“He wished that he, too had a wound — a red badge of courage.”
A young man (Audie Murphy) fighting for the Union during the Civil War panics during his initial battle, but vows to redeem himself in future skirmishes.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Audie Murphy Films
- Civil War
- John Huston Films
John Huston’s adaptation of Stephen Crane’s classic novel was notoriously butchered down from two+ hours to just 69 minutes by studio executives (with the original cut lost), yet it remains a potent viewing experience even in its truncated form. By honing in closely on the experiences of a trepidatious young private battling fear, shame, and anger, we see war as both traumatizing and ennobling. Casting decorated WWII veteran Audie Murphy in the lead role was a brilliant choice:
… and he’s surrounded by fine supporting actors as well — including Royal Dano as “The Tattered Man” in a performance that was severely truncated upon editing, but remains powerful even in the few glimpses we do see:
Film fanatics will likely appreciate seeing how Huston’s directorial genius emerges in nearly every scene of this finely shot, emotionally laden movie.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Fine ensemble performances
- Impressive battle scenes
- Stark imagery
- Harold Rosson’s cinematography
Yes, as a powerfully told tale by a master director. Listed as a film with Historical Importance in the back of Peary’s book.
- Good Show
- Important Director