“Feisty pup, isn’t he?”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
As the film opens, we see young Audie (Gordon Gebert) offering to quit school and work to help support his single mother (Mary Field) and large share-cropping family in Texas:
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Murphy tries without luck to enter into the Navy and Marine Corps before finally being accepted into the Army.
Once he’s out on the battlefields of North Africa, Italy, and France, Murphy (who, for the record, was loathe to portray himself on film) quickly shows himself to be humble, beloved, and exceedingly brave:
As noted in the New York Times’ original review of this film, it “has the twin virtues of truth and Audie Murphy to support it” — and audiences at the time apparently agreed, making it Universal Studios’ top-grossing movie until Jaws (1975). Be sure to read TCM’s article for additional insights into the making of this film, as well as Murphy’s response.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments: