From Here to Eternity
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In this landmark film, passion and tragedy collide on a military base as a fateful day in December 1941 draws near. Private Prewitt (Montgomery Clift) is a soldier and former boxer being manipulated by his superior and peers. His friend Maggio (Frank Sinatra) tries to help him but has his own troubles. Sergeant Warden (Burt Lancaster) and Karen Holmes (Deborah Kerr) tread on dangerous ground as lovers in an illicit affair. Each of their lives will be changed when their stories culminate in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Winner of eight Oscars(r), including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting awards for Sinatra in a career-defining role and for Donna Reed as a not-so-wholesome club hostess.
Not much of a bonus package on the DVD, considering the film's classic status. The best is the audio commentary, which features Tim Zinnemann, the director's son (and a filmmaker in his own right), and Alvin Sargent, who connects with Fred Zinnemann in two unrelated ways: he wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay for Zinnemann's Julia, yes, but years before that he was an obscure actor who had a couple of scenes in From Here to Eternity. Their comments are pleasantly anecdotal, shedding insider light on the making of the film and Fred Zinnemann's meticulous approach. Fans of Montgomery Clift will be intrigued by the different, conflicting memories of that troubled actor. A making-of featurette is a bogus montage of very brief location footage, and patching together a few excerpts from an interview with Fred Zinnemann doesn't constitute much of an extra feature (why not include the entire interview?). The usual trailers and skeletal filmographies fill it out. --Robert Horton
- Exclusive featurette: "The Making of From Here to Eternity"
- Featurette: "Excerpts from Fred Zinnemann: As I See It"
- Talent Files (Fred Zinnemann, writer Daniel Taradash, Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed, and Frank Sinatra)
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Private Prewitt is an exceptionally good boxer. However, his days in the ring are ended after he seriously injures a friend during a sparring match. He's transferred to a rifle company and wants to prove his merit seeing how he's been a bugler most of his time in the service. When the company commander (CO) insists on Prewitt joining the company boxing team, Prewitt refuses on moral grounds.
Thus begins an endless period of physical and mental 'treatment' (what we call hazing today). The CO is determined to have his way, and puts things in the hands of Sergeant Warden, a career soldier like Prewitt, only with actual combat experience versus most others. Prewitt makes friends with most of the platoon soldiers, minus those on the boxing team who bully him. He meets a woman, a working woman, he falls in love with, but before things fall into place, December 7, 1941 befalls them and their lives are forever changed.
As a fan of Clift and Lancaster, this is one of their best, if not one of THE best films ever made. I keep this in my collection and watch from time to time, always catching something new. Frank Sinatra is outstanding in his role, too!