To Hell and Back (1955) Poster

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A classic and unique movie
valf14 May 2006
To Hell And Back rates as one of the truly classic and unique movies of our time. To have Audie Murphy himself have to remember and "relive" his war experiences, having been removed from them for only ten years, is unprecedented.The movie is the forerunner of such movies as We Were Soldiers Once...and Black Hawk Down. Although Col. Tom Moore was only an on scene adviser he also relived some of the scenes(his own admission) that were depicted in "..Soldiers..." Black Hawk Down depicted actual footage of the battle. The historical and personal accuracy of these movies is tremendous. Audie, however paid a bitter price. His war experiences tormented him the rest of his life with constant insomnia, depression and anxiety. I was lucky enough to meet him at Suffolk Downs Race Track in 1959 or 1960. I always wondered what became of his siblings and sister. Audie Murphy is a true hero of the twentieth century. Everyone should take note of what true character, integrity and loyalty Audie gave us. Thank you Audie.
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The true story of an outstanding soldier...
Nazi_Fighter_David3 December 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Audie Murphy's screen autobiography is a much better film than it has any right to be... The Army provides a Depression-era kid from East Texas with a strong family structure that he has never really experienced...

In 1937, a young Audie Murphy (played by Gordon Gebert as a boy, by Murphy himself later) is forced to become the head of a family with an ailing mother and an absent father... He drops out of grade school and goes to work full time to provide for his younger siblings until, at roughly the same time, World War II starts and his mother dies...

By enlisting in, Murphy can provide more money for his brothers, but neither the Navy nor the Marines were interested in the small guy...

In the Army, Murphy is promoted to Corporal on the troop ship carrying him overseas where he joins the 3rd Infantry Division, B Company, 15th Regiment... It soon becomes apparent that the likable 'baby face kid,' hardly old enough to shave, has a genuine aptitude for soldiering...

After North Africa, his outfit takes part in the invasions of Sicily, Anzio and Southern France... In every engagement, Murphy steps up and excels as a soldier... At the same time, he becomes friends with Brandon (Charles Drake), Johnson (Marshall Thompson), and Kerrigan (Jack Kelly). He sees himself as part of a unit, and everything that he does is meant to advance the unit, not the individual... Murphy liked to work alone, putting only himself at risk...

The one long scene that moves away from the Military—an interlude in an Italian town where he meets Maria (Susan Kohner) and her family, is embarrassingly bad... As long as the focus stays on the platoon's activities on the battlefield, the film is in fine shape... Director Jesse Hibbs makes the cold mud and rain of the Italian campaign believably real, especially a series of scenes revolving around a farmhouse and a burning tank...

One might assume that Murphy's indomitable courage would be described as Rambo—like heroics, but in comparing the film with the official combat reports, it is clear that Murphy became an astounding soldier by skill, training, intelligence, and luck... He was an equal opportunity soldier, doing everything the front line combatant is required to do in order to take and hold ground through Sicily, Italy, France, and into Germany...

All of the events recounted in the film take place before Murphy was 19 years old... In that brief military career, Audie L. Murphy becomes one of the best fighting combat soldiers of the last century... He never really seemed to care about the medals or glory, just the men of his unit and friends who fall down in the European Theater of Operations...

Murphy died tragically on May 28, 1971, when the private plane in which he was a passenger crashed into a mountain near Roanoke, Virginia... He was 46.

His last film role was earlier that year, playing Jesse James in 'A Time for Dying.'
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An incredible story
elrich-230 August 2000
It's a shame that more people haven't seen this movie in recent years. As much as Saving Private Ryan introduced a new generation to horrors and heroism of World War II, "To Hell and Back" introduces you to one of the men who lived through it. It doesn't attempt to glorify the War, it simply relates what happened to America's most decorated soldier based on his own story and actually staring him. While it's amazing that the baby faced Murphy still looks young enough in 1955 for the story to work 15 years after the fact, the truly amazing thing is that from most accounts, Murphy understates his own role in many of the events described in the movie. The final war scene for instance shows him holding off an entire German regiment using artilery and the machine gun of a burning tank. The fact is that he held that ground alone for well over an hour before the germans finally gave up. All the while the tank was burning and could have exploded at any time. Like many great soldiers, however, he had trouble adjusting to life after the war even with a semi-successful acting career aided by James Cagney after the war. Still, it's men like this, who risked and often gave their lives on the fields of Europe and Africa and in the waters and islands of the pacific, that we have to thank for the Freedoms we enjoy in the United States today. Too often we forget this.
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AUDIE MURPHY: the Man, the Legend, the Hollywood Star
starracer00725 November 2005
Let's face it; in a world of computers and egotists so far absent of true human contact and chivalry, Audie Murphy will forever shine brightly and ever brighter as a true man. He is perhaps the last real genuine American hero, as we slip into a vortex world of lawyers, statistics, and scams.

1.) At the age of 12, he chose to be a man by taking over his absentee father's role in his family; he literally fed his dirt poor family by putting meat on the table with a keen eye and a broken down .22 rifle. Working two jobs at this age, he still wrote cursively w/ excellent spelling and diction when he had to quit his education. This is something half of the high schoolers of today can't do as they "rap" themselves in hedonistic pursuits of clothes, breeding without responsibility, drugs, cell phones, and a disregard for another person's respect and rights.

2.) After multiple attempts to join our country's armed forces, he became the most highly decorated soldier in our nation's history, with countless feats of heroism (please see WWW.AUDIEMURPHY.COM.).

3.) He achieved Hollywood star status with his tough yet tender persona.

In a current world of 50 cents, we can look back to a time when a man was truly a man, and that man was the United States Medal of Honor Winner: AUDIE MURPHY.
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Liked it should know Audie's History first
bozon28 July 2004
I liked this movie not so much because it is a great movie ( it is an average war movie of this era) but because it made me reflect about reality versus perception and how you can be very wrong about something by taking it at face value. Let me explain. My perception, If I had to pick a platoon for battle I would never pick Audie Murphy. At 5'5", maybe 110 lbs, a high tinny voice, and hyper-kinetic motion, he seems more like someone that would get killed early and easily, or worse get you killed. The reality, he was the man you wanted in your platoon when the battle started. He was made of heroic stuff. He wasn't a tough talking braggart. He was just a soldier that would do anything to save his brothers and get home alive. He of course isn't the only example of this. He just got his own movie. It was a good thing that he was an actor because John Wayne would have played his part if he hadn't been, which would have been a real shame because you would have lost the true meaning behind the story. Hollywood prefers style over substance. It would have been a true

disservice to all of the short, underweight chirpy men in the world.

Think about Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne, who would you want in your platoon. John Wayne is your probable choice. Now compare Jimmy Stewart's military career with John Wayne's. John Wayne avoided WWII instead using it to advance his career when many of his contemporaries went to war. Jimmy Stewart on the other hand joined the Air Force 9 months before the attack on Pearl Harbor. He had to force the Air Force to let him in because he was under weight. He was a bomber pilot that flew 20 missions. "His wartime decorations included the Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, four Air Medals, and the French Croix de Guerre with Palm." Now who do you want on your side. I'll take the battle hardened, frail looking, stuttering veteran over the tough talking, strapping, strutting Hollywood pretender any day.

So when I watch the movie I think about the reality of Audie Murphy. Which leaves me with the feeling that if you put your heart into it you can do anything. So when you watch the movie think about the reality. You have a 5'5" war hero that actually became a Hollywood action hero which is improbable in itself.
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A solid 1950's style WW2 movie.
Scurfield26 January 1999
I watched this movie because I was interested in seeing the story of Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier in U.S. history. The fact that this movie is based on Audie Murphy's autobiography, and that he stars as himself in the film, added to my interest. I didn't have high pre-expectations, so I was pleasantly surprised while watching this enjoyable film. To Hell and Back is a solid 1950's style WW2 movie, which focuses on the camaraderie of the foot soldier. It is neither pro nor anti-war, as it has a high body, but shows little of the bloodshed or true horror of war.
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"To Hell and Back" one of the best war movies ever made !
jcwave11 July 2004
In my opinion 'To Hell and Back' is one of the best war movie ever made, (right next to 'Saving Private Ryan') because it was about a true story of a kid from Texas with a run-a-way Father and a dead Mother, wanted to do something for the war effort but was turned down by every other service except the Army, and the Army had second thoughts. What makes this movie very special is the fact that the most ever to date decorated US soldier (two dozen of the highest medals) and a Congressional Medal of Honor receiver, not only lived through the war, but in fact played himself ! after being talked into it, seems he didn't want to play himself, he thought it would degrade the Medal of Honor.

I watched a run of this movie on the History Channel, it was a show called, is it 'History or Hollywood' where by at the end of the show 3 Historians discuss a movie for Historic correctness, every one said if anything this movie was under stated of what Audie Murphy truly did in Europe during WWII, one said it was down played because of Audie Murphy himself, because his Army recorded as witness by others has him doing lots more, but that was the personality of Audie Murphy, imagine watching a movie were the battle's and the deeds are true, they called out a seen where Audie's best friend gets shot, he really did go ballistic charging at the German machine gun nest that killed him, picks up a German Machine gun then proceeds to take out 2 or 3 more gun sites, by using the German gun it didn't give a warning to the Germans, he saved countless American lives coming up that mountain, a brilliant movie.

My only wish is for this movie to come out on DVD, please release 'To Hell and Back' on DVD !
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A movie given a great boost by Life magazine
rkdoidge7 June 2005
Quite often I see a movie then seek out the book but when I came to the US from Canada when I was 13 the first purchase I made was the paperback version of "To Hell and Back" ($0.35). Of course Audie Murphy is perfectly cast and gives a performance far superior to any of his subsequent movie roles. The others, notably Marshall Thompson, Jack Kelly, David Janssen and Art Aragon give satisfying performances. In many ways this was the "Saving Private Ryan" of its time for its "realistic" portrayal of the foot soldier in WW 2. Life magazine boosted the audience for this film when it put Murphy on the cover and emphasized that the story was true. I think that it works because Murphy doesn't look like the typical movie hero. The book is once again available in a new larger page-size paperback.
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A story that really deserved a better movie
Euromutt19 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
"To Hell And Back" is based on the autobiography of Audie Murphy, the most decorated American soldier of the second world war, with Murphy playing himself. The film begins by establishing Murphy's humble beginnings as the eldest of several children abandoned by their father in rural north-eastern Texas. After their mother dies, Audie's siblings are put into an orphanage, and he joins the armed forces. After being turned down by the Marine Corps and the Navy, he joins the Army and soon arrives up in North Africa as a replacement with B (Baker) Company, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. (Given how susceptible Murphy is to sea-sickness, it was probably for the best that the more nautical services rejected him.) He is too late to see action in Africa, but he gets plenty as the division proceeds to fight its way through Sicily, the Salerno and Anzio bridgeheads in Sicily, lands in southern France and fights its way up to the German border. Along the way, Murphy rises through the ranks from private to lieutenant and is leading B Company before his military career is cut short by a piece of shrapnel just a few months before VE-Day. A number of episodes also touch on his background, such as when discovers that one of his squadmates abandoned his wife and child, much like Murphy's dad, and when he meets an Italian family where the father similarly disappeared.

It's a spectacular story (I should note I read the book before seeing the movie), and the film's main failing is that it really doesn't do the story justice. The combat scenes are too few and too sparse, given all Murphy went through, but the real problem is that Universal was too stingy with funds for extras and locations. The action takes place in the Mediterranean and France, in a variety of terrain and seasons, but none of the locations look like Europe; there's not a paved road, village or church steeple in sight, and the vegetation screams western United States. I would guess that the combat sequences were all filmed on the training grounds of the Fort Lewis Military Reservation (just up the road from where I live in Washington state) in the space of a couple of weeks in late spring/early summer. All the sequences of naval vessels, amphibious landings and aircraft are all plainly stock footage. Naples looks suspiciously like a "generic southern European town" set on a Hollywood backlot, and there are too few people on the street for such a major city. Similarly, the battle scenes seem to have way too few people in them, causing the front line to look about 30 meters long. ("The Big Red One" had similar problems, being mostly shot in Israel, though that location at least looks Mediterranean.) Furthermore, the film suffers from being too sanitized, and I don't just mean the language. Murphy and his fellow "dogfaces" look freshly shaved and showered at all times, with the creases still visible in their pants. Any mud on their clothing looks like the costume department painted it on. Rather than a harrowing ordeal, "To Hell And Back" feels like a day trip to the nearest National Park, with the enemy presenting only a minor and brief annoyance. Bill Mauldin's "Willie and Joe" cartoons did an infinitely better job of conveying the miserable conditions under which the infantryman did his job.

"To Hell And Back" is a perfectly adequate 1950s war movie, but it falls far short of the lofty goal it sets itself.
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A Great Film about a Great Man!!!
azcowboysingr5 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Of course this movie "sanitizes" WWII, look at the year it was made, the Hollywood censors would NEVER have allowed a "Saving Private Ryan" film to be released. That said, this is a true story, starring the man who actually lived through everything it shows and much, much more besides. I knew Audie personally and I can tell you that he was, and could really do, anything you saw him do on the screen. He actually did kill 283 German soldiers, not as a unit action, but he, himself, with his own guns! If anything, this movie down plays his real life heroics to a large extent. Audie's book tells a lot more detail about what happened during the War. When I knew him, Audie suffered from severe PTSD, but the VA had not recognized that as a real medical problem, so he never got treatment for it. He did sleep with a pistol under his pillow every night of his life, and he carried a loaded gun on his person everywhere he went, every day of his life (I do the same thing btw...and the VA treated me for PTSD after 'Nam). Finally, this is a wonderful movie about all the brave heroes who fought in those campaigns, dying, maimed, or just lucky enough to come home at the end. Audie was a much better actor than he was ever allowed to be by Universal Studios. His Westerns made money, and that was the studio's bottom line. BTW...To Hell and Back was the BIGGEST money maker for Universal until Jaws was released...that's not a bad record for Hollywood...20 yrs. worth of Dollars in the bank.
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Hollywoodized Version of an Incredible Story.
rmax3048238 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
In the early 50s, Audie Murphy and his ghost writer published a book of Murphy's unbelievable exploits in Italy, France, and Germany during World War II. Murphy, still in his teens, won about every decoration for valor that the human mind can dream up -- and he earned them too. The experience wrecked him. He made movies later in his life, always boyish looking and modest sounding. But he suffered from PTSD. He was tormented by nightmares of firing an M-1 at attacking Germans and having his rifle fall apart, piece by piece. He slept with a Colt pistol under his pillow and attacked another man with a baseball bat. His many medals were stashed in disarray in a drawer. He died in a plane crash.

Hollywood has taken this man's remarkable story, lifting pieces of it from his memoirs, left out the most poignant passages and twisted Murphy's remaining heroics into pablum. An example of what I mean. In the book, written in the present tense, Murphy describes his first encounter with the enemy and sees one of his targets fall. "Now I have killed," he writes, and goes on to explain his emotions.

No room for any such ruminations in the movie. We see Murphy rejected by the other services for being too young or too short. In the Third Infantry Division he is ridiculed in a good-natured way by the usual stereotypes from other war movies -- the guy who brags about his sexual exploits, the stoic Indian, the ambitious Pole, the reckless good friend. The musical score suits the film: a high school marching band plays "On Wisconsin" or something.

Murphy's achievements provide a peg to hang a formulaic war movie on. No cliché is avoided. On leave at last with his fellow troopers in Rome, they all head off to get drunk and get laid, leaving the bashful hero behind. The shy Murphy winds up spending the night with an accommodating young woman while the others are either satisfied with finding someone to talk to or find themselves in some other sort of dead end. The next morning all the men brag about their conquests while the reticent Murphy says nothing about his night of romance.

The battle scenes are pretty good, though again they fit the Hollywood mold. The writers even are forced -- get this -- they are forced to downplay or skip over Murphy's boldest actions -- because they are UNBELIEVABLE. The guy's military achievements are so extravagant that the writers must have figured no one would believe them, although to be sure, what's left in is heroic enough.

It isn't a bad movie, or rather it wouldn't be if it were fictional from beginning to end. It would just be a standard genre effort from the 1950s, inferior to, say, "Battleground" or "The Story of G. I. Joe." But it pretends to be a true story and it is simply not.

What a tragic waste -- of the rest of what life remained to Murphy, and of an historically accurate narrative that was never told.
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Great War Film
hjochade7 May 2003
Anyone who knows anything about Audie Murphy and his heroics, knows that the film does not do him justice. He did so much more than the film depicts. However, with the limited time allowed for a movie, the movie is quite good. The story is very accurate of how the US troops moved through Italy. Every time I see that the movie is on, I try to watch it and remember that my father was there!! Enjoy!! And hope we don't have to do it again!!
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A Wasted Opportunity
ewarn-126 October 2006
Audie Murphy, the greatest hero of World War II, was always a seriously underrated actor, and he had a great screen presence. This movie was a chance to make film history by featuring Murphy in his own exciting story, something that's never been done before or since. Well, Universal blew it! Not by their standards, of course, they made a lot of money. But as time goes on, this movie hasn't been well regarded, and it falls flat on contemporary viewers. Future generations will generally dismiss it.

The battle scenes play like a Disney version of the war, so sanitized the main role might have been played by Hayley Mills. Murphy adopts this curiously detached and semi- bored manner throughout the story, looking uneasy in his own uniform. You might have thought this film would have plenty of technical advisors, including Murphy himself, but everything---the gear, the scenery---looks and feels wrong. The Italian campaign, it seems, was fought in a sunny backlot, against fake Germans wearing fake uniforms with fake weapons.

Most of the other actors fit blandly into their goofy patterned innocent/naive American farmboy roles, and it wears thin after a while. Halfway through, I got the feeling that this could have been a great war classic if it had been aimed a little higher than the junior ROTC crowd. A more bitter and savage tone, tempered with American optimism, the kind of attitude that I understand Mr. Murphy actually had later in life, would have worked.

Even though I was disappointed, I still recommend watching this film because of my admiration for Audie Murphy, and to observe a particular attitude about war that was common in 1950s America. In some ways, after the crusade in Europe, that attitude was justified.
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Decent and interesting biography about Audie Murphy who enlists Army where makes a brilliant career
ma-cortes31 January 2017
This is the thrilling and exciting true-life story of America's most decorated . The authentic WWII story of Audie Murphy , the most decorated soldier in U.S . history . Based on the autobiography of Audie Murphy who stars as himself in the film from his up-bringing as the son of Texas sharecroppers , as his mother dies and he remains orphan and caring his kiddies brothers . He , then , applied for service with the Navy , the Marines and the Army he was turned down by all three branches . However , when he joined his combat unit, one of his superiors considered transferring him out of the company for being unfit for combat . As Audie wages war in Casablanca , Tunez ; he and his detachment (formed by Marshall Thompson , Charles Drake , Jack Kelly , among others) go to Sicily , Palermo until Messina . Later on , they land at Salerno , Naples , Anzio and MountCassino . After that , Murphy and his III Infantry Division formed by valiant ¨Dogfaces¨ (it was a term used during World War II to describe US Army combat infantrymen) disembark in France where take place other bloody battles . As Audie takes on hundreds of enemy soldiers with a machine gun mounted on a tank and he fought in seven major campaigns during World War II .

Acceptable picture based on actual events about about Audie Murphy who plays himself following his Army career in WWII . Murphy won more tan 20 medals , being the most decorated American soldier , including the Congressional Medal of Honor and he was also awarded five decorations by France and Belgium . Features impressive as well as realistic battle scenes punctuated with great heroics sequences . This rendition of Murphy autobiography was professionally directed by Jesse Hibbs and it was a box-office hit for Universal Pictures and its record was apparently not broken until Jaws (1975). Hibbs was an American director of second features , primarily westerns , at Universal in the 1950's . Being especially known for TV series as ¨Perry Mason¨ (1957) , ¨Gunsmoke¨ , ¨Laramie¨ and ¨F.B.I.¨ (1965) as well as Westerns and Thrillers . He directed various Audie Murphy vehicles such as : this ¨To hell and Back¨ (1955) , ¨World in My Corner¨ (1956) , ¨Ride a Crooked Trail¨ (1958) and ¨Medal of Honor¨ .

Based on facts , these are the following ones : The film describes especially the Italian campaign , when Eisenhower and the Allied command is convinced by Winston Chuchill and his General Brook to carry out the Italian invasion . Then , there takes place the ¨Husky Operation¨ (July , 1943) , but it didn't coordinate Montgomery's 8ª Army and Clark's 5ª Army against German General FeldMarschall, Albert Kesselring , and it resulted in a disaster . Kesselring designs the impregnable ¨Gustav line¨ in South Rome and the main bastion : Montecassino . Then , there happens the famous disaster of Anzio and Nettuno under command of General John Lucas . The Allied army formed by 28 Divisions have a hard and complex mission to their destination .
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A good soldier's story, played by "THE REAL McCOY"
Pepito-54 June 1999
I've always Liked watching Audie Murphy's movies since I was a child. I guess it also had to do with the fact that he had that baby face. Being a combat wounded Viet Nam vet, I can relate to his ordeal during and after the war. This man was a caring man who thought of others. Like many other "Medal of Honor" winners; he like the others are not the movie RAMBO hero. They Are "THE REAL McCOYS" It's ironic, though. His last movie in 1971 was called "A time for dying"[A Jesse James movie.] In that same year he died in a small plane crash. A friend of his had once said," all those Germans could not kill him,yet a plane crash near home took his life." My last words are, "May he be with the Lord."
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beyond its time
The_Amazing_Spy_Rises12 April 2006
Audie Murphy is one of the nation's most beloved souls, not only as an actor, but his exploits on the battlefront during WWII, becoming the most decorated soldier in history, and rising far in the military at the tender age of 19 made him an inspiration for us all. To Hell and Back is his story.

A true story based on Murphy's autobiography, THaB is beyond its time in that the visuals are absolutely stunning for a movie made in 1955. When watching it for the first time, I thought it was made in the late 1960's or early 1970's. Audie Murphy provides a realistic and moving performance as himself. The film is not only about Murphy's exploits in the war, but the people he met and became great friends with. It also shows the sorrow and tragedy of war very well, throwing in some romantic moments here and there, which is nice relief from all the action. What you'll realize about Murphy's performance is how real it is, because it's a rare moment in movies when someone plays themselves in an actual moment that changed their lives.

Go watch this great war movie. It's a classic that all war films should definitely take reference from. You'll have a good time with it, guaranteed.

8/10 --spy
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The hell with Hollywood, back to Murphy!
gkhege28 June 2019
I served in Vietnam with a kid from Harrah Oklahoma. Come to find out, his Dad was Harry Knapp,a film editor and close friend of Murphy. Many years later I would meet Harry Knapp and discuss Murphy. He told me that the movie failed to project the real humble kid from Texas. He also stated that Murphy had told him on many occasions the demons of war never left him. Audie Murphy died in a plane crash jus a couple of hours from my home. Very few people visit the site and most don't even know it exist. My Dad served in the same division as Murphy and though they never met... My late father held him in the highest regard. Every American should watch this film.
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Little Texas
bkoganbing13 July 2007
During the first World War the American hero out of that conflict, Alvin C. York of Tennessee, had to wait until the outbreak of the second World War for his biographical film to be made. World War II's equivalent from East Texas only waited ten years and had the singular honor of starring in the film of his own life.

Good thing Audie Murphy became a Hollywood star because he got to both write his own story and have Universal Studios produce the film as to his specifications. To Hell and Back is his story, but it's also the story of the men who served with him, those who came back from hell and those who remained.

What I liked best about To Hell and Back was the camaraderie and spirit and the relationships between Murphy and the men of his outfit. The story starts in North Africa where his company arrives too late for the fighting there, but just in time to be part of the offensive to take Sicily. Then it's Salerno, up the western Italian coast and into France with the landings in Southern France until Germany. At each stop Murphy grows in admiration and respect from those over and around him. Such players as Jack Kelly, Paul Picerni, Marshall Thompson and Charles Drake support Murphy very well.

To Hell and Back also shows what a roll of the dice combat is. It could just as easily been Murphy as any of the cast that is killed and doesn't make it to the end of the film. Staying alive is a singular accomplishment. All of these guys are heroes. A lot of the fame and glory Murphy won was due to luck and opportunity and he would have been the first to admit it.

When do you get a film with 100% perfect casting for the lead? you get it in To Hell and Back with Audie Murphy playing the man his comrades called Little Texas. A nice film about the greatest soldier of the greatest generation.
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Truly a Great Hero!
JANA-711 November 2006
It is difficult to imagine how a grade school teenager performed so brilliantly and courageously in World War 2 given the circumstances that he was part of all the major theaters of operation in Europe. He was and will always be remembered as a hero.

Perhaps my viewpoint is tinted because of all the superior docudramas that have unfolded in Hollywood over the past 15 years. This was a 50s war movie and Hollywood didn't really capture realism even with Audie in the lead role.

Knowing it is a true account of Murphy's unbelievable heroics, the director wandered through the film with with a typical script of the time that didn't give Mr Murphy the proper credit he so rightly deserved. The so-called Italian girl scene didn't help the movie.

Realism was absent during critical scenes and the uniforms (so clean) did not help its' believability. God love Audie and God bless him and it is too bad, considering the subject, that that Hollywood didn't spend enough time making the story much greater than it was depicted.
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Read the book.
makeminea2913 November 2020
To all who have seem this film. Please read the book.
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Worth Watching: America's most decorated War Hero plays himself
Brantford_Mark1 November 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Audie Murphy playing himself as the most decorated Army soldier in US history. Based on Murphy's book of the same name, this 1955 film was a box office hit. Some wooden performances and predictable dialog, but the thrill of seeing the hero himself re-enact his combat bravery was worth it.

Two each Silver & Bronze Stars, Congressional Medal of Honor (his actions in France atop the pictured tank earned him the latter), Croix de Guerre and Legion of Honor. Murphy got his older sister to attest that he was 16, but Marines, Navy and Paratroopers all passed on this slightly built Texan. He left the regular Army after 3 years in Africa, Italy and France at just 19!

Sadly, he was tormented by PTSD for the rest of his life, but was one of the first advocates for similarly affected vets. Starred in many movies and was even a popular country western singer. He died in a private plane crash in 1971. Buried at Arlington National Cemetery where my parents lie, his grave remains the second most visited after John F. Kennedy's.
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" Audie Murphy A Humble Hero "
PamelaShort9 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I was moved by this autobiography based film about the most decorated soldier of WWII, Audie Murphy. The actor deserved another medal for reliving his heroic, but traumatizing life as a combat soldier. The film begins in 1937, with Murphy's very humble beginnings as a young boy in northeast Texas. His father has abandoned the family and twelve year-old Audie is supporting his ill mother and seven younger brothers and sisters, by working for a neighbouring farmer. Four years later, just as the attack on Pearl Harbor happens, Audie's mother dies, and painfully he is forced to remand his siblings to the state orphanage. In desperate need to raise enough money to support them, Audie turns to the military, and the film takes you on his journey through the war. The battle sequences depicting Murphy's astounding heroic exploits are excellent and Audie Murphy's performance and delivery is very even-tempered, which helps to maintain the reality of the story. The supporting cast is strong with reliable performances delivered from actors, Marshall Thompson, Charles Drake, Jack Kelly and David Janssen. Yes in today's film world of superior special effects and high definition, and if this film was made today they probably would of went to Europe to film right on location, but I found this 1955 film hits the mark adequately. This truly touching picture is well worth a look.
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Audie Murphy: For a moment, time stands still...
beaudare-709961 June 2020
As an American actor/ screenwriter and a veteran, I am still amazed everytime I see this film. When Audie Murphy sits down next to his friend who has just died and drops his helmet onto the ground, then looks up with tears in his eyes: for a moment, time stands still... And during the unbelievable scene near the end, where Murphy climbs on top of a burning tank destroyer and opens up the machine gun on two German rifle companies, is one of the most thrilling moments in films. But the scene that brings tears to your eyes is when Murphy, after being given the Congressional Medal of Honor, looks out over the passing troops, with a distant sadness, as if he's looking for his fallen men... The hugely underrated Murphy has the remarkable ability as an actor, to show deep emotion with just a look in his eyes.. A true American hero... Beau Dare
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A rare autobiographical movie portrayal
kenstallings-6534615 March 2020
A one-of-a-kind movie where the star plays himself doing what he actually did.

Ironically, because of that, the movie actually understates the level of risks and heroism that Audie Murphy truly enacted. It was the star, himself, who constantly worked with the director to tone down the risks he would portray on the screen.

Such is entirely in keeping with the values of the man, Audie Murphy. But, sadly, as much as the movie conclusively portrays the man heroically, it leaves out quite a bit of emotion and rawness.

Just one example of many is the culminating scene which earned Murphy his Medal of Honor. That battle saw the real Murphy singlehandedly hold off the German advance for over an hour. The movie condensed it down to a few minutes.

And unlike the 1950's era romantic interest scene, nothing like that actually happened.

As much as the production value of the film falters for its relatively low budget virtues, Murphy himself makes up for it with the story itself, which is beyond words in terms of what he really did. It would be hard to accept a fictional film trying to show someone performing the deeds that Murphy does. Knowing that -- if anything -- what you are seeing was toned down on Murphy's own inputs, renders the actions truly mesmerizing.

How the real Audie Murphy even survived what he did is breathtaking. How he maintained his humility despite doing it goes beyond rational comprehension. In the end, what you are left with is the truth that Murphy would have traded every medal, every promotion, and every Hollywood perk he earned in his life, if in return all of his buddies would have survived the war with him.

The fact that they didn't all survive is what psychologically harmed him for the rest of his life.

That's the measure of the actual man -- it explains what he did, why he did it, and was the reason why he toned it down in his movie. He really wanted the audience to walk out of the theater appreciating his buddies, who sacrificed their own lives, more than appreciating Murphy for everything he did to try to get them through the war alive.

Perhaps he could settle for knowing we choose to appreciate them all!
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From war to Hollywood
jasonam26 May 2018
A story of one soldier's journey through various theaters of World War 2, To Hell and Back is unique due to its lead actor portraying himself. Real life veteran Audie Murphy took many steps to ensure this film captured the essence of what regular soldiers went through, and it shows. While the action and cinematography may not have aged as well, the genuineness of the dialogue and heart displayed by all of the platoon members allow this film to remain enjoyable over half a century later.
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