Wednesday, 7 December 2011

a walk in the sun

Your response to Lewis Milestone's brave film version of Harry Brown's classic war story, "A Walk in the Sun," will likely depend, proportionally speaking, on whether you have read the book. And if you haven't had the rare experience of absorbing the original, then you will surely find this film at the Victoria a swiftly overpowering piece of work. For Mr. Milestone, producing and directing, has followed Mr. Brown's intense report of a small beachhead maneuver near Salerno in a literal reproduction of episodes. photo lace and big hats blog. check it out fantastic
He has picked up the platoon of American infantry, which is the collective protagonist of the tale, at precisely the point that Mr. Brown did—as its landing barge drives toward the beach. He has faithfully recorded with his camera the calamity which befell the lieutenant, the confusion of the sergeants and their dilemma as they go ashore. And then, in a sequence of vignettes which include the subsequent actions and talk of twenty of the men, he has followed the platoon as it probes inland toward a farmhouse—its perilous "walk in the sun."
"The book was my script," said Mr. Milestone to someone the other day, and that is substantially evident. For virtually every detail, with a few technical alterations, has been photographed sequentially from the book. As a consequence and in a manner which achieves the fullest from the photograph, he has captured in illustration the complex tensions of that desperate, ravaging "walk." He has given a completely graphic picture of the natures and responses of the various men, their humors and whims and nerve reflexes as they move in isolation toward the unknown.
In this, Mr. Milestone has been aided by a generally superlative cast—a score of speaking actors who play infantry men credibly. Most impressive is Dana Andrews, who makes of Corporal (here Sergeant) Tyne an intelligent acute and sensitive leader of the pathetically confused but stubborn group. Richard Conte is robustly endearing as a cheeky machine-gunner, and Sterling Holloway, George Tyne and Lloyd Bridges are variously appealing in other roles. A bit of theatrical ostentation is in Herbert Rudley's Sergeant Porter (he's the one who cracks up) and Norman Lloyd is plainly acting as the cold and cryptic Archimbeau. However, the performance in toto is consistent with the film's authentic tone.
But readers of the book are almost certain to find the picture falls considerably short of the cumulative force of the original—and that is, perhaps, inevitable. It is patent that the camera's observation cannot lay bare the insides of the men as did Mr. Brown's lean, unvarnished and thoroughly comprehending prose. The terrible uncertainty of the soldiers, the oppressive sense of lurking peril and doom, all the inner stress suggested in the writing is but surfacely envisioned on the screen. And the transcendent bomb-burst of emotion which forms the climax of the book is not tssd

Mr. Milestone has hopefully endeavored to lift the audience to a high, reflective plane from time to time by handing the sound-track to a singer of heroic ballad-verse. The music and words are disturbing but the device does not come off too well, mainly because it encroaches upon the illusion of the literal scene. Mr. Milestone should not have attempted to mix real and expressionistic styles. His picture is most effective when it dramatically documents.
However, don't let these side discourses deter you from seeing the film. "A Walk in the Sun" is unquestionably one of the fine, sincere pictures about the war.

A WALK IN THE SUN, screen play by Robert Rossen, from the novel by Harry Brown; directed by Lewis Milestone; ballad by Millard Lampell and Earl Robinson; produced by Mr. Milestone and distributed by Twentieth Century-Fox. At the Victoria.
Sergeant Tyne . . . . . Dana Andrews
Rivera . . . . . Richard Conte
McWilliams . . . . . Sterling Holloway
Friedman . . . . . George Tyne
Windy . . . . . John Ireland
Porter . . . . . Herbert Rudley
Tranella . . . . . Richard Benedict
Archimbeau . . . . . Norman Lloyd
Sergeant Ward . . . . . Lloyd Bridges
Carraway . . . . . Huntz Hall
Hoskins . . . . . James Cardwell
Rankin . . . . . Chris Drake
Tinker . . . . . George Offerman Jr.
Trasker . . . . . Danny Desmond
Cousins . . . . . Victor Cutler
Judson . . . . . Steve Brodie
Johnson . . . . . Al Hammer
Sergeant Halverson . . . . . Matt Willis
Lieutenant Rand . . . . . Robert Lowell
Giorgio . . . . . Anthony Dante

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