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Paratrooper (1953)

The Red Beret (original title)
Approved | | Drama, War | 1 October 1953 (Japan)
In 1940, an American claiming to be Canadian volunteers for the British Army's paratroop school.

Director:

Terence Young

Writers:

Richard Maibaum (screenplay), Frank S. Nugent (screenplay) (as Frank Nugent) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Ladd ... Canada
Leo Genn ... Major Snow
Susan Stephen ... Penny Gardner
Harry Andrews ... R.S.M.
Donald Houston ... Taffy
Anthony Bushell ... General Whiting
Patric Doonan Patric Doonan ... Flash
Stanley Baker ... Breton
Lana Morris ... Pinky
Tim Turner ... Rupert
Michael Kelly Michael Kelly ... Dawes
Anton Diffring ... The Pole
Thomas Heathcote ... Alf
Carl Duering ... Rossi
John Boxer John Boxer ... Flight Sgt. Box
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Storyline

Alan Ladd is the focus of this story based on the wartime raid on the German radar station at Bruneval. The raid was a combined services operation and the 2nd Battalion of the 1st Parachute Brigade was led by Major 'John Frost' (Major Snow). An RAF radar expert, Flight Sergeant C.W.H. Cox (Sergeant Box) accompanied the raiders to tell them what to take back to England. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

ALAN LADD At His Greatest - ripping your emotions with thrills! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was a British war movie with an American lead, Alan Ladd. The producers were very careful that this movie did not create the furor that Objective, Burma! (1945) had triggered eight years before. That movie was pulled from release in Britain after just one week. It was banned there after heated protests from British veterans groups and the military establishment. As the Burma campaign was a predominantly British and Australian operation, the picture was taken as a national insult due to the movie's Americanization of the Burma operation. The resentment that many felt was seen as yet another example of Americans believing they had won the war single-handedly. But there was still some criticism that an American was playing the lead in this movie. So for Paratrooper (1953), criticism was fended off by Ladd telling the media: "The story is of a Canadian [i.e. of the British Commonwealth and not an American] who joins the British Paratroopers in order to learn, not teach the job. All the big decisions in the film are made by the British." See more »

Goofs

When McKendrick, Penny and Major Snow are waiting for the arrival of the C-46 Dakotas, we see a C-46 landing with the markings of the United States Air Force, which was not formed until 1947. From June 20, 1941-September 18, 1947 The US Air Force was officially known as The US Army Air Forces. See more »

Quotes

R.S.M.: I'm sorry for the man who hears the pipes, and who wisnae born in Scotland.
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Connections

Referenced in My Name Is Bond... James Bond (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

The Piobaireachd of Dhonald Dhu
(uncredited)
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
Memorable For A Couple Of Reasons
10 March 2004 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

If you`ve no interest in war movies THE RED BERET may just appear to be yet another B movie about the war . It contains all the old cliches like dying soldiers making a speech just before they draw their last breath and as soon as someone is tasked to do something dangerous they`ll do it in a completely blase manner then die in a blackly comical famous last words scene .There`s some corny dialogue from the American characters like " Holy cow , check out those crazy beefeaters " while the Brits are all stiff upper lipped . It should also be pointed out that the " location filming " in North Africa was obviously carried out somewhere else , my guess would be the Highlands of Scotland with its peat bogs and rolling hills . But despite these flaws I can remember seeing this film from my childhood where it retains a soft spot and watched it again for the first time in something like 30 years.

Despite the somewhat patchy production standards I wasn`t really disappointed with this movie and as an adult I was able to notice a few interesting points . One point is that it`s very very similar to SHANE . Both star Alan Ladd and he plays a very similar character in both , in this case a North American called McKendrick who has a guilty past . Also if you look at the production credits you`ll notice that the producer , screenwriter and director would almost 10 years later go on to make DR NO * a movie that changed the face of British cinema . In many ways THE RED BERET is much more enjoyable than most of the British war movies at the time probably down to the fact that it`s made in glorious technicolor rather than monochrome and I`ll probably be accused of being a heretic by saying that it`s more enjoyable than the depressing BAND OF BROTHERS a mini series that has a lot in common with THE RED BERET

* Watch the scene where Major Snow walks into the office and throws his hat onto a hat stand . Sean Connery also does this in the Terence Young directed Bond movies . No doubt a director trade mark


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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

1 October 1953 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Paratrooper See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$700,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Colour by) (Technicolor) (as Color by in U.S. print)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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