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on March 1, 2016
Seems that there is more authenticity in this "little" film than the big budget Civil War dramas like "Gettysburg." The script and narration borrows heavily from the book which I liked ("He had made his mistakes in the dark, so he was still a man"). The dialogue between the soldiers reflects the language of the Victorian era and adds much realism to the film. Bill Mauldin is a standout as the boy's friend. My favorite scene is of the Union General on the white horse, riding along the line before battle, asking the men about dinner .... just banter to relieve tension.
A lovely film that takes me back to that time like no other film does.
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on April 9, 2015
Bought this for a friend- as soon as I found out John Huston directed it (he is one of the greatest film directors in history- Maltese Falcon and Treasure of the Sierra Madre are legendary), I read the book and also understand Stephen Crane was one of our greatest American authors he died so young but wrote in Hemingwayesque prose 30 years before Papa. Crane's Maggie a Girl of the Streets is also a masterpiece of humanistic literature that draws light to the plight of normal human beings caught up in economic or political circumstances they had no direct participatory say in (either you're drafted into the war or born into poverty) yet it ends badly for them back then, and it ends badly for them today, just don't imagine you'll see it on TV. Open you eyes and find a homeless person or two and listen to what they have to say.
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on January 16, 2015
Perhaps a standard Civil War film, especially from the personal side of one young soldier's experiences during that horrible conflict. Filmed in black and white , the story moves along very quickly, but neither variable negatively affects the quality of either the story line or the impact thereof.

Some truly excellent movies have been made regarding the details of the combat, but The Red Badge of Courage explores some of the equally crucial psychological impacts of combat. Excellent performances by not only Audie Murphy, but from a well-selected cast across the board. The film represents the transformation of a young soldier from apparent cowardice to battlefield courage. Really, no collection of Civil War films, or any other wartime situation, is complete without this one.
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on September 18, 2015
John Huston was one of the finest American directors and this film demonstrates why. The camera work is sublime and the acting superb. Huston clearly had a vivid sense of the heart of Stephen Crane's classic novel and was able to translate the powerful language into poetic imagery on the screen. Audie Murphy was also terrific in the lead role of Henry Fleming. I highly recommend this to aficionados of fine cinema, though I would have loved to have seen the full movie as intended by Huston. Hollywood may have "butchered" it in Huston's eyes, and softened anti-war sentiments, but they still left a choice cut of meat for us. A great film.
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on August 9, 2016
An excellent production. Audie Murphy's performance as the young boy soldier is excellent as is the rest of the cast with great character actors of the time. The B & W film adds authenticity to the Civil War setting. It is like seeing Matthew Brady stills from that time in a movie. The theme & conflicts of the excellent Stephen Crane novel are well presented. One of my fave movies & books.
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on June 13, 2007
"Red Badge Of Courage" was a film destined to fail from its inception. Louis B. Mayer never wanted the picture to be made and did what he could to discourage the process. He felt it could never be a commercial success without female characters or established stars. Mayer expressed his views directly to John Huston, he said, "It has no story and won't make a cent!"

When the film was finally completed, the test screenings were a failure. Houston remarked: "With the Red Badge of Courage, I quite understood at the time why they took the steps they did. I was present at a preview when damn near a third of the audience got up and walked out of the theatre."

Various edits were tried without the participation of Huston, who was working on the "African Queen" with Bogart and Hepburn, and seemed to not give a damn. All that resulted was a picture that got shorter and shorter. The final release version is 69 minutes. The original cut was of 95 minutes, not two hours as has been suggested.

"...they cut out one scene that was probably the best in the picture, in a way of anticlimax. The monumental death of the tall soldier. The boy and the tattered soldier walk away down the hill, and the tattered fellow says, "I've never seen a feller die like that." He begins to ramble and begins to walk around in circles then dies himself. This was the most extraordinary moment in the picture as far as I was concerned. It wouldn't have made any difference so far as the audience was concerned. They still walked out in the middle of the picture."

The footage that was extracted was from the master negative. It was discarded to the floor of the editing suite and thrown away as useless. There are no records of any of the cut scenes or extra footage surviving.

Louis B. Mayer dispatched a second unit to Huston's ranch. The second unit was to film the battle scenes in Technicolor using the Cinematographic process: MGM Camera 65. Louis B. Mayer, at his most vindictive, shot footage that would eventually be used in future productions with the full knowledge of Huston.

As the problems mounted, Huston's enthusiasm for the project waned and he started to gravitate towards his next project. Huston never re-visited "Red Badge Of Courage". It is assumed he was never happy with the film in its original form or its release version and was happy for the film to fade into annals of film history.
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on October 9, 2017
The story is epic of course and shows us a young man's battle with his own feelings and his own courage! It is hard to reconcile the character, Henry, with the actor, Audie Murphy . . . The most decorated soldier to come out of WWII He does do a great job of acting though.
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on September 6, 2017
This is one of Audie Murphy's best films.
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on November 1, 2009
The classic book brought to the big screen with Audie Murphy as "the boy" is excellent. When you are embarrassed that you haven't read the classic you can always resort to this movie version to become enlightened by the strong character interaction on a true modern day combat issue. Even those who are "black-and-white" challenged, like my kids, once they discover the characters in the movie they watch the movie to the end.
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on December 7, 2011
As a "make sure you get something you really want for Christmas" gift, I recently purchased director John Houston's classic movie "The Red Badge of Courage" on DVD through The quality was excellent and the movie (with WWII Medal of Honor hero Audie Murphy and "Joe and Willy" G.I. cartoonist Bill Mauldin) was even better than I remembered. Some 150 years after the Civil War and 60 years after the film's initial release, it is still unnerving in its power and impact. And with my points from other purchases, it cost less than $5 total (others wanted $30 or more!).

I am a Disabled Veteran myself (Combat Medic with a Recon troop of the 1st Air Cavalry Division in Vietnam; my book, A GRAVEYARD CALLED TWO BITS, is available on Kindle eBooks at, so I know something about fear. All soldiers, even the seemingly bravest ones, tread a fine line between fear, failure, and duty to their fellow soldiers. To see the most decorated U.S. soldier in American history battling his own doubts and fears so realistically and convincingly as author Steven Crane's protagonist Henry Flemming is both a tribute and a testament to the metal of a man named Murphy . . . and the legacy of the Greatest Generation.
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