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Robert Wagner, Terry Moore, Broderick Crawford and Buddy Ebsen star in this absorbing drama about a young, self-centered recruit who comes of age during WWII. Sam Gifford (Wagner) is a successful cotton planter who treats his sharecroppers as if they were little more than farm machinery. But during combat in the Pacific, as he sees "quality" people crack, endures life under a sadistic officer (Crawford), and learns true friendship, from a "cropper" (Ebsen), Gifford slowly discovers there's more to a person than social class and good breeding.
A callow Southern aristocrat (the charismatically challenged Robert Wagner) acquires character and democratic values in the crucible of combat, via a laboriously complicated script that begins in the middle of things and then loads on explanatory flashbacks like a forklift. On "an island in the Pacific, 1945," the scion of a Tennessee cotton dynasty becomes not only comrade-in-arms but also friend to the sharecroppers he once scorned. Although the jungle island is crawling with Japanese snipers and patrols, the greatest danger comes from U.S. officers who are variously incompetent, "yellow," or--in the case of company commander Broderick Crawford--certifiably insane. Screenwriter Harry Brown wrote the World War II classic A Walk in the Sun 11 years earlier, but the characters here are a dull lot and the dialogue terminally flatfooted. However, director Richard Fleischer blocks his action scenes to take full advantage of the CinemaScope format. --Richard T. JamesonSee all Editorial 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 3 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 3 months ago by R. J. Wood
I like this war flick. Had it on VHS and bought on DVD so I could have it.Published 4 months ago by Don
Most of us are used to seeing Robert and Terry together in "BENEATH THE TWELVE MILE REEF" (1956). Read morePublished 5 months ago by pylgrym
Outstanding movie of a young man's transition from self focused "society elitist"; to a caring person transformed during the fellowship of combat in the Pacific theater of... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Lakota Ranger
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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