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The Naked and the Dead (1958)

Approved | | Drama , War | 28 October 1958 (Japan)
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.

Director:

Raoul Walsh

Writers:

Denis Sanders (screenplay), Terry Sanders (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Aldo Ray ... Sgt. Sam Croft
Cliff Robertson ... Lt. Robert Hearn
Raymond Massey ... Gen. Cummings
Lili St. Cyr ... Willa Mae aka Lily
Barbara Nichols ... Mildred Croft
William Campbell ... Brown
Richard Jaeckel ... Gallagher
James Best ... Rhidges
Joey Bishop ... Roth
Jerry Paris ... Goldstein
Robert Gist ... Red
L.Q. Jones ... Woodrow 'Woody' Wilson
Max Showalter ... Col. Dalleson (as Casey Adams)
John Beradino ... Capt. Mantelli (as John Berardino)
Edward McNally Edward McNally ... Cohn
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Storyline

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 <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The bigness and the boldness of the Naked and the Dead.

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 October 1958 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

A Morte Tem Seu Preço See more »

Filming Locations:

Panama

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paul Gregory Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Aldo Ray and L.Q. Jones had already appeared together one year earlier in another war film: "Men in War". See more »

Goofs

The tanks are a variety of M4 Sherman, M-41 Walker Bulldog or M47 Patton and M-48 Patton tanks. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Una questione d'onore (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

It Had to Be You
(uncredited)
Music by Isham Jones
Played during Lt. Hearn's dream sequence
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mailer's uncompromising novel, gets a bit compromised for the screen
6 November 2012 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Though Norman Mailer wrote many other works like David O. Selznick with Gone With The Wind, Mailer never wrote anything as good as The Naked And The Dead. It must have been a source of some frustration to him in trying to top this literary masterpiece.

Coming to the screen The Naked And The Dead's impact was neutered somewhat with changes, most importantly the death of a main character was eliminated and that person allowed to survive. Still what you get here is a really rancid version of a military campaign in the South Pacific Theater, the kind that Hollywood wasn't showing up to that time.

There are three main characters. First Cliff Robertson who comes from wealth and privilege and clashes with his martinet of a commanding officer. For that breach of military etiquette, Robertson is assigned to lead a patrol behind enemy lines to gather valuable intelligence.

The commander he insulted is General Raymond Massey who likes being the martinet, but in the end gets showed up rather beautifully by an eager subordinate who took some initiative during a combat situation.

Thirdly there is Sergeant Aldo Ray who was probably no prize, but whose character was totally twisted by the unfaithfulness of his wife Barbara Nichols. Nichols is just great in a flashback episode as a woman who might just as well have had a sandwich board sign labeled 'floozy' all over her. In some ways her small part is the most memorable in this war film. He's been leading his squad without any officers over him and would like to keep it that way. But he knows his job.

Over 59 years later The Naked And The Dead while not totally true to Mailer's words and plot, still hasn't aged one single bit. I could see a remake of this one in the future.


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