Monday, February 21, 2011

256. From Here to Eternity (1953)

Running Time: 118 minutes
Directed By: Fred Zinnemann
Written By: James Jones, Daniel Taradash, from novel by James Jones
Main Cast: Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed, Frank Sinatra


I was watching 60 Minutes last night and they did a piece on "The King's Speech" and kept going on about how it had twelve Academy Award nominations and how it was among the films that had been most nominated. Unknowingly, this afternoon I chose to check out a film that had thirteen Oscar nominations and I'm not arguing any of them.

"From Here to Eternity" is actually two stories, both set on the island of Hawaii, days before the attacks on Pearl Harbor. The film revolves around Company G at Schofield Barracks, where Private Robert E. Lee Prewitt (Clift) has just transferred. Upon meeting with Captain Holmes, the commanding officer of Schofield Barracks, he is almost immediately pleaded with to join the Company Boxing team, as Holmes has heard of Prewitt's accolades in boxing and wants to bag the championships this year. Prewitt refuses to fight on the grounds that during his last fight he ended up blinding a man. Prewitt is immediately outcast in the Company, with his only solace coming from his new best friend Maggio (Sinatra). Prewitt is humiliated, day after day and forced to run extra laps, climb hills and clean floors due to his refusal to participate in the boxing program. Meanwhile, Captain Holmes and his wife Karen (Kerr) are on the rocks and they've pretty much agreed to give it all up, while still maintaining the facade that is their marriage. Sgt. Warden (Lancaster) has eyes for Karen Holmes, so he makes his move, even without the knowledge that she and Captain Holmes are heading to Splitsville. This, of course, sets up the famous scene on the beach where Kerr and Lancaster collapse into each others arms on the Hawaii beaches, while kissing and flaunting their new found love.


Sometimes when I watch a movie that I enjoy, it's hard for me to put my finger on to just what I enjoyed about it. Sometimes I want to come on here and just say "I just liked it...end of story", but I wouldn't do that, because even I want to give myself more details than that for future reference. Probably like a lot of you, all I ever knew about "From Here to Eternity" was that beach scene, so automatically I thought this was going to be a sappy, romantic love story...not that there's anything wrong with that. I loaded it up on my Netflix streaming device and couldn't help but read the brief description, which mentioned the words "soldiers" and "Pearl Harbor"..."Ugh!" I thought. I wasn't in the mood for a war film, but I knew this was the film that I wanted to watch today, so I bit my lip and proceeded forward. While reading the description, I failed to see Monty Clift's name (because it wasn't there...Lancaster and Kerr were the only two mentioned) and I was pleasantly surprised to see him show up early on.

Over the next two hours I witnessed a fantastic film that I can now say I've seen in it's entirety and not just that beach scene, which was marvelous, if only for Kerr in her 1950s style bathing suit. I was laughing (mostly at Sinatra's character), being moved by the forbidden relations between Kerr and Lancaster, turned on by the lead actresses and shouting "COME ON!" during Prewitt's fight scene with Galovitch. Okay, I wasn't really shouting "COME ON!", but in my head I was. All signs pointed to me disliking this film, but in the end I was pleasantly surprised, further confirming my theory of "If you expect nothing, nine times out of ten, you're going to be very pleasantly surprised". I felt that this movie really showed the kind of brotherhood and camaraderie that soldiers have with one another and the type of shit they have to put up with to be accepted into that brotherhood. I'm going to stop now, because I can see this getting "rambly", but bottom line is...I liked "From Here to Eternity".

RATING: 8/10 You have the Lancaster/Kerr love story for the women and the Prewitt story for the guys...Definitely a great date night flick, if you're into classics and looking for one.


February 21, 2011 7:32pm

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Movie man, one of my all time favorites here... And strangely, I also am pushed to say why...


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