From Here to Eternity

1953

Action / Drama / Romance / War

10
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 92%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 84%
IMDb Rating 7.7 10 37034

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Frank Sinatra as Angelo Maggio
Burt Lancaster as Sgt. Milton Warden
Donna Reed as Alma aka Lorene
Ernest Borgnine as Sgt. 'Fatso' Judson
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
848.92 MB
1280*952
English
23.976 fps
1hr 58 min
P/S 1 / 12
1.78 GB
1440*1072
English
23.976 fps
1hr 58 min
P/S 1 / 9

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Jay09101951 10 / 10

My Number one all time

There has always been a debate regarding what film could regarded as the best of all time and it will always go on. But to me, this film does it all. It brings to the screen all of the essence of what life is about: happiness, sadness, betrayal ,pain, and most of all what real love is all about. There are so many things that make this film my favorite all time and my choice for number one but it's 3 scenes that clinch it: First, the one with Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in the car when he says: "I have never been as miserable as I am since I met you" and her reply "neither have I" and then he follows with "I wouldn't trade a minute of it" and again she says " Neither would I". That is what real, deep love between 2 people makes them feel. How many films brought love to screen like that? no other movie I have ever seen. The second is when Montgomery Clift tells Donna Reed: "No one ever lies about being lonely". That is so, so real. And third, the scene when Frank Sinatra says his last words and then dies. I know very little about how Oscar's are voted on, but I feel Sinatra won his right in that scene. How many other films can you say that? This film never gets dull. It's 2 + hours of pure human emotion that has never before or never since been put on the screen.

Reviewed by James Hitchcock 9 / 10

A Good Story Well Told

"From Here to Eternity" is sometimes classified as a war film but the attack on Pearl Harbor only occupies the last few minutes; for most of its length it is (like, say, "Reflections in a Golden Eye" or "An Officer and a Gentleman") a film about life in the Armed Forces during peacetime. It charts the complex relationships between six main characters, Captain Dana Holmes and his beautiful wife Karen, Sergeant Milton Warden, Private Robert Prewitt, his girlfriend Alma, and Prewitt's closest friend, Private Angelo Maggio.

There are a number of interconnected sub-plots. Perhaps the most important concerns Prewitt's relations with his commanding officer, Captain Holmes. Holmes is a boxing fanatic, who believes that his promotion prospects will be improved if he can put together a successful team to compete in the Army boxing championships. He has therefore had Prewitt, whom he knows to be a talented middleweight boxer, drafted into his unit. Prewitt, however, refuses to join the boxing team, having given up the sport after an accident in which a sparring partner was blinded, so Holmes attempts to force him to do so by beginning a campaign of persecution against him.

In another sub-plot Karen, whose marriage to a hard-drinking, unfaithful husband has become no more than a sham, becomes embroiled in an adulterous affair with Sergeant Warden. (The scene on the beach between Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster was considered scandalously daring by the standards of the early fifties). The other plot lines concern Maggio's battles against authority, especially a brutal sergeant named Fatso Judson, and the growing romance between Prewitt and Alma. (Contrary to what some reviewers have stated, Alma is not a prostitute; she may have been one in James Jones's novel, but in the film she became a nightclub hostess to appease the Hays Office).

In many ways the film gives a negative picture of military life, although less so than the original book. A strict system of discipline may be necessary to make the Army an effective fighting force, but it also has the unwanted side-effect of allowing bullies like Holmes and Judson to abuse their authority. Holmes attempts to force Prewitt to join the boxing squad by imposing a series of unjust punishments and onerous duties on him; most of the NCOs are happy to go along with him, and even those like Warden who disagree with Holmes's actions see no alternative but to comply.

This was the Big Picture of 1953; it won eight Oscars, including Best Picture, against a very strong field which also included "Roman Holiday", "Julius Caesar" and "Shane", and Best Director for Fred Zinnemann. Five of the cast were nominated and two of them, Donna Reed (Alma) and Frank Sinatra (Maggio) won. This was the film that made Sinatra a big star as an actor as well as a singer. He plays Maggio as likable and easygoing, in contrast to his more intense friend Prewitt, but also a man with reserves of both moral and physical courage; he is not afraid to stand up to Judson, who is much larger than he is. (Ernest Borgnine is very good as the thuggish Judson).

I must say that I agree with the Academy's decision to award "Best Actress" to Audrey Hepburn ahead of Kerr; Kerr is good here, but Audrey is absolutely brilliant in "Roman Holiday", as she normally was. American audiences might have been surprised to see Kerr, normally one of the cinema's good girls, playing an adulterous wife, although British ones might have remembered her as the mercenary Sally in "Love on the Dole". She does, however, make Karen a fairly sympathetic character; she is not, contrary to what the film critic of "Variety" thought, a nymphomaniac, even though it is made clear that Warden is not her first extra-marital lover. She is driven not by sexual lust but by a need for love that cannot be satisfied by her husband, who cruelly neglects and mistreats her.

I have never seen "Stalag 17", so cannot say if William Holden deserved "Best Actor" ahead of Montgomery Clift and Burt Lancaster (or, for that matter, Brando in "Julius Caesar"). Both, however, are excellent, especially that intelligent, sensitive actor Clift as Prewitt, a young man with firmly-held principles, who will not allow himself to be dissuaded from doing what he believes to be right. Despite his mistreatment by Holmes, he never considers leaving the Army, an institution which has previously treated him well and has become like a family to him. (The depiction of military life is not entirely negative; the Army may allow unpleasant sadists a chance to vent their spleen, but it also provides young men with a sense of belonging and self-respect).

Lancaster's Warden is another man for whom the Army has become his whole life. Although he outwardly seems a strong character, he is inwardly weak. He is compromised by his affair with Karen (a crime under military law), and lacks the strength to stand up to Holmes. He loves the Army life but despises its officer class; when he gets the chance to become an officer himself he fails to take it, even though he knows that such a promotion offers him the best chance of a life together with Karen.

Some Big Pictures from the past have not aged well, but "From Here to Eternity" is not among them. What makes it such an outstanding film is the strength of its acting and characterisation and the power of a good story well told. It is the sort of film they don't make any more, and the cinema is the poorer for it. One of the best films of the fifties. 9/10.

Reviewed by bkoganbing 10 / 10

A Realistic View of the Army

One of the big blockbuster best sellers of the post World War II years is James Jones's From Here to Eternity, a tale of the peacetime army in Hawaii before Pearl Harbor. The book was definitely going to be made into a film and it was only a question of casting to make it a success.

Director Fred Zinneman had a good intuitive sense about casting here, even against type. The two principal female parts were done against type. Deborah Kerr who made a career of playing respectable women played a captain's wife who's drinking and playing around. Not that husband Philip Ober is letting grass grow under his feet either, but Kerr's latest sexual exploit involves her with the First Sergeant of her husband's company, Burt Lancaster.

Donna Reed, who up to that point was best known for being Mary Bailey in It's A Wonderful Life, plays a prostitute here. A girl from the wrong side of the tracks, jilted by a rich boyfriend stateside, she's in Hawaii to make money and then go home and buy some respectability. She's not looking for romance with any soldiers, but you can't plan these things.

Especially Montgomery Clift if he comes in your life. It's been argued that this is Clift's greatest role and a case can sure be made for it. His character of Robert E. Lee Pruitt is like so many who still join the army today, from small town America who have no future there and find a home in the Armed Services. What makes Clift unique is that strong sense of individualism he can't control in an organization that does not encourage individuality.

Clift and Lancaster are a great study in contrasts and that's what drives From Here to Eternity. Lancaster as Sergeant Milt Warden is the ultimate professional soldier, held in the highest regard by his men. Lancaster is someone who knows how to work the system, you see it in the way he manipulates his captain. Of course he's got to be a manipulator there since he's having an affair with Deborah Kerr. He tries to protect Clift from himself and ultimately fails.

Clift has transferred into an infantry company and he was at one time a boxer. But he blinded someone in a fight and quit boxing. Philip Ober who prides himself on having several champions in various weight classes worked to get Clift in his company. Clift upsets his plans by refusing to box so he has the various sergeants give him "the treatment."

Clift's best friend in the company is a tough street wise soldier from the big city named Angelo Maggio, played by Frank Sinatra. Sinatra read the book and knew this part was for him. He did everything he had to do to get that part, including working for scale. At the time Sinatra was considered a has been as singer and actor. Sinatra was right on the money in terms of picking a role. His faith in himself and Columbia Pictures and Fred Zinneman's faith in him netted him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, one of eight awards won by From Here to Eternity.

By the way Sinatra credited both Lancaster and Clift in helping him through this film as a dramatic actor. Lancaster and Sinatra didn't inhabit the same Hollywood orbit, but they remained friends for life. The same could not be said for Clift. Allegedly, some five or six years after From Here to Eternity and after Monty Clift's automobile accident while shooting Raintree County, Clift at some party at Sinatra's made a drunken pass at one of Sinatra's retainers. That got him kicked out of Sinatra's circle permanently.

In fact From Here to Eternity was also the Best Picture of 1953, with Zinneman getting his second Best Director Oscar in a row after the one he took home in 1952 for High Noon. Donna Reed won for Best Supporting Acress. Burt Lancaster and Montgomery Clift were both nominated for Best Actor, but split the vote allowing William Holden to win for Stalag 17. Another great acting job itself. And Kerr was up for Best Actress, but lost to Audrey Hepburn for Roman Holiday.

From Here to Eternity is a film loaded with good actors in small roles who got their first notice in this film. Ernest Borgnine, Robert J. Wilkie, Claude Akins, Jack Warden, Mickey Shaughnessy, all play various soldiers and each one is memorable. Especially Borgnine as the vicious sadistic sergeant of the stockade.

TV's Superman was in From Here to Eternity also. George Reeves who was looking to escape the typecasting from Superman has a part as another sergeant who warns Lancaster about Deborah Kerr. He gave a fine performance, but most of it wound up on the cutting room floor. That would have unforeseen tragic consequences.

This is not any kind of glamorous army. These people are all too real and not very noble. The original novel was toned down quite a bit for the screen. But when the attack on Pearl Harbor comes, the men rise to the occasion, do their jobs in a more than competent manner and led by Burt Lancaster in that company. It's these men who won that war in the Pacific and the one in Europe as well and From Here to Eternity despite the less than noble portrayals of them as individuals is a great tribute to them as a team.

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