To Hell and Back (1955)

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    There are 6 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by ethanedwards.

    • To Hell and Back (1955)



      Information from IMDb

      Plot Summary
      True-life account of the military career of Audie Murphy,
      the most decorated soldier in WWII. Native of Texas,
      he was placed in charge of his many younger siblings
      on the death of his mother and decided to join the military
      at the age of 18 to provide for them.
      His many acts of bravery and heroism during the US
      military advance through Italy, France and into Germany
      earn him increasing rank and responsibility as well as the respect
      of his comrades in arms.
      Eventually he receives two dozen of the highest medals
      the US and France can bestow,
      culminating in the awarding of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
      Written by Doug Sederberg

      Full Cast
      Audie Murphy ... Audie Murphy
      Marshall Thompson ... Johnson
      Charles Drake ... Brandon
      Jack Kelly ... Kerrigan
      Gregg Palmer ... Lt. Manning
      Paul Picerni ... Valentino
      David Janssen ... Lt. Lee
      Richard Castle ... Kovak
      Bruce Cowling ... Caplt. Marks
      Paul Langton ... Col. Howe
      Art Aragon ... Sanchez
      Felix Noriego ... Swope
      Denver Pyle ... Thompson
      Brett Halsey ... Saunders
      Susan Kohner ... Maria
      Anabel Shaw ... Helen
      Mary Field ... Mrs. Murphy
      Julian Upton ... Steiner
      Gordon Gebert ... Audie as a Boy
      Walter Bedell Smith ... Himself- in introduction (as General Walter Bedell Smith U S A {Ret.})
      Jimmy Baird ... Preston Murphy - Older (uncredited)
      Nan Boardman ... Maria's Mother (uncredited)
      Rand Brooks ... Lt. Harris (uncredited)
      John Bryant ... Jim Houston (uncredited)
      Alexander Campbell ... Rector (uncredited)
      Joey Costaretta ... Vincenzo (uncredited)
      Maria Costi ... Julia (uncredited)
      Ashley Cowan ... Scottish Soldier (uncredited)
      Hugh E. Davis ... British Soldier (uncredited)
      Gine De Bard ... French Girl (uncredited)
      Bobby Diamond ... Gene Murphy - Age 10 (uncredited)
      Bruce Frichtl ... Richard Murphy - Age 11 (uncredited)
      Anthony Garcen ... Lt. Burns (uncredited)
      Patty Ann Gerrity ... Beatrice Murphy - Age 6 (uncredited)
      Karen Green ... Beatrice Murphy - Older (uncredited)
      Harold 'Tommy' Hart ... Sgt. Klasky (uncredited)
      Dale Hartleben ... Gene Murphy - Older (uncredited)
      Edna Holland ... Mrs. Edna Houston (uncredited)
      Robert F. Hoy ... Jennings (uncredited)
      Vito Jacobellis ... Urchin (uncredited)
      Barbara James ... Exotic singer / dancer Cleopatra (uncredited)
      Gayle Kellogg ... Air Force Sergeant (uncredited)
      Don Kennedy ... Marine Recruiting Sergeant (uncredited)
      Henry Kulky ... Sgt. Stack (uncredited)
      Andrea Lee ... Nadine Murphy - Age 8 (uncredited)
      Rankin Mansfield ... Dr. Snyder (uncredited)
      William Marks ... Bit Part (uncredited)
      John McIntire ... Narrator (uncredited)
      James McLaughlin ... MP (uncredited)
      Madge Meredith ... Corinne (uncredited)
      Mort Mills ... Soldier in Bunk (uncredited)
      Terry Murphy ... Preston Murphy - Age 4 (uncredited)
      John Pickard ... MP (uncredited)
      Tao Porchon ... French Girl (uncredited)
      Howard Price ... Truck Driver (uncredited)
      Didi Ramati ... Carla (uncredited)
      Otto Reichow ... German Soldier (uncredited)
      Ralph Sanford ... Chief Petty Officer (uncredited)
      Gisele Verlaine ... French Girl (uncredited)
      Joan Vie ... Nadine Murphy - Older (uncredited)
      Lee Warren ... MP (uncredited)
      Howard Wright ... Mr. Ben Houston (uncredited)
      Lloyd L. Wyatt ... Pierce - Tank Commander (uncredited)

      Writing Credits
      Gil Doud (written for the screen by)
      Audie Murphy (autobiography "To Hell And Back")

      Original Music
      Irving Gertz (uncredited)
      William Lava (uncredited)
      Henry Mancini (uncredited)
      Lou Maury (uncredited)

      Maury Gertsman

      Audie Murphy originally declined the opportunity to portray himself in the movie, not wanting people to think that he was attempting to cash in on his role as a war hero. Murphy initially suggested his friend Tony Curtis to play him. They had worked together on three Westerns, Sierra, Kansas Raiders and The Cimarron Kid.

      A total of 50,000 rounds of ammunition, 300 pounds of TNT, 600 pounds of blasting powder and 10 cases of 40% dynamite were required for the filming of the battle scenes.

      Audie Murphy's war buddy Onclo Airheart was slated to play himself, but he declined due to the fact that the movie was to be shot during planting season.

      Average Shot Length (ASL) = 8 seconds

      One of the combat sequences in this movie centered around a fight to capture a German position hold up in an Italian farmhouse. This included a scene where two German soldiers, manning a MG42 machine gun, are filmed firing belts of ammunition at the attacking Americans. Apparently when the first takes of this action were made, using blank ammunition, it didn't look 'real' enough. This perceived flaw was eventually resolved by filming two GIs from Fort Lewis, dressed as German troops, firing live ammunition from the machine gun. It was the only way that they could think of to get the impressive muzzle flash when the weapon was fired.

      Audie Murphy is known as the most decorated US soldier of World War II. According to this film, when he applied for service with the Navy, the Marines and the Paratroopers, Audie Murphy was turned-down by all three military arms. Moreover, when he joined his combat unit, one of his superiors considered transferring him out of the company for being unfit for combat.

      Audie Murphy's feats of heroism and much decorated status has likened him to be considered a World War II version of World War I's Sgt. Alvin Cullum York, whose feats of heroism and much decorated status was the subject of its own earlier Hollywood movie in Sergeant York.

      This movie was a box-office hit for Universal Studios and its record was apparently not broken until Jaws.

      In the movie, Audie Murphy does his one-man standoff on top of a medium M-4 Sherman tank whereas in real life he did his one-man standoff on top of an M-18 Hellcat tank destroyer.

      Audie Murphy received most of his military decorations before he had turned the ages of nineteen and twenty.

      Audie Murphy is known as the most decorated US soldier of World War II. Among his twenty-seven American decorations were the Medal of Honor, the US's highest award for military conduct "above and beyond the call of duty," plus five decorations awarded by France and Belgium.

      According to this film, Audie Murphy fought in seven major campaigns during World War II and received the Bronze Star Medal and the same again with a Bronze Service arrowhead, three Purple Heart medals, the Legion of Merit, two Silver Star Medals, a Distinguished Service Cross; from France, two Croix de Guerre medals with Palms and the Legion of Honour Chevalier. On the 9th of August 1945, just after his nineteenth birthday, Murphy was awarded the US Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest honour that a soldier can be awarded.

      The Holtzwihr Standoff took place in cold and messy conditions of rain, mud and snow but in this movie the conditions are not this, they are sunny.

      Many of the battle scenes were re-used for Universal Studio's later picture The Young Warriors.

      The movie is said to be responsible for popularizing the term "Dogface" in popular culture. Dogface is the term used for describing foot soldiers of the US Army Infantry, frequently in respect of World War II. Also, this movie features a song entitled, "The Dogface Soldier".

      According to the 'Variety Movie Guide', Audie Murphy " . . . gets into the army in 1942 at 18. In 1943, Murphy became a replacement in Company B, 15th Infantry Regiment, Third Division, 7th Army, in North Africa, and served with the unit throughout the war in Tunisia, Italy, France, Germany and Austria. During that time he rose from PFC to company commander, was wounded three times, personally killed 240 Germans, and was one of the only two soldiers left in the original company at the end of the war. His decorations total 24, from the Congressional Medal of Honor on down."

      Continuity: When Murphy arrives at the 3rd Division, he's told to inspect the "Third Platoon". Later on the same unit is referred to as the "First Platoon".

      Incorrectly regarded as goofs: A voiceover at the end of the movie says that Murphy was 19 years old in 1945. Despite popular consensus that he turned 21 that year, Murphy was actually born in 1926 and lied about his age to enlist.

      Miscellaneous: When Murphy arrives in North Africa and inspects the squad, Kovak does not close the bolt on his rifle as is required to complete "inspection arms."

      Factual errors: When the 3rd Division is in North Africa, it is 1942-43. All of the soldiers are carrying M-1945 field packs, cartridge belts, canteen covers and E-tool carriers. The correct field gear would be the M-1928 gear. It is similar in appearance to the M-1910 field gear in that it is a long narrow pack in a more mustard green color vs. dark olive green.

      Factual errors: All the Germans in the film are wearing WWI helmets rather than the proper M42 worn at the time.

      Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When the squad was on the tank talking with the tank commander, Kerrigan mentioned something to the effect of you guys got it made with a couple of hundred thousand dollars worth of armor around you. The tank commander said this tank only has 4" of armor on it. Actually the M-4 Sherman had only 2" of armor on the front and 1.5" of armor on the sides.

      Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Kerrigan tells Audie "Come on, I got just the thing to do it!" His mouth never moves.

      Factual errors: When Audie Murphy is in Italy and the young boy shines his shoes, Murphy gives the boy a chocolate bar and the boy replies "Gracias", which is actually Spanish. Since the boy was supposed to be Italian, he would have said "Grazie".

      Factual errors: During Audie Murphy's Medal of Honor ceremony at the end of the movie, the narrator makes two mistakes as he describes the other decorations for valor that Murphy received: he mentions "a Bronze Star Medal" (Murphy actually received two BSM's); and "a Bronze Star Medal with bronze service arrowhead" (the correct award is the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Arrowhead). The narrator also omits two significant awards that Murphy earned: two Presidential Unit Citations and the Combat Infantryman's Badge.

      Factual errors: In the combat scene for which Murphy earned the Medal of Honor, he is shown on an abandoned and burning M4 Sherman tank, firing its .50-caliber machine gun at the German attackers. In fact, Murphy performed this heroic action on an M10 tank destroyer, not an M4 tank.

      Factual errors: When the artillery Lieutenant disables one of the German tanks at Anzio, Audie says:"They can't get off the road as long as the fields stay muddy." However it is clear that the fields are very dry and only the roads have been doused with water by the film crew to make them muddy. The tanks would have been better off in the fields.

      Filming Locations
      Fort Lewis, Washington, USA
      Oak Creek Wildlife Area, Naches, Washington, USA
      Yakima River, Washington, USA
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 2 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: (New Review) Classic War Movies- To Hell and Back (1955)

      To Hell and Back is a CinemaScope war film released in 1955.
      It was directed by Jesse Hibbs and starred Audie Murphy
      as himself and Kyle Sanville.
      It is based on the 1949 autobiography of the same name
      and is an account of Murphy's World War II experiences as a soldier in the U.S. Army.
      The book was ghostwritten by his friend, David "Spec" McClure,
      who served in the Army's Signal Corps during World War II.

      The film was a huge commercial and critical success,
      and advanced Murphy's film career.
      It also popularized a term for U.S. Army foot soldiers, "dogface".
      The film included the 3rd Infantry Division song, "Dogface Soldier",
      written by Lieutenant Ken Hart and Corporal Bert Gold.
      Much of the battle scenes were reused in the Universal film The Young Warriors.

      User Review

      A solid 1950's style WW2 movie.
      26 January 1999 | by Sergei Scurfield (Calgary, Canada)
      watched this movie because I was interested in seeing the story of Audie Murphy,
      the most decorated soldier in U.S. history.
      The fact that this movie is based on Audie Murphy's autobiography,
      and that he stars as himself in the film, added to my interest.
      I didn't have high pre-expectations, so I was pleasantly surprised
      while watching this enjoyable film. To Hell and Back is a solid 1950's style WW2 movie,
      which focuses on the camaraderie of the foot soldier.
      It is neither pro nor anti-war, as it has a high body,
      but shows little of the bloodshed or true horror of war.
      Best Wishes
      London- England

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

    • Re: Classic War Movies- To Hell and Back (1955)

      Saw this again recently, but always liked it. The supporting cast is a bunch of faves from B movies, and later stars of TV series. Jack Kelly, Marshal Thompson, David Jansen, Paul Picerni, along with friends of Duke, Gregg Palmer & Denver Pyle, among others. My favorite Murphy film.
    • Re: Classic War Movies- To Hell and Back (1955)

      alamo221 wrote:

      Saw this again recently, but always liked it. The supporting cast is a bunch of faves from B movies, and later stars of TV series. Jack Kelly, Marshal Thompson, David Jansen, Paul Picerni, along with friends of Duke, Gregg Palmer & Denver Pyle, among others. My favorite Murphy film.

      One of my top 5 Murphy movies to be sure. This one is the fave--followed by: The Red Badge of Courage, No Name On the Bullet, Duel At Silver Creek and Bad Boy.
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..