“You don’t mess around with the army: I don’t care who you are, you take orders.”
During World War Two, a lieutenant (Cliff Robertson) in the Pacific clashes with his superior (Raymond Massey) over privileges afforded to officers, and is sent to the front to help a cynical sergeant (Aldo Ray) lead a platoon against the Japanese.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Cliff Robertson Films
- Raoul Walsh Films
- Raymond Massey Films
- World War Two
Raoul Walsh’s adaptation of Normal Mailer’s classic WWII-era novel is a notorious dud on every count. Retaining almost none of the brilliance or irreverence of Mailer’s writing, the end result is a pedestrian account of military combat in the Pacific, with power conflicts emerging as the script’s only viable theme. Raymond Massey is well-cast as a military bigwig who honestly believes in the necessity of maintaining fear and distance between soldiers and their commanding officers, but he’s the film’s sole redeeming feature. Read the book instead.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Raymond Massey as General Cummings
No; definitely feel free to skip this one.