6.0/10
540
20 user 3 critic

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 »
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Desert Legion (1953)
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Paul Lartal of the Foreign Legion meets the princess of a lost city in the Algerian mountains.

Director: Joseph Pevney
Stars: Alan Ladd, Richard Conte, Arlene Dahl
Night Ambush (1957)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Led by British officers, partisans on Crete plan to kidnap the island's German commander and smuggle him to Cairo to embarrass the occupiers.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Marius Goring, David Oxley
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Allied agents attempt to infiltrate the Nazis' rocket research site.

Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: Sophia Loren, George Peppard, Trevor Howard
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Story of the military truck drivers who kept the Allied armies supplied in Europe during World War II.

Director: Budd Boetticher
Stars: Jeff Chandler, Alex Nicol, Charles Drake
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

As the Allied armies close in, the Germans decide to blow up the last Rhine bridge, trapping their own men on the wrong side. But will it happen?

Director: John Guillermin
Stars: George Segal, Robert Vaughn, Ben Gazzara
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

During World War II, several oddly assorted military experts are teamed in a mission to raid and destroy a bridge vital to enemy strategy.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: Harrison Ford, Robert Shaw, Edward Fox
Jubal (1956)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A new foreman rejects the sexual advances of a frustrated rancher's wife, which leads to conflicts that could get him killed.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine, Rod Steiger
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

True story of a British attempt to trick the enemy into weakening Sicily's defenses before the 1943 attack, using a dead man with faked papers.

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Clifton Webb, Gloria Grahame, Robert Flemyng
The Cruel Sea (1953)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The World War II adventures of a British convoy escort ship and its officers.

Director: Charles Frend
Stars: Jack Hawkins, Donald Sinden, John Stratton
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An electronics expert creates a huge bookie broadcast system for his crime boss, and takes over operations when his boss is murdered. His greed leads him on a deadly destructive path.

Director: Joseph M. Newman
Stars: Edmond O'Brien, Joanne Dru, Otto Kruger
Tank Force (1958)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

During WW2 in North Africa, an American sergeant serving with the British 8th Army is captured by the Germans but he hatches various plans of escape from the POW camp.

Director: Terence Young
Stars: Victor Mature, Leo Genn, Anthony Newley
The Way Ahead (1944)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

World War II drama that follows a group of British draftees, starting with their rigorous basic training, and ending with their deployment in North Africa.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: David Niven, Stanley Holloway, James Donald
Edit

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
Edit

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 in this ripcord thriller that rips at your emotions! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

1 October 1953 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Paratrooper See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$700,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,750,000, 31 December 1954

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,000,000, 31 December 1953
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

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
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

About an hour into the film, Leo Genn enters his office and tosses his hat across the room where it lands on a hat rack. A similar bit was a running gag in the early James Bond films which also had Terence Young directing and Richard Maibaum writing. See more »

Goofs

When the British paratroopers were lined up in the American C-47, the static lines on their parachutes were not hooked up to the overhead cable which pulls the ripcord as they exit the aircraft, as shown in the next scene. In fact, the cable was missing in this aircraft interior shot. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Mouth 3 (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

The Piobaireachd of Dhonald Dhu
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Good film about the start of the British airborne
21 January 2016 | by SimonJackSee all my reviews

This film is a very good look at the start of the British airborne forces during World War II. "Paratrooper" was released in America in late December 1953, more than four months after its early August premier in the U.K. where it was called "The Red Beret." That is the name of the book from which the film is adapted, written by Hillary St. George Saunders.

Columbia studios clearly made the film for people on both sides of the pond. So, the plot includes an American who enlists in the British Army in Canada. That's OK, and we know quite a few American fliers joined the war effort early by serving in the RAF. Here it provides the love interest part of the film that Hollywood often included for wider audience appeal. But, I think any number of other actors might have filled the role better than Alan Ladd. His Private McKendrick (aka, "Canada") seemed to have a chip on his shoulder. We learn of his background halfway into the film, and one can understand his experience affecting him. But, not that he would be so touchy and angry toward other men. Whatever the reason, his character doesn't come across as genuine.

That aside, I give this film eight stars for its interesting and early look at jump school training and the start of the British Airborne. Years later, I served as a paratrooper in the U.S. 504th and 509th Airborne regiments (1962 through 1964). Americans train at the Ft. Benning, GA, jump school. I became familiar with the British Airborne while stationed in what was then West Germany. We had NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) military exercises in Europe with the Brits, West Germans, and others. And, I was in charge of our airborne PIO (Public Information Office) when we sent one of our troopers through the British jump school. He photographed and reported on it. And, yes, the Brits were still jumping from balloons in training.

From its very beginning jump training has undergone changes, just as the aircraft, equipment and other things have changed. The film shows the first planes the Brits used. They were modified Wellington bombers and men dropped through an opening in the floor. Soon, "Dakotas" (Douglas C-47s) arrived from the U.S., and troopers jumped out of side doors behind the propellers. In 1962, I trained in C-119 "Flying Boxcars," and then jumped from C-130s (Hercules transports) and helicopters in Germany.

The Brits needed to make seven jumps to earn their parachutist wings. We had to make five jumps in the U.S. The film shows training in hand-to-hand combat. Americans got that in advanced infantry training before Jump School. We don't see any other physical training in the film, but all paratroopers have much more rigorous physical conditioning. One thing was glaring to me – I didn't see a single trooper land with a PLF (parachute landing fall). Maybe this wasn't developed until well after the war, but PLF landing had tremendous results in reducing injuries. In a nutshell, the trooper is trained to turn or orient his chute for a side landing, and then in a relaxed position as his feet touch the ground, he rolls his body to the right or left, with his calf, then hip, then side absorbing the impact. In the 17 jumps I made, I only got hurt once, when I landed on a big boulder right in the middle of my back.

In this movie, Stanley Baker plays one of the training cadre, Sgt. Breton. On the first airplane jump, his chute fails to open and he falls to his death. The Brits called his malfunction a Roman candle. In the American airborne, we call it a cigarette roll. But it's interesting that the Brits apparently didn't carry reserve chutes. They didn't appear to have them on in the film. So far as I know, American paratroopers always have had a reserve chute on the front. If anyone had a cigarette roll or other malfunction, he would release the main chute and pull the ripcord on his reserve. I saw half a dozen or more uses of the reserves in my airborne service. Some other things missing from this film were training jumps from towers. In one scene, I can see what looks like a 250-foot tower in the background. I also enjoyed the portrayal of the chute packing unit. It's too bad they didn't show the actual packing tables. And the funniest thing in this film is the strange looking headgear the Brits wore in jump school.

"Paratrooper" is a good portrayal of the early action of the British Airborne. I thank Steve Crook from London, who's review tipped me off to the background of Major Snow. Leo Genn plays the part very well in this film. Snow was John Frost in real life. He became best known after his paratrooper battalion took the north end of the Arnhem Bridge in Operation Market Garden in September 1944. The Brits held out four days against a German Panzer division. They were captured only after they ran out of ammunition. In the 1977 blockbuster movie, "A Bridge Too Far," Anthony Hopkins plays Lt. Col. Frost beautifully. Frost retired as a Major General in 1968, and was a close adviser on that film.

The only thing I see wrong in this movie is the name of the first operation the troopers had. Major Snow calls it "Operation Pegasus." In fact, it was called Operation Biting, also known as the Bruneval Raid. There was a real Operation Pegasus, and it was the escape plan across the Rhine River for many of the Brits trapped by the Germans in Operation Market Garden.

War movie fans and those who like history especially should enjoy this film.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 20 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed