Complex, hard-hitting look at the on and off-duty life of soldiers at the Army base in Honolulu in the days before the Pearl Harbor attack. There's sensitive Pvt. Prewitt (Clift), his always in trouble best friend Maggio (Sinatra), and their good-guy top sergeant (Lancaster) who just happens to be having a torrid affair with the commander's wife (Kerr). Prewitt, meanwhile, is introduced to a club "hostess" (Reed) who is a lot more vulnerable than she's willing to admit. A movie filled with great performances. Still has the best waves-on-the-beach love scene in filmdom. Based on the novel by James Jones, which was toned down by the censors.
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Available on VHS, DVD
Running time 118 minutes.
Oscars 1953: B&W Cinematog., Director (Zinnemann), Film Editing, Picture, Screenplay, Sound, Support. Actor (Sinatra), Support. Actress (Reed); AFI 1998: Top 100; Directors Guild 1953: Director (Zinnemann); Golden Globes 1954: Support. Actor (Sinatra), Natl. Film Reg. 2002;; N.Y. Film Critics 1953: Actor (Lancaster), Director (Zinnemann), Film.
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