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 <email@example.com>
Fred Zinnemann lobbied for and was allowed to include a sequence featuring a group of soldiers improvising a song "Re-Enlistment Blues," which Zinnemann hoped would be as popular and recognizable a movie song as Tex Ritter's "Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling" had been for High Noon (1952). Despite the catchy tune, the song didn't become a top-forty hit. See more »
In Karen's last scene with Sergeant Warden, the Sun is in Karen's eyes and she holds up her left hand to shield her eyes from the Sun. Her shadow is behind her. The reverse angle has Sergeant Warden in sunlight with Karen casting her shadow on him. The immediately following shot of Karen has the Sun and the shadows in their original positions. Somehow the Sun has swiftly changed positions in the sky between shots. See more »
1941. Private `Prew' Prewitt has been transferred to Hawaii. His new captain is keen to get promoted and sees Prew's former boxing prowess as his way to get noticed. However Prew has given up boxing and refuses to join the team leading the Captain to punish him in many different ways. Meanwhile Sergeant Warden is beginning an affair with the Captains maltreated wife. Prew himself finds a girl but his friend Maggio has conflict with Sergeant Judson. Meanwhile the threat of attack looms.
This is most famous for Warden and Holmes' adulterous passion as the waves lash over them. Probably people who haven't seen the film will still know that scene. However this film is much more than that. The plot has several main strands mostly involving romance running through it. It works well but it is really a soapy melodrama at the end of it all. This doesn't mean it's not enjoyable and intense but it is really that basic. The Pearl Harbour attack is tacked onto the end and didn't really grab me.
The central relationships are OK but the film is strongest in some very good male performances. Clift is great as the put upon private, while Lancaster deserves recognition for more than just snogging Kerr on a beach. Kerr and Reed are OK Kerr is better but none of the female roles are as good as the male leads. Warden, Sinatra and Borgnine are all great support and steal the show when they are on screen (Sinatra especially).
Overall I was surprised to see this film being hailed so high in many polls. I found it to be involving, interesting and well acted but at it's core it is a melodrama that has a few bangs at the end. Worth a watch.
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