6.4/10
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19 user 11 critic

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 »

Photos

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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The cameraman Stanley Cortez is sometimes credited as having worked on this film. He told an interviewer, years later, that he had worked on pre-production for the film for eight months, spending "weeks and weeks" scouting locations in Hawaii. He claimed that Charles Laughton had wanted him to be associate producer as well as cameraman, and that Spencer Tracy, Montgomery Clift and Burt Lancaster were all sought to play leading roles (none was in the final film). Cortez claimed that Laughton had planned it as an independent production with financing coming from a Philadelphia exhibitor named Goldman. Whether or not any footage shot by Cortez is in the finished film is not known. See more »

Goofs

In the film, General Cummings is shown to be a Brigadier (one star) General. In the Norman Mailer novel on which the film is based, General Cummings is a Major General (two stars), the normal rank an Army division commander holds. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Robert Hearn: General... I've been thinking about what you said. Especially what you said about the power of fear and the fear of power. I never agreed with your point of view before, but I wasn't sure you were wrong. Now I'm sure. Two men carried me 18 miles through the jungle, a Baptist minister and a wandering Jew, but they didn't do it out of fear. They did it out of love. But they did something else besides save my life, they showed me something I've known all my life but I had forgotten. There's a ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in St. Elsewhere: The Naked and the Dead (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

South American Way
(uncredited)
Music by Jimmy McHugh
Played during Lt. Hearn's dream sequence
See more »

User Reviews

Not enough naked...Plenty of dead.
29 April 2003 | by Poseidon-3See all my reviews

Reportedly, Norman Mailer's best-selling novel was distilled and sanitized for the screen (what book isn't?!) Many people blame this for the rather weak resultant film. The film IS fairly weak, but the adaptation can hardly be the sole cause. "From Here to Eternity" and "Peyton Place" are just two movies adapted from adult novels that were made around this time and were referred to as "unfilmable", yet the end results were magnificent. This film concerns hard as nails, embittered Ray as an amoral Sergeant who's currently in charge of a motley troop of men in the South Pacific islands during WWII. Massey co-stars as a stern General who thinks of men as little more than beads on an abacus as he tries to figure out the strategies and percentages of war. His assistant Robertson clashes with him on various points and, after one particular battle, finds himself on a deadly mission alongside Ray and his band of not-so-merry men. Ray gives an okay performance in the film, but lacks the sort of leading man magnetism that could have put this over better. Robertson is thoughtful in his part, but doesn't really shine. Massey has a strong part with many nice moments. Several well-known TV and movie actors can be found in the troop including the always reliable Jaeckel, Best (who would later make a fool of himself weekly on "Dukes of Hazzard"), Campbell (famous for a guest role on the original "Star Trek" series), the ubiquitous Jones (who has an embarrassing role as a lovesick soldier) and Rat Pack comedian Bishop (who actually gives a nicely balanced performance.) There are some horrible flashbacks featuring various women. Ray's details his ludicrously presented relationship with trashy Nichols who laughs loudly and inappropriately at the end of it. Robertson has a dream involving a pallette of society girls he apparently had dabbled with, sometimes two at a time. Real life stripper St. Cyr makes a none too impressive appearance in the beginning of the film, inspiring Jones tremendously. The worst fault the film has is it's pedestrian nature. There is very little excitement generated throughout, even when arresting events are occurring. The film suffers from tiresome shots of the soldiers marching, climbing, walking, skulking..... A lot of the momentum gets lost along the way. This is countered somewhat by several bouts of unfunny physical comedy, heated arguments among the men and moments of drunken loudness. There is just a general unfocused quality in the film, possibly caused by shifts in the direction of the plot from the novel. What's worse is that in two hours of film, most of the men don't take their shirts off at all and when a few do it's in long shots. Maybe that's what was missing! The music does little to enhance the film. Bernard Herrman (who did such miraculous things to Hitchcock films) flounders here with unmemorable work. It's not the worst war film ever made, but truly falls short of being a great one.


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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

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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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