Director Edward Dmytryk's sprawling, ambitious WWII drama, based on the acclaimed Irwin Shaw novel, stars Marlon Brando as Christian, a German ski instructor who idealistically joins Hitler's army, fights in the North African desert, and gradually loses faith in his country and humanity in general. Parallel stories take place across the Atlantic, as a tipsy Broadway star (Dean Martin) wrestles with his conscience and cowardice, since his connections keep him out of the draft. Another thread follows sensitive Jewish draftee Noah (Montgomery Clift) as he encounters anti-Semitism both from his fellow G.I.s and the parents of the girl he loves (Hope Lange). Eventually, all three men meet near the end of the war in the most tragic circumstances. The film suffers from a somewhat rambling, episodic structure, but is more than redeemed by great black-and-white photography and the superb performances of the three leads. Brando looks great, and his German accent is a delight; Clift brilliantly conveys his trademark anguish as Noah. As for Martin, this was his first big dramatic role after leaving comic partner Jerry Lewis, and his performance amazed an initially doubtful public. He was a hit, as was the film.
Release Date: 04 April 2005
Certificate: PG - Parental Guidance
Running Time: 162 minutes
Production Year: 1958
Main Language: English