Set during the Pacific War against the Japanese, this WW2 drama discerns between achieving one's mission at any cost versus preserving the lives under one's command and enforcing discipline through fear as opposed to mutual respect.
In the 1950s, a poor Georgia cotton farmer and his sons search for the gold presumably buried on the farm by their grandfather but problems related to poverty, marital infidelity, unemployment and booze threaten to destroy their family.
As the Japanese sweep through the East Indies during World War II, Dr. Wassell is determined to escape from Java with some crewmen of the cruiser Marblehead. Based on a true story of how Dr... See full summary »
In the Pacific during World War 2, the officers live a comfortable life with good food, good drink and good quarters. To them, war is a game which they know they will win and the common soldiers are the pawns on the board. When the campaign slows down, the Commander sends a squad to the top of a mountain behind enemy lines to report on the Japanese troop movements. The squad is commanded by a tough cynical Sergeant who takes no prisoners and even takes the gold from the teeth of the enemy dead. Before the mission starts, the lieutenant, who has had a cushy job due to a life of wealth and privilege, criticizes the Commander over his attitude towards the common soldier and is re-assigned to lead the squad. The veteran Sergeant wants to complete this mission as ordered, and he will do everything he can do to see that it is successful.Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Norman Mailer, the author of the best-selling and critically acclaimed novel on which the film is based, was reported to have said it was the worst movie he had ever seen after viewing the film. See more »
About 26 minutes into the film, as the sergeant is begging the lieutenant for more replacements, a mixed-race combat unit walks by in the background. The armed forces did not integrate until after WWII. See more »
And maybe if I had, I might like the movie less. (I read "The Thin Red Line" before I saw that movie and was, as I expected, disappointed despite the fact that that is a very fine film.) As it is, I like this film a lot. For one thing, it's got one of Bernard Hermann's best but least-known scores; I wish it were available on CD. The cast features an amazing array of '50s lead and supporting actors. L.Q. Jones is especially enjoyable as an amiable hillbilly (a role he specialized in) and Aldo Ray gives one of his finest performances as the hate-filled Sgt. Croft. Cliff Robertson is a little milque-toasty, but that's more because the role is underwritten. Raymond Massey is appropriately arrogant and high-handed as the general in charge of the campaign. If you can catch this film on TV, Turner Classic Movies is the place to see it because they letterbox it in its original 'scope aspect ratio, crucial to appreciating this film in all its widescreen glory. Trivia note: this was a favorite film of German auteur Rainier Werner Fassbinder.
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