W: Daniel Taradash [based on the novel by
DP: Burnett Guffey
Ed: William Lyon
Mus: George Duning
PD: Cary Odell
Cos: Jean Louis
Burt Lancaster (Sgt. Warden), Deborah
Kerr (Karen Holmes), Montgomery Clift (Robert E. Lee Prewitt), Frank Sinatra (Pvt. Angelo Maggio), Donna Reed (Alma Lorene), Ernest
Borgnine (Sgt. 'Fatso' Judson), Philip Ober (Capt. Dana Holmes), Jack Warden (Cpl. Buckley)
Glossy Hollywood romance set in an army barracks in the build
up to the Pearl Harbor bombing.
Apparently the movie is very diluted from James Joyce's source
novel, with the foul language, violence and sex removed for something a little more soap opera-esque, but the movie still works incredibly well without resorting to turning the air
Montgomery Clift is a new recruit transferred to the Hawaiian
barracks, unfairly treated because he refuses to participate in the company boxing team. He does however, strike a friendship with wisecracking Italian Private Angelo Maggio (Frank Sinatra) and
falls in love with 'nightclub hostess' Alma (Donna Reed).
Meanwhile, senior officer Burt Lancaster begins an affair with
his superior officers wife (Deborah Kerr) and they deliver one of the most iconic movie kisses of all time (the infamous beach scene).
Although quite wishy-washy in parts, the movie comes alive in
scenes with Clift & Sinatra.
It's your archetypal Hollywood melodrama with routine
flagwaving, but I fully understand why it's deemed a classic.
To think that Michael Bay tried to emulate this with 2001's
Pearl Harbor (qv) is quite laughable.