A small picturesque town at the turn of the century. The conservative moral of the townspeople is shaken when they find out that the school teacher Franzén published his own poetry ... See full summary »
In the 1943 invasion of Italy, one American platoon lands, digs in, then makes its way inland to blow up a bridge next to a fortified farmhouse, as tension and casualties mount. Unusually realistic picture of war as long quiet stretches of talk, punctuated by sharp, random bursts of violent action whose relevance to the big picture is often unknown to the soldiers.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Battle Hymn of the Republic
Music by William Steffe
[incorporated instrumentally to background music during assault on farmhouse] See more »
Very Interesting & Effective War Feature
This is a very interesting war feature, with an unusual approach that works well and a good cast that gives life to the many and varied characters. The touch that allowed Lewis Milestone to make "All Quiet on the Western Front" one of the finest movies of its genre is also evident here. Things are presented in a straightforward fashion, with barely a comment on most of what happens, allowing you to have your own honest reactions to events.
The story lets you see follow one morning of action in World War II Italy, seeing everything as if you were with the platoon that the movie follows. The 'big picture' is missing entirely, just as it undoubtedly was for most of the fighting men most of the time. They barely know what will happen next, much less what might happen when they reach their objective. Milestone's story-telling skills make this approach work very well, maintaining the tension both in the occasional action scenes and in the dialogue-heavy sequences.
The cast includes many good character actors, and the characters are a believable assortment without a lot of stock figures. Dana Andrews does a fine, understated job as the sergeant with the most crucial responsibilities, and many of the other actors have some good moments as well. Some are likable, and some are deliberately annoying; none are heroic, but all are ready to do their jobs.
The operation and some of its tactics are no doubt stylized slightly for cinematic effect, but the story works very well. There are, of course, other World War II movies with more action, bigger budgets, and more complex stories, but the very simplicity of "A Walk in the Sun" is one of its strengths. For a couple of hours, you live and struggle with a group of believable characters, and for a while their world is your world. That's a good indication that the movie has succeeded in its objective.
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