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Between Heaven and Hell
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If Hollywood cannot suppress a great concept and turn it into drivel before a film gets made, they often will find a way to do it after it has been released. Orson Welles learned this the hard way making Citizen Kane to his great pain, and could never get quite enough funding for any big film after that.
This is no Citizen Kane, nor will Robert Wagner ever, ever, be confused with Orson Welles. On the other hand, to call him un-charismatic?!? Not to a whole generation of girls in the 50's and 60's, including my sweetie. Not to mention to a whole generation of guys who wanted to be like him.
As a war film, it is way above the cut and cannot be written off too easily after viewing. I esteem it as much as Hell Is For Heroes with Steve McQueen or Attack! with Jack Palance. Films that stood out from the fodder, and were rarely duplicated if ever. Why this one never got respect, I am too young to have heard, and at this point, there is a whole new generation who will get to see, and perhaps appreciate it.
I saw this film many years ago on TV and I never quite forgot it, for many reasons, and I have been dying to see it released on DVD.
The other reviews on this site give a decent summation of the plot, but the truth of the film goes deeper. Buddy Ebson as a sharecropper gives a slyly informed humanity to people we all have driven by when we saw them (barely) working in the fields, or else cleaning our offices, or in our kitchens.
Broderick Crawford so typifies the insanity of war, where we can find ourselve in situations without a rulebook, yet not knowing the rules means death.Read more ›
The story begins "in medias res" with a demoted sergeant being transferred to a distant post in the Pacific Theatre in WWII. Robert Wagner plays this soldier from the South named Sam Gifford who must now rejoin the rank and file. Under the command of a sadistic captain, Gifford recalls his past as a wealthy landowner and his treatment of his sharecroppers. He then recalls the events of his heroism and demotion. Through all of this, he learns that the people he mistreated back home are just as capable of heroism and that he has been wrong.
Buddy Ebsen, from "The Beverly Hillbillies," plays a part in this film, and I believe he made the movie enjoyable. He wasn't comic relief, but played the stout-hearted sharecropper that truly showed Gifford the error of his ways.
The part of the sadistic captain doesn't seem to fit at first, but watch the whole movie, and his place and his story will make sense.
A fairly good movie, but the flashbacks seem a bit excessive. They are necessary, but still seem a bit much where they are.
The film opens with Gifford reassigned to a company posted up in the hills, a very isolated area under the command of a fanatical and probably queer army captain called Waco (Broderick Crawford).
With brief flashbacks, we discover that Gifford holds a well-earned Silver Star but one day, his emotions became dominant and his self-control completely lost when he assaults an officer in combat nearly killing him...
The attempt of Gifford-- seen to get a little shaky in combat--to master danger as far as to walk right along with the enemy, or not to leave the island without saving a wounded pal, hit the core of what must have happened on battlefields in World War II...
Aside from a beachhead landing and a final battle with the Japanese, Fleisher's film shockingly touches on the US officers martyred at the hands of Japanese snipers...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I first saw this film as a youngster in '57 when Robert Wagner was the nice guy Elvis wasn't, but wore the same haircut he had later in TV land with "It Takes A Thief. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Gene Cisco
Good for the time period this film was produced and with B actors about what is really important in life and how trauma can change even the worst perspectives in us.Published 9 months ago by Rod Wood LQ
I like this war flick. Had it on VHS and bought on DVD so I could have it.Published 9 months ago by Don
Most of us are used to seeing Robert and Terry together in "BENEATH THE TWELVE MILE REEF" (1956). Read morePublished 10 months ago by pylgrym
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|Looking for aan old movie I don't remember the name||
michaels powells stairway to heaven (a matter of life and death) david niven, kim hunter.
Jun 28, 2014 by robert mckinney | See all 2 posts
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