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The Way Ahead (1944)

Approved | | Drama, War | 3 June 1945 (USA)
World War II drama that follows a group of British draftees, starting with their rigorous basic training, and ending with their deployment in North Africa.

Director:

Carol Reed

Writers:

Eric Ambler (original story), Eric Ambler (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Niven ... Lt. Jim Perry
Stanley Holloway ... Pte. Ted Brewer
James Donald ... Pte. Evan Lloyd
John Laurie ... Pte. Luke
Leslie Dwyer Leslie Dwyer ... Pte. Sid Beck
Hugh Burden ... Pte. Bill Parsons
Jimmy Hanley ... Pte. Geoffrey Stainer (as Jimmie Hanley)
William Hartnell ... Sgt. Ned Fletcher (as Billy Hartnell)
Reginald Tate Reginald Tate ... The Training Company Commanding Officer
Leo Genn ... Capt. Edwards
John Ruddock John Ruddock ... Chelsea Pensioner
A. Bromley Davenport A. Bromley Davenport ... Chelsea Pensioner (as Bromley Davenport)
Renée Asherson ... Marjorie Gillingham (as Renee Ascherson)
Mary Jerrold Mary Jerrold ... Mrs. Gillingham
Tessie O'Shea Tessie O'Shea ... Herself - ENSA Entertainer
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Storyline

A group of draftees are called up into the infantry during World War II. At first, they appear to be a hopeless bunch, but their Sergeant and Lieutenant have faith in them and mould them into a good team. When they go into action in North Africa, they realize what it's all about. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Story of Today---YOU'LL REMEMBER FOREVER! (original ad - several caps)

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

3 June 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Immortal Battalion See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Two Cities Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (recorded on) (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

An homage to the last scene of this movie with the men advancing with bayonets fixed through a smoke filled battlefield, was used as the end credits to the British sitcom Dad's Army (1968). John Laurie (Private Luke) also had a starring role in Dad's Army (1968) as Private Fraser. He faithfully re-created his scene from this movie exactly in the end credits of the series. See more »

Goofs

The Vickers gun used by Brewer and Luke changes from having a smooth barrel casing/water jacket, in the exterior shots, to a corrugated pattern once inside the Cafe Rispoli. See more »

Quotes

Pvt. Ted Brewer: Only one good man ever got into Parliament.
Pvt. Herbert Davenport: Oh really? Who?
Pvt. Ted Brewer: Bleedin' Guy Fawkes.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: MARCH 1939 See more »

Alternate Versions

When originally released theatrically in the UK, the BBFC made cuts to secure a 'U' rating. All cuts were waived in 1986 when the film was granted a 'U' certificate for home video. See more »


Soundtracks

Marche Mustapha Kamel
(uncredited)
Composer unknown
See more »

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User Reviews

An Excellent and Unusual British Wartime Picture
7 April 2000 | by c15taSee all my reviews

THE WAY AHEAD is to some extent a cliche-driven movie, but given the timeframe of its production, I feel it portrays very well the mindset of the ordinary citizen of a country under extreme duress, as well as the tribulations of the many regiments being reconstituted as the war progressed seemingly forever. While it is difficult for us to imagine what it must have been like to live under the constant spectre of loss and possible defeat, even some understanding of the way things were for the British in 1944 will permit a casual viewer of THE WAY AHEAD to appreciate its positive message and the call-to-duty which it implies.

When compared against many of the similar American WW2 'propaganda' films, THE WAY AHEAD comes across as a down-to-earth story which I'm sure many could identify with at the time. For us, the 21st-century viewer, this movie is a welcome glimpse of the British perspective back then, unique in both plot and characterization compared to the more common U.S. fare of the period. In addition, it provides the enthusiast with dozens of rare snapshots of the use of unique British Commonwealth WW2 equipment.


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