From Here to Eternity (1953)

    This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

    Why not take a minute to register for your own free account now? Registration is completely free and will enable the use of all site features including the ability to join in or create your own discussions.

    There are 10 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by WaynamoJim.

    • From Here to Eternity (1953)



      Information From IMDb

      Plot Summary
      It's 1941. Robert E. Lee Prewitt has requested Army transfer and has ended up at Schofield in Hawaii. His new captain, Dana Holmes, has heard of his boxing prowess and is keen to get him to represent the company. However, 'Prew' is adamant that he doesn't box anymore, so Captain Holmes gets his subordinates to make his life a living hell. Meanwhile Sergeant Warden starts seeing the captain's wife, who has a history of seeking external relief from a troubled marriage. Prew's friend Maggio has a few altercations with the sadistic stockade Sergeant 'Fatso' Judson, and Prew begins falling in love with social club employee Lorene. Unbeknownst to anyone, the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor looms in the distance.
      Written by Ed Sutton

      Burt Lancaster ... 1st Sgt. Milton Warden
      Montgomery Clift ... Pvt. Robert E. Lee 'Prew' Prewitt
      Deborah Kerr ... Karen Holmes
      Donna Reed ... Alma 'Lorene' Burke
      Frank Sinatra ... Pvt. Angelo Maggio
      Philip Ober ... Capt. Dana 'Dynamite' Holmes
      Mickey Shaughnessy ... Cpl. Leva
      Harry Bellaver ... Pvt. Mazzioli
      Ernest Borgnine ... Sgt. James R. 'Fatso' Judson
      Jack Warden ... Cpl. Buckley
      John Dennis ... Sgt. Ike Galovitch
      Merle Travis ... Sal Anderson
      Tim Ryan ... Sgt. Pete Karelsen
      Arthur Keegan ... Treadwell
      Barbara Morrison ... Mrs. Kipfer - Owner of New Congress Club
      Claude Akins ... Sgt. 'Baldy' Dhom (uncredited)
      Vicki Bakken ... Suzanne (uncredited)
      Margaret Barstow ... Roxanne (uncredited)
      Henry Beau ... (uncredited)
      Willis Bouchey ... Army Lieutenant Colonel (uncredited)
      John Bryant ... Capt. G.R. Ross (uncredited)
      Mary Carver ... Nancy (uncredited)
      John L. Cason ... Cpl. Paluso (uncredited)
      Mack Chandler ... Bit Part (uncredited)
      John Davis ... Bit Part (uncredited)
      Don Dubbins ... Pvt. Friday Clark - Bugler (uncredited)
      Elaine DuPont ... (uncredited)
      Moana Gleason ... Rose - Waitress in Enlisted Men's Club (uncredited)
      Robert Healy ... Soldier (uncredited)
      Douglas Henderson ... Cpl. Champ Wilson (uncredited)
      June Horne ... Dance Hall Girl (uncredited)
      James Jones ... Bit Part (uncredited)
      Robert Karnes ... Sgt. Turp Thornhill (uncredited)
      Manny Klein ... Trumpet Player (uncredited)
      Edward Laguna ... Bit Part (uncredited)
      Carey Leverette ... (uncredited)
      Weaver Levy ... Bartender (uncredited)
      William Lundmark ... Bill (uncredited)
      Freeman Lusk ... Col. Wood (uncredited)
      Tyler McVey ... Maj. Stern (uncredited)
      Kristine Miller ... Georgette - Lorene's Roommate (uncredited)
      Patrick Miller ... Bit Part (uncredited)
      Robert Pike ... Maj. Bonds (uncredited)
      Allen Pinson ... Bit Part (uncredited)
      George Reeves ... Sgt. Maylon Stark (uncredited)
      Joe Roach ... Bit Part (uncredited)
      Fay Roope ... Gen. Slater (uncredited)
      Delia Salvi ... Billie (uncredited)
      Louise Saraydar ... Bit Part (uncredited)
      Alvin Sargent ... Nair (uncredited)
      Joseph Sargent ... Bit Part (uncredited)
      Joan Shawlee ... Sandra (uncredited)
      Al Silvani ... Soldier leaving New Congress Club (uncredited)
      Angela Stevens ... Jean (uncredited)
      Brick Sullivan ... Military Guard (uncredited)
      John Veitch ... Bit Part (uncredited)
      Guy Way ... Bit Part (uncredited)
      Norman Wayne ... Bit part (uncredited)
      Robert J. Wilke ... Sgt. Henderson (uncredited)
      Jean Willes ... Annette - Club Receptionist (uncredited)
      Norman Wright ... (uncredited)
      Carleton Young ... Col. Ayres (uncredited)

      Writing credits
      James Jones (novel "From Here to Eternity")
      Daniel Taradash

      * Eli Wallach accepted the role of Angelo Maggio, but then turned it down because he had agreed to appear in Elia Kazan's Broadway production of "Camino Real" and had a scheduling problem.

      * Joan Crawford refused a role because she abhorred the costumes.

      * Columbia Pictures head Harry Cohn wanted Aldo Ray to play Prewitt and Joan Crawford for the Karen Holmes role. Director Fred Zinnemann had his own ideas.

      * The scene in which Maggio meets Prew and Lorene in the bar after he walks off guard duty, was actually Frank Sinatra's screen test for the part of Maggio. To impress director Fred Zinnemann, he did an ad-lib using olives as dice and pretending to shoot craps. The entire sequence was kept as is and used in the picture.

      * A false rumor has been circulating for years that George Reeves, who played Sgt. Maylon Stark, had his role drastically edited after preview audiences recognized him as TV's "Superman". According to director Fred Zinnemann, screenwriter Daniel Taradash and assistant director Earl Bellamy, the rumor is false. Every scene written for Reeves' character was filmed, and each of those scenes is still present in its entirety in the film as released. This rumor is nonetheless repeated as truth in Hollywoodland (2006), a movie about the investigation into Reeves' death.

      * Montgomery Clift didn't manage to move like a boxer despite extensive boxing lessons, so he had to be doubled by a real boxer for the long shots in the boxing match. The fight had to be carefully edited so the close-ups and other shots matched satisfactorily. Nonetheless, the use of the double is obvious if you pay attention to the details.

      * In the scene where Burt Lancaster and Montgomery Clift play drunk sitting on the street, Clift actually was drunk, but Lancaster was not.

      * The novel was deemed unfilmable for a long time because of its negative portrayal of the US army (which would prevent the army from supporting the film with people and hardware/logistics) and the profanity. To get army support and pass the censorship of the time crucial details had to be changed. The brothel became a night club, the whores hostesses. The profanity was removed, the brutal treatment in the stockade toned down and Captain Holmes removed from the army instead of promoted.

      * Joan Fontaine was offered the role of Karen Holmes but had to decline due to family problems. She now regrets it and blames the failure of her late career to turning down the offer.

      * The now classic scene between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in the rushing water on the beach was not written to take place there. The idea to film with the waves hitting them was a last minute inspiration from the director.

      * Harry Cohn was so convinced that Deborah Kerr could not be "sexy" enough to play the lead in this film that he almost did not cast her.

      * The novel was a best seller when it was released. One actor always bragged to his friends that if they ever made a film of the book, he'd play a part. Shortly after saying this, he was actually called to audition for the film. The actor was Ernest Borgnine.

      * Cameo: [James Jones] in the background chatting with hostesses and other soldiers over Ernest Borgnine's shoulder as Fatso (Borgnine) plays the piano at the New Congress Club.

      * Shot in a mere 41 days and for only $1 million.

      * Frank Sinatra had to campaign especially hard to get this part as his career had hit a low point by this time

      * The title phrase comes originally from Rudyard Kipling's 1892 poem "Gentlemen-Rankers", about soldiers of the British Empire who had "lost [their] way" and were "damned from here to eternity".

      * Shelley Winters turned down the role of Alma, as she had just given birth to her daughter Vittoria.

      * Ronald Reagan and Walter Matthau were among the actors considered for the role of Sgt. Warden.

      * If Columbia head Harry Cohn had gotten his way, the film would have starred Aldo Ray as Prewitt, Edmond O'Brien as Warden, Joan Crawford as Karen, Julie Harris as Lorene and Eli Wallach as Maggio.

      * An urban myth regarding the casting of Frank Sinatra was that the Mafia made Columbia Pictures an offer they couldn't refuse. This of course was fictionalized in Mario Puzo's novel "The Godfather" and its subsequent film adaptation. The real reason for Sinatra's casting was mainly his then-wife Ava Gardner, who was shooting a film for Columbia head Harry Cohn and suggested to him that he use Sinatra. Although initially reluctant, Cohn eventually saw this as being a good idea, as Sinatra's stock was so low at the time that he would sign for a very low salary. Sinatra had been lobbying hard for the role,even suggesting he would do it for nothing, but he was eventually hired for the token amount of $8,000.

      * Future screenwriter Alvin Sargent has a bit part in the film. He was paid $400 for a week's work in Hawaii. Sargent would later go on to win an Oscar for Julia (1977), also directed by Fred Zinnemann.

      * Original novelist James Jones was not happy with the film, as he considered it to be too sanitized.

      * Harry Cohn resisted the idea of casting Montgomery Clift as Prewitt as "he was no soldier, no boxer and probably a homosexual". Fred Zinnemann refused to make the film without him.

      * The film went on to gross $18 million, the tenth highest grossing film of the 1950s.

      * Dubbed "Cohn's Folly" because many thought the novel was too long and too adult to be filmed. Harry Cohn paid $82,000 for the rights.

      * James Jones himself was one of the numerous writers who had attempted to adapt the book for the screen.

      * The US Army was initially reluctant to lend their co-operation to the production. Producer Buddy Adler had been a Lieutenant Colonel in the Signal Corps during WWII and was able to bring his influence to bear.

      * A nationwide search of Army surplus stores yielded pre-Pearl Harbor style Springfield rifles, canvas leggings, campaign hats and flat steel helmets. The extras - who were all real soldiers - were all drilled to learn how to use all this outdated equipment.

      * Fred Zinnemann insisted on filming in black and white, as he felt that "color would have made it look trivial". He also eschewed the use of any of the popular new widescreen ratios.

      * Fred Zinnemann was chosen to direct the project largely at the suggestion of screenwriter Daniel Taradash, who had been impressed with Zinnemann's handling of the previous war-themed movies The Search (1948), The Men (1950) and Teresa (1951).

      * Fred Zinnemann was initially reluctant to make the film, as he had an inherent distrust of Columbia head Harry Cohn. He also felt that in the then climate of McCarthyism, to voice anything that cast any doubt over such institutions as the Army, the Navy or the FBI was just asking for trouble.

      * Montgomery Clift threw himself into the character of Prewitt, learning to play the bugle (even though he knew he'd be dubbed) and taking boxing lessons. Fred Zinnemann said, "Clift forced the other actors to be much better than they really were. That's the only way I can put it. He got performances from the other actors, he got reactions from the other actors that were totally genuine."

      * Burt Lancaster was nervous when he started the film. Most of his previous pictures had been fairly lightweight productions, and this was his first "serious" role. He was especially intimidated by Montgomery Clift's skill and intensity.

      * Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra and author James Jones were very close during the filming, frequently embarking on monumental drinking binges. Clift coached Sinatra on how to play Maggio during their more sober moments, for which Sinatra was eternally grateful.

      * As scripted, Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster's classic clinch on the beach was to be filmed standing up. It was Lancaster's idea to do it horizontally in the surf. The scene was filmed at Halona Cove on the eastern side of Oahu, near Koko Head Crater and Sandy Beach, and the location became a major tourist attraction for years after.

      * The MPAA banned photos of the famous Burt Lancaster-Deborah Kerr passionate kiss on the beach for being too erotic. Many prints had shortened versions of the scene because projectionists would cut out frames to keep as souvenirs.

      * Tied with Gone with the Wind (1939) for the most Oscars won by a single film up to that point in time -- eight. By coincidence, both films feature George Reeves.

      * The film helped to popularize Aloha shirts.

      * The censors demanded that Deborah Kerr's swimsuit should feature a skirt in its design so as to not be too sexually provocative.

      * Debut of Claude Akins.

      * 'Tyrone Power (I)' turned down the Burt Lancaster role because he was committed to a play at the time.

      * The patch on the left uniform shoulder of the soldiers in the film was the Hawaiian Department insignia of the U.S. Army.

      * The two leads ranked #5 on Moviefone's 'The Top 25 Sexiest Movie Couples'. [May 2008]

      * Factual errors: The impromptu bugle solo in the club is obviously a trumpet solo dubbed into the scene. There's no way a valve-less bugle could achieve the range of notes heard in that solo.

      * Continuity: In the bar fight scene between Fatso and Maggio, Sgt. Warden breaks a bottle to use as a weapon to threaten "Fatso" and to stop the fight. Eventually he throws the bottle, apparently outside through an off stage, unseen door (he throws the broken bottle across the room). Later, the smashed bottle is visible on the table in a close-up.

      * Continuity: When Sergeant Warden walks over with Private Prewitt to the Supply store, we first see Corporal Leva with his hand at his ear. In the next shot, his hand is down on the table.

      * Continuity: When Private Maggio is dressing and using the talcum powder, he's holding it with his right hand after the last soldiers leave and then powders his left arm. In the next shot immediately after, he's placing it on a shelf in his locker with his left hand.

      * Boom mic visible: When 1st Sgt. Milton Warden is walking Pvt. Robert E. Lee 'Prew' Prewitt over to Supply, the shadow of the boom mike can be seen on Prewitt's blouse.

      * Continuity: During Sgt. Warden's visit (pretending to look for Capt. Holmes), Karen tells him that she will phone her husband and walks to the dining room. When she stands in the doorway, we see two chairs inside, on the left. In the next shot, they both enter the room and the chairs are not there.

      * Continuity: Inside the dining room, Sgt. Warden puts some rolled up sheets of paper on the table. When Karen picks them up, they are unrolled.

      * Continuity: When policing the grounds on his hands and knees, the box/can is inconsistently placed.

      * Crew or equipment visible: As Warden and Prewitt walk across the street from G Co.'s orderly room to the supply room, the tire tracks of the moving camera dolly can be seen in the street to their right (screen left).

      * When Prewitt dies, his face turns to his left-hand side. Later his face appears turned to the right.

      Filming Locations
      Diamond Head, O`ahu, Hawaii, USA
      Halona Cove, O'ahu, Hawaii, USA
      (Warden and Karen's kissing in the surf scene)
      Hawaii, USA
      Honolulu, O'ahu, Hawaii, USA
      Royal Hawaiian Hotel - 2259 Kalakava Avenue, Honolulu, O'ahu, Hawaii, USA
      Schofield Barracks, Wilkina Drive, O'ahu, Hawaii, USA
      Waialae Golf Course - 4997 Kahala Avenue, Honolulu, O'ahu, Hawaii, USA
      Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, O'ahu, Hawaii, USA
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 3 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Classic War Movies- From Here to Eternity (1953)

      From Here to Eternity is a 1953 drama film directed by Fred Zinnemann
      and based on the novel of the same name by James Jones.
      The picture deals with the tribulations of three U.S. Army soldiers,
      played by Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, and Frank Sinatra,
      stationed on Hawaii in the months leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor.
      Deborah Kerr and Donna Reed portray the women in their lives
      and the supporting cast includes Ernest Borgnine, Philip Ober, Jack Warden, Mickey Shaughnessy, Claude Akins, and George Reeves.

      The film won eight Academy Awards out of 13 nominations, including awards
      for Picture, Best Director (Fred Zinnemann), Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Frank Sinatra)
      and Supporting Actress (Donna Reed).
      The film's title originally comes from a quote from Rudyard Kipling's 1892 poem
      "Gentlemen-Rankers", about soldiers of the British Empire
      who had "lost [their] way" and were "damned from here to eternity."

      In 2002 From Here to Eternity was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry
      by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

      Oh that classic scene on the beach,
      which caused so much fuss at the time.
      I thought this a wonderful movie,
      and so did many others at the time.
      The film went on to win 8 Oscars,
      including Best Director, and Supporting Actress,
      and one for 'new to movies', Frank Sinatra,
      who one way and 'another', secured the part.
      Burt Lancaster played a good solid, credible part,
      with Montgomery Clift, the most unconvincing boxer,
      nevertheless, giving a great performance.
      Deborah Kerr and Donna Reed, also giving top notch,
      professional performances.
      Also supported by the Ernest Borgnine,
      who for once played a nasty character.

      A great war movie, brilliantly directed by
      Academy Award winning director Fred Zinneman

      User Review

      Montgomery Clift shines From Here to Eternity
      19 July 2005 | by nawnek (United States)

      user wrote:

      "From Here to Eternity" contains the best performance delivered by an actor of any gender on celluloid. Montgomery Clift is assertive, funny, tough, sensitive and charismatic in the pivotal role of Robert E. Lee Prewitt, the rebellious loner with the streak of nobility. It is easy to see why James Dean idolized him after seeing his portrayal in the film. It is also a shame modern actors don't mention his name more often when listing their influences. As often noted, he preceded Brando by two years (he first appeared in Red River, released in 1948; Brando bowed in The Men in 1950)and created the arch-type of the 1950's rebel. But due to his intelligence, Clift also informed his characters with a sense of purpose. He didn't simply rebel. For instance, in Eternity, he apologises after an angry outbreak at his girlfriend. Instead of appearing weak, he impressed me all the more for doing so. It makes him appear more mature than the typical rebel. In another instance, when he feels his friend Maggio is being unfairly attacked, he "stares down" the attacker proving he looks out for his friend, another attractive quality. When the non-coms dole out extra punishment to him to force him to box, he refuses to file a complaint but likewise refuses to comply to their demands. Such moments distinguish Clift from other, more typically macho Hollywood leading men of the era and contributed greatly to Eternity's long initial run at the box office and its status as a classic piece of Hollywood cinema. It is time someone set the record straight and restored Montgomery Clift's name to its rightful place in the pantheon of Hollywood's great leading men. For proof, look no further than From Here to Eternity.
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Classic War Movies- From Here to Eternity (1953)

      I too thought it was a great movie - without a doubt Sinatra's best. I'm not sure I would classify it as a war movie, even though the last few minutes show a few combat scenes. I think it's kind of a mix between drama and romance.
      De gustibus non est disputandum
    • Re: Classic War Movies- From Here to Eternity (1953)

      Stumpy wrote:

      I'm not sure I would classify it as a war movie, even though the last few minutes show a few combat scenes. I think it's kind of a mix between drama and romance.

      I don't really think of it as a war film though.

      I agree with you both, Jim and May.

      Although not in the real sense, a war movie,
      I found in my research, that in some lists of top war movies,
      this movie is listed in the top ten!!.
      I have included it, as it was one great blockbuster of a film anyway!
      Best Wishes
      London- England
    • Re: Classic War Movies- From Here to Eternity (1953)

      I admit that I used to not care anything for this film, that is, untill I saw it from start to finish when it was played on TCM some months ago. I then realized that this was NOT the boring movie I thought it was and greatly enjoyed watching it. There is something about really watching the cast in the movie and I saw it in another light. Just recently and to my Sisters chagrin, I bought this movie at Borders Bookstor in San Marcos-the day I was to check into the hospital. I'd have watched it there-among two John Wayne movies I broght with me-and on my portable DvD player-but, all the pain killers and other meds they were pumping my system with, just had me too tired to focus on anything longer than a few minutes.
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..
    • Re: Classic War Movies- From Here to Eternity (1953)

      This is another of my all time favorite movies. I got it for Christmas in 2005 because I had wanted to see it so bad. When I first watched it I was impressed. What a gorgeously filmed movie. Terrific acting all around. I think Burt Lancaster should have won an Oscar for it.
    • Re: Classic War Movies- From Here to Eternity (1953)

      mfan0825 wrote:

      This is another of my all time favorite movies. I got it for Christmas in 2005 because I had wanted to see it so bad. When I first watched it I was impressed. What a gorgeously filmed movie. Terrific acting all around. I think Burt Lancaster should have won an Oscar for it.

      It's fast becoming one of my all-time most favorites too.
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..
    • Re: Classic War Movies- From Here to Eternity (1953)

      I just watchwed it fairly recently-on TCM??? and this movie grows on ya with every viewing. Im glad I have a copy of it in the collection. Lancaster makes a great Top Sergeant.
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..