The Red Badge of Courage (1951)

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    Information from IMDb

    Plot Summary
    Plot centers around how a young recruit (Audie Murphy) faces the horrors of war.
    Character vascilates between wanting to fight and doubting his own courage.
    In midst of first bloody encounter, Youth runs away.
    After seeing dead and wounded, sense of shame leads him back to his unit,
    where he distinguishes himself in the next battle.
    Having overcome his fear of "the great Death" he knows e can face whatever comes.
    Somewhat sentimental "coming of age" tale was pet project of John Huston,
    who fought MGM over casting of Murphy and Bill Mauldin in lead roles.
    Written by Rita Richardson

    Full Cast
    Audie Murphy ... The Youth
    Bill Mauldin ... The Loud Soldier
    Douglas Dick ... The Lieutenant
    Royal Dano ... The Tattered Man
    John Dierkes ... The Tall Soldier
    Arthur Hunnicutt ... Bill Porter
    Tim Durant ... The General
    Andy Devine ... The Cheery Soldier
    Robert Easton ... Thompson (as Robert Easton Burke)
    Smith Ballew ... Captain (uncredited)
    Albert Band ... Union Soldier Fording River (uncredited)
    Gregg Barton ... Soldier (uncredited)
    Whit Bissell ... Wounded Officer (uncredited)
    Robert Board ... Soldier (uncredited)
    Edwin Breen ... Confederate Flag Bearer (uncredited)
    Joe Brown Jr. ... Soldier (uncredited)
    Benny Burt ... Union Soldier (uncredited)
    Robert Cavendish ... Wounded Soldier (uncredited)
    Mack Chandler ... Veteran (uncredited)
    Robert Cherry ... Singing Soldier (uncredited)
    Jimmy Clark ... Stevens (uncredited)
    Lyle Clark ... Union Soldier (uncredited)
    David Clarke ... Corporal by Campfire (uncredited)
    John Cliff ... Soldier (uncredited)
    John Crawford ... Soldier (uncredited)
    Dick Curtis ... Veteran (uncredited)
    Bert Davidson ... Union Soldier (uncredited)
    Bob Davis ... Confederate Soldier (uncredited)
    Dennis Dengate ... Lieutenant (uncredited)
    Billy Dix ... Soldier (uncredited)
    James Dobson ... Soldier (uncredited)
    Gloria Eaton ... Southern Woman at Farm (uncredited)
    Lynn Farr ... Confederate Soldier (uncredited)
    Robert Fisher ... Confederate Soldier (uncredited)
    Eugene Gericke ... Soldier (uncredited)
    William Grueneberg ... Union Soldier (uncredited)
    Bill Hale ... Confederate Soldier (uncredited)
    James Harrison ... General's Aide (uncredited)
    Joe Haworth ... Soldier (uncredited)
    Dick Haynes ... Confederate Soldier (uncredited)
    Jim Hayward ... Soldier (uncredited)
    Ed Hinton ... Corporal (uncredited)
    Shep Houghton ... Union Soldier (uncredited)
    John Huston ... Grizzled Union Veteran (uncredited)
    Tennessee Jim ... Confederate Soldier (uncredited)
    I. Stanford Jolley ... Veteran (uncredited)
    Todd Karns ... Soldier (uncredited)
    Norman Kent ... Veteran (uncredited)
    Fred Kohler Jr. ... Veteran (uncredited)
    Herb Latimer ... Corporal (uncredited)
    Norman Leavitt ... Union Soldier (uncredited)
    Emmett Lynn ... Jake - Veteran (uncredited)
    Casey MacGregor ... Veteran (uncredited)
    Joel Marston ... Union Soldier (uncredited)
    Strother Martin ... Corporal (uncredited)
    Frank McGrath ... Captain (uncredited)
    Frank Melton ... Confederate Soldier (uncredited)
    Robert Nichols ... Fat Union Soldier (uncredited)
    Lou Nova ... Veteran (uncredited)
    Allen O'Locklin ... Union Soldier (uncredited)
    George Offerman Jr. ... Union Soldier (uncredited)
    Ivan Parry ... Soldier (uncredited)
    House Peters Jr. ... Passing Soldier - Veteran (uncredited)
    William 'Bill' Phillips ... Veteran Officer (uncredited)
    William Phipps ... Officer (uncredited)
    Obed 'Bubb' Pickard Jr. ... Confederate Soldier (uncredited)
    John Piffle ... Confederate Soldier (uncredited)
    Dixon Porter ... Union Army Lieutenant (uncredited)
    Lee Roberts ... Union Soldier (uncredited)
    William Roberts ... Soldier (uncredited)
    Buddy Roosevelt ... Veteran (uncredited)
    William Schallert ... Union Soldier (uncredited)
    Mickey Simpson ... Veteran (uncredited)
    Glenn Strange ... Colonel (uncredited)
    Frank Sully ... Veteran (uncredited)
    Hugh Thomas Jr. ... Soldier (uncredited)
    Arthur Tovey ... Soldier (uncredited)
    Dan White ... Sergeant (uncredited)
    James Whitmore ... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
    Guy Wilkerson ... Veteran (uncredited)
    Wilson Wood ... Union Soldier (uncredited)
    Duke York ... Veteran (uncredited)

    Writing Credits
    Stephen Crane (novel "The Red Badge of Courage")
    John Huston (screenplay)
    Albert Band (adaptation)

    Original Music
    Bronislau Kaper

    Harold Rosson

    Director John Huston lost control of this picture when, over his objections, his bosses at MGM recut it, editing out over 20 minutes. Whole scenes, including one featuring Royal Dano, were discarded. Huston did not waste any time fighting over it, as he was focused on the pre-production of his next picture, The African Queen. Lillian Ross wrote about the trials of producing "The Red Badge of Courage" in her book "Picture".

    This production amounted to a power struggle between Louis B. Mayer and producer Dore Schary. Mayer rejected the production (partly on account of it lacking women and thus a romance angle) and Schary insisted. Mayer appealed to Loew's Inc. chairman Nicholas Schenck and was rebuffed. This and other ego-bruising incidents that occurred during the same period resulted in Mayer's ouster from the company he helped found in 1924. As Mayer predicted the $1.6 million film flopped badly but by the Summer of 1951 he was out.

    James Whitmore's narration was added after several disastrous previews and extensive editing.

    A huge chunk of Royal Dano's role was removed from the final print.

    John Dierkes, who plays 'The Tall Soldier', also narrates the trailer.

    John Huston considered this his best film. After a power struggle at the top of MGM management, the film was cut from a 2 hour epic to the 69 minute version released to theaters. It was never released as a A-list movie but was shown as a 2nd feature B-list movie. Both Houston and star Audie Murphy tried unsuccessfully to purchase the film so that it could be re-edited to its original length. The studio claiming that the cut footage was destroyed. Unless there is an undiscovered copy of the uncut version, this movie will never be viewed as John Huston intended.

    Early in the film, Henry Fleming ('Audie Murphy') is shown writing a letter to his family. The date at the top of the letter is 10 September, 1862. This makes the battle depicted in the film either Turner's Gap, South Mountain, Maryland, on Sept 14; or Antietam Creek (Sharpsburg), Maryland, on Sept 17. Scholarship generally agrees that the battle in the novel is more like Chancellorsville, Virginia, May 1863. The novel never names a place or gives a date. One year after the publication of the novel, Stephen Crane had a short story entitled "The Veteran," published in McClure's magazine. In the story Henry Fleming is an old man telling the story of his first battle in the Civil War. There Fleming identifies the battle as being Chancellorsville

    Beginning at 14:28, several Union soldiers wading across the waist-deep river and later climbing out of the river are carrying the U.S. Rifle Model 1903, also known as the Springfield Model 1903. Note especially the soldier who climbs out of the river holding his rifle above his head. The Model 1903 is a bolt-action, magazine-fed rifle that was adopted by the US Army in 1903 and used in World Wars I and II, but not the American Civil War which was fought from 1861-1865.

    All the soldiers in Audie's infantry outfit have crossed rifles on their forage hats. The crossed rifle insignia was not adopted by the US army until the year 1876, before this it was a hunter's horn.

    The drilling and action center around one platoon. While the platoon did exist in Civil War regiments (as half of a company), in practice it was rarely used. Units quickly lost enough personnel to to illness (if not combat) that companies were the smallest practical unit.

    Character error
    There was no 304th infantry regiment in the Civil War. No state assigned a regimental number over the mid-100s.

    Factual errors
    The enlisted soldiers in the film are shown wearing the rectangular Model 1851 belt plate instead of the brass oval "US" belt plate worn by enlisted soldiers.

    None of the soldiers is wearing the proper cartridge box which would have been slung over the shoulder and which had a round "Eagle" breastplate.

    The flags carried by the regiment are incorrectly shown as rectangular. Both national and regimental flags carried by Union infantry in the Civil War were square.

    Filming Locations
    Bidwell Park - Manzanita Avenue, Chico, California, USA
    Chico, California, USA
    John Huston Ranch, Tarzana, Los Angeles, California, USA
    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios - 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, California, USA

    Watch the Final Battle Scene



    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited once, last by ethanedwards ().

  • The Red Badge of Courage is a 1951 war film made by MGM.
    Directed by John Huston who wrote the screen play and appeared in the movie.
    It was produced by Gottfried Reinhardt with Dore Schary as executive producer.
    The screenplay is by John Huston, adapted by Albert Band from Stephen Crane's novel of the same name.
    The cinematography is by Harold Rosson, and the music score by Bronislau Kaper.
    The making of the film is the subject of Lillian Ross's 1952 book Picture, originally in The New Yorker.

    The American Civil War film is a sparse but faithful retelling of the story,
    incorporating narration from the text to move the plot forward. Audie Murphy,
    a hero of World War II who later went into acting, played the lead role of Henry Fleming.
    Other actors include cartoonist Bill Mauldin, Andy Devine, Arthur Hunnicutt and Royal Dano.

    Look out for Duke's 'Pals'
    Andy Devine as the cheery soldier,
    Strother Martin as a Corporal
    Frank McGrath as a Captain
    and Terry Wilson in the stunts

    User Review


    29 May 2004 | by cfnas (Las Vegas, NV)

    This version of Stephen Crane's epic is the only one that should be shown. The character, Henry Fleming, was truly Audie Murphy's alter ego. The individual portrayals of the Union soldier's was John Huston at his best. The battlefield scene that truly captured the essence of this movie was when Henry held the tattered Confederate flag over the body of the dead reb soldier. What could have been more poignant then that scene as one soldier salutes his enemy, who, in reality was his countryman. Also, another icon appeared, Bill Mauldin, the noted cartoonist of "Willie and Joe" from yet another war. I feel this movie, as abbreviated as it was, since L.B.Mayer had over one hour of the original version cut, is still a masterpiece.

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited once, last by ethanedwards ().

  • Hi

    If you read Picture the story of the making of the Red Badge of Courage it give a narrative of Audie Murphy's first encounter with John Huston when he appeared totally disinterested in making the film and moody and petulant.
    It set the tone for the mood of the picture and by the end of the shoot Huston had lost all interest in the film.
    A similiar situation occured with The Barbarian and the Geisha when he delivered to the studio what he considered to be a beautiful film and later blamed Wayne for turning it into what he considered to be a bad one.



    Walk Tall - Talk Low

  • Here's a bit of trivia for you about this movie as well as about Audie Murphy. In Clint Eastwoods: The Outlaw Josey Wales--look for battle footage taken from Red Badge of Courage as well as from: The Undefeated and I think maybe even Shenandoah?? which was greatly used in this movie. Also, if im not mistaken, I THINK they even used a bit from: They Died With Their Boots On--in Josey Wales too. Anyway, Audies footage is easy to spot in Josey Wales because he is the soldier carrying the Yank Colors and is the soldier with the white bandage around his head.

    Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..

  • In my opinion Audie Murphy was a great actor. He seemed to have all situations in hand.
    I watch everyone i see on TV, which isn't much lately.

    "A people that values their Privileges above it's Principles. Soon looses both." Dwight Eisenhower

  • Just saying I love this movie and ive got three great stills fromthis movie-two with Audie Murphy in them. Strange to have a great Texan as a yankee infantrymen :-))

    Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..