability. The legendary, much-parodied beach scene with Lancaster still sizzles after all these years. Similarly, Donna Reed foregoes her good-girl image (epitomized by her memorable turn as Mary Bailey in "It's a Wonderful Life") to play the sultry, delusional Lorene. The 2003 DVD comes with a small set of extras - a three-minute making-of retrospective short, a nine-minute collection of on-set footage and interviews from a documentary entitled "Fred Zinnemann: As I See It", and the original theatrical trailer. The best extra is the commentary track from Tim Zinnemann (the director's son) and screenwriter Alvin Sargent ("Spider-Man 2"), who had a small role in the movie.


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