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Oscars Challenge #70: From Here To Eternity (1953) Movie Review


I must be honest; this film confused me when I first watched it. It is a classic Black and White film that aged like milk.


From Here To Eternity bundles itself with several common genres like romance, drama, and war. However, its biggest disappointment might be because there are too many stories to be told.


Plot Summary


From Here to Eternity is told from the perspectives of three soldiers in Hawaii a few months before the Pearl Harbor bombing. Private Robert E. Lee Prewitt, a former boxer, suffers from hazing by Captain Dana Holmes because he does not want to participate in their organized boxing match. He is supported by his close friend, Private Angelo Maggio, who has a slight altercation with Sergeant Fatso. Meanwhile, First Sergeant Milton Warden starts seeing Holmes' wife, Karen, who encourages him to be promoted to officer so she will divorce her husband.


The three soldiers try to cope with the bullying but develop a sort-of friendship during their time in Hawaii.


This film includes the talents of Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra, and Deborah Kerr. Fred Zinnemann also directs it.


Review


I find myself a little confused about the overall plot of this movie. At first, I thought this was a war film since it was located in Hawaii before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, but the insertion of romance and betrayal seemed unnecessary.


I would not say I liked the characters, especially the two soldiers, Prewitt and Warden. I liked Private Angelo Maggio because he started as a lively character who another officer constantly bullied. His personality changed, and it fits his character. Even though he met a tragic end, I think elevating his friend's character is necessary.


Another thing that annoys me is the ending sequence when the Japanese start bombing the place, and Prewitt is nowhere to be found. When he shows up to fight the bad guys, he gets caught in friendly fire and meets a terrible end—a wrong way to put a conclusion to his character.


Like other Best Picture winners, maybe this is when the Academy got it wrong. It would be a different story if they picked either Roman Holiday or Julius Ceasar.


A not-so-good 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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