7.7/10
825
25 user 3 critic

The Execution of Private Slovik (1974)

The story of Eddie Slovik, who was executed by the Army in 1945, the only American soldier to be executed for desertion since the Civil War.

Director:

Lamont Johnson

Writers:

Richard Levinson (written for television by), William Link (written for television by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Out of the Darkness (TV Movie 1985)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

"Out of the Darkness" is a gripping thriller telling the true story of the hunt and capture of David Berkowitz, a.k.a. "Son of Sam" - the infamous serial killer who stalked New York City in... See full summary »

Director: Jud Taylor
Stars: Martin Sheen, Hector Elizondo, Matt Clark
The Deadly Tower (TV Movie 1975)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The infamous story of Charles Whitman, "America's favourite sniper" (in Stephen King's words), is told here once again.

Director: Jerry Jameson
Stars: Kurt Russell, Richard Yniguez, Ned Beatty
The Incident (1967)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Late one night, two young toughs hold hostage the passengers in one car of a New York subway train.

Director: Larry Peerce
Stars: Tony Musante, Martin Sheen, Beau Bridges
That Certain Summer (TV Movie 1972)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A teenager must deal with his divorced father's homosexuality.

Director: Lamont Johnson
Stars: Hal Holbrook, Martin Sheen, Joe Don Baker
The Fourth Wise Man (TV Movie 1985)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The story of Artaban, the fourth Magi, who spends his life looking for Jesus his King.

Director: Michael Ray Rhodes
Stars: Martin Sheen, Alan Arkin, Eileen Brennan
Silence of the Heart (TV Movie 1984)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Skip Lewis is a 16 year old, who's been through some stuff. Like he has been having academic problems, and a girl whom he has been pursuing has told him that she has no interest in him. He ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Michaels
Stars: Mariette Hartley, Dana Hill, Howard Hesseman
Sweet Hostage (TV Movie 1975)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An escaped mental patient kidnaps an illiterate teenage farm girl and takes her to his mountain hide-away, where they soon become friends and, eventually, lovers.

Director: Lee Philips
Stars: Linda Blair, Martin Sheen, Jeanne Cooper
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The Legend Of Earl Durand was the story of a young child whose family lived near DuBois, Wyoming and made Earl live in a hut in the wild because they thought he had a contagious ... See full summary »

Director: John D. Patterson
Stars: Peter Haskell, Slim Pickens, Keenan Wynn
The California Kid (TV Movie 1974)
Action | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A deranged desert town sheriff has a murderous habit of forcing speeders to their deaths, until a young man with a souped-up hotrod arrives to possibly end it.

Director: Richard T. Heffron
Stars: Martin Sheen, Vic Morrow, Michelle Phillips
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Bluff Jackson is a smooth talking drifter with a questionable past. His travels take him to an isolated backwoods station where two sisters, totally ignorant of the modern world, are caring for their elderly civil war veteran grandfather.

Director: Clyde Ware
Stars: Tillie Allen, Dick Barton, Jim Boles
Conflict (1973)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Set in Ireland where the Catholic Church has been superseded by a repressive order with new ideas. When group of Irish monks rebel a Vatican official is sent to bring order once more.

Director: Jack Gold
Stars: Trevor Howard, Raf Vallone, Martin Sheen
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Martin Sheen ... Eddie Slovik
Mariclare Costello ... Antoinette Slovik
Ned Beatty ... Father Stafford
Gary Busey ... Jimmy Feedek
Matt Clark ... Dunn
Ben Hammer ... Lt. Col. Leacock
Warren J. Kemmerling ... Maj. Fellman (as Warren Kemmerling)
Charles Haid ... Brockmeyer
Kathryn Grody ... Margaret
Paul Lambert ... Joe Sirelli
Jon Cedar ... Holloway
Joe George ... 109th Regiment Sergeant (as Joseph George)
Laurence Haddon Laurence Haddon ... Piper
James Burr Johnson James Burr Johnson ... NCO
Tom Ligon ... Childs
Edit

Storyline

The story of Eddie Slovik, who was executed by the Army in 1945, the only American soldier to be executed for desertion since the Civil War.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Was it an Act of Cowardice... or an Act of Conscience?

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

13 March 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Execução do Soldado Slovik See more »

Filming Locations:

Montréal, Québec, Canada See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The court-martial scene was filmed in the Grand Ballroom of the passenger ship and tourist attraction Queen Mary, in Long Beach, CA. See more »

Quotes

Father Stafford: Give it another volley if you like it so much!
Lt. Col. Leacock: Take it easy, Padre! None of us are enjoying this.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Method Actor (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Drum Boogie
Written by Gene Krupa and Roy Eldridge
Performed by The Andrews Sisters
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Extraordinary, heart-breaking tale of injustice.
16 August 2001 | by gfe22See all my reviews

This is a film that will leave you crying, angry and filled with righteous indignation, as it should.

Of the thousands of GI's who deserted during WW2, only one, Eddie Slovik, paid the ultimate price. His story is one of sheer bad luck on an appalling scale. Having done time for a minor offence (it was Grand Theft Auto), Slovik is determined to put the past behind him and start afresh. He gets a job, finds a wife and settles down, happy in the knowledge that his prison record means he's a 4F when it comes to military service. But when the army changes the rules and he registers as 1A, he finds himself in a situation he's emotionally unable to cope with.

Eddie Slovik should never have been on the front line. He was terrified of guns and at boot camp they had to cheat to get him through the rifle range. Right from the start it was clear this was not the sort of man any soldier would want defending his rear, since he was incapable of doing it. Despite this, he was sent into Europe after the D-Day landings. Separated from his platoon he found a niche for himself as a forager for a Canadian unit and there, frankly, he should have stayed. When ordered back to his own unit, which was on the front line, he deserted, having made his situation plain. It's a downhill run from there.

The film uses actual letters written by Slovik and comments from people who knew him to fill out the background of this tragic story. Sheer bad timing, combined with a belief that no one would see the sentence through (since it had never been down before) contributes to the film's heartbreaking conclusion.

Martin Sheen's performance is stunning. He manages to capture the pathos, fear, confusion and final terrified resignation of the man in the face of the inevitable. Slovik is the victim of fate and circumstance; the little guy, totally unprepared for the world in which he finds himself, more than willing to apply those skills he does possess to the war effort, but incapable of fulfilling what the army demands of him. While you can appreciate the army's need to make a point, you are left with the unalterable conclusion that here they picked the wrong man.

This film left me feeling extremely angry, and it's a rare one that does that. It also made me want to find out more about the circumstances surrounding the events and I was pleasantly surprised to find the film, by and large, stuck to historical fact.

Highly recommended.


39 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 25 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