Classic Movie Reviews

From Here to Eternity

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EDWARD MONTGOMERY CLIFT ( Oct 1920 -- Jul 1966 )

Clift was born in Omaha, along with twin sister Roberta, to a bank vice president and a mother who spent years trying to establish that she was descended from Southern aristocracy. He first appeared on Broadway at age 15 and had ten years of stage success before moving on to Hollywood in 1945. His first motion picture was Red River (1948), co-starring John Wayne. For his second movie, The Search, he didn't like the script and made significant revisions. He received his first Oscar nomination as Best Actor. He again was unhappy with the script for The Heiress (1949), with Olivia De Havilland, and didn't get along with the rest of the cast. Despite a reputation for being a little difficult, he was in great demand because of his large fan following among females. Sunset Boulevard, with Gloria Swanson, was written with Clift in mind but he backed out at the last minute because the role was too close to the reality of his personal life. He was dating a wealthy older woman. His next Oscar nomination came for A Place in the Sun (1951), co-starring long-time friend Elizabeth Taylor. They were labelled "The most beautiful couple in Hollywood." The peak of his career was his iconic role in From Here To Eternity (1953). It was typical of his detailed preparation for film roles that he learned to play the bugle, even though he knew the playing of a professional musician would be dubbed in. He received another Oscar nomination. In May, 1958, while filming Raintree County, he crashed his car into a telephone pole, resulting in a broken jaw and nose, fractured sinus and facial lacerations. Plastic surgery could not restore the handsome face that had made him a sex symbol. Because of lingering pain, he turned to alcohol and pain pills and his health steadily deteriorated. His last Oscar nomination, as Supporting Actor, was for Judgment at Nuremberg (1961). In July 1966 he was found dead of a heart attack in his bedroom. His career spanned 17 movies and 13 stage performances. He turned down several film roles he didn't feel were quite right for him.


"Haven't you ever seen a dead man before?"  


    A powerful adaptation of the James Jones novel about Army life in Hawaii in the months before the Pearl Harbor attack. The all-star cast doesn't disappoint. One plot involves an illicit love affair between an Army NCO (Burt Lancaster) and the wife (Deborah Kerr) of his company commander. Another plot concerns the refusal of a soldier (Montgomery Clift) to join the company boxing team and the abuse he suffers in an attempt by the company commander to make him change his mind. Solid performances are also delivered by Donna Reed, Frank Sinatra (in his "comeback" film role) Ernest Borgnine, Claude Akins and the rest of the supporting cast. The eight Oscars received included Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor and Actress (Sinatra and Reed). This film includes the sexiest scene Deborah Kerr ever performed in a movie.  


1953, Directed by Fred Zimmermann

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A Face in the Crowd     
The African Queen       All Quiet on the Western Front    The Apartment    Bambi    Ben Hur    
The Best Years of Our Lives 

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Double Indemnity
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From Here To Eternity
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The Iceman Cometh   Inherit the Wind    It’s a Wonderful Life    Jesus Christ Superstar    Judgment at Nuremburg    

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