The Bridge on the River Kwai/The Caine Mutiny/The Guns of Navarone/From Here to Eternity [DVD]

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The Bridge on the River Kwai/The Caine Mutiny/The Guns of Navarone/From Here to Eternity (DVD)  (Black & White)  (English/French/German/Spanish)  1953 - Larger Front
  • The Bridge on the River Kwai/The Caine Mutiny/The Guns of Navarone/From Here to Eternity (DVD) (Black & White) (English/French/German/Spanish) 1953
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Overview

Special Features

  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

From Here to Eternity
The scene is Schofield Army Barracks in Honolulu, in the languid days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, where James Jones' acclaimed war novel From Here to Eternity brought the aspirations and frustrations of several people sharply into focus. Sergeant Milt Warden (Burt Lancaster) enters into an affair with Karen (Deborah Kerr), the wife of his commanding officer. Private Robert E. Lee "Prew" Prewitt (Montgomery Clift) is a loner who lives by his own code of ethics and communicates better with his bugle than he does with words. Prew's best friend is wisecracking Maggio (Frank Sinatra, in an Oscar-winning performance that revived his flagging career), who has been targeted for persecution by sadistic stockade sergeant Fatso Judson (Ernest Borgnine). Rounding out the principals is Alma Lorene (Donna Reed), a "hostess" at the euphemistically named whorehouse The New Congress Club. All these melodramatic joys and sufferings are swept away by the Japanese attack on the morning of December 7. No words could do justice to the film's most famous scene: the nocturnal romantic rendezvous on the beach, with Burt Lancaster's and Deborah Kerr's bodies intertwining as the waves crash over them. If you're able to take your eyes off the principals for a moment or two, keep an eye out for George Reeves; his supporting role was shaved down when, during previews, audiences yelled "There's Superman!" and began to laugh. From Here to Eternity won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and supporting awards to Sinatra and Reed. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Das Boot
Das Boot is one of the most gripping and authentic war movies ever made. Based on an autobiographical novel by German World War II photographer Lothar-Guenther Buchheim, the film follows the lives of a fearless U-Boat captain (Jurgen Prochnow) and his inexperienced crew as they patrol the Atlantic and Mediterranean in search of Allied vessels, taking turns as hunter and prey. There's very little plot, so the movie's power comes from both its riveting, epic battle scenes and its details of the boring hours spent waiting for orders or signs of the enemy. With the exception of one staunch Hitler Youth lieutenant, none of the crew is particularly loyal to the Nazis, and some are openly hostile toward their Fuhrer; this allows viewer sympathy with the men as they perform their laborious, monotonous duties in cramped, filthy quarters, or await death as depth charges explode all around the sub. Prochnow is excellent as the nerves-of-steel commander, and many of the supporting actors -- all German -- are solid as well, although the characterizations border on war movie clichés (the young crewman who has left behind his pregnant girlfriend, the Chief Engineer whose wife is seriously ill). The real star, however, is cinematographer Jost Vacano, who makes the sub's grimy, claustrophobic interior come to vivid life, as his camera follows the crew through hatches, up ladders, into bunks, and under pipes, creating a palpable sense of claustrophobia while injecting it with movement. Originally edited by writer/director Wolfgang Petersen as both a two-and-a-half hour theatrical release and a six-hour German miniseries, Das Boot was re-released in a restored version in 1997 with nearly one hour of added footage which made it even more suspenseful than before. ~ Don Kaye, Rovi

The Bridge on the River Kwai
The Bridge on the River Kwai opens in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in Burma in 1943, where a battle of wills rages between camp commander Colonel Saito (Sessue Hayakawa) and newly arrived British colonel Nicholson (Alec Guinness). Saito insists that Nicholson order his men to build a bridge over the river Kwai, which will be used to transport Japanese munitions. Nicholson refuses, despite all the various "persuasive" devices at Saito's disposal. Finally, Nicholson agrees, not so much to cooperate with his captor as to provide a morale-boosting project for the military engineers under his command. The colonel will prove that, by building a better bridge than Saito's men could build, the British soldier is a superior being even when under the thumb of the enemy. As the bridge goes up, Nicholson becomes obsessed with completing it to perfection, eventually losing sight of the fact that it will benefit the Japanese. Meanwhile, American POW Shears (William Holden), having escaped from the camp, agrees to save himself from a court martial by leading a group of British soldiers back to the camp to destroy Nicholson's bridge. Upon his return, Shears realizes that Nicholson's mania to complete his project has driven him mad. Filmed in Ceylon, Bridge on the River Kwai won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for the legendary British filmmaker David Lean, and Best Actor for Guinness. It also won Best Screenplay for Pierre Boulle, the author of the novel on which the film was based, even though the actual writers were blacklisted writers Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson, who were given their Oscars under the table. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi ~ Erin Demers, Rovi

The Guns of Navarone
The guns of Navarone are huge Nazi cannons, installed on an Aegean island behind enemy lines. Anthony Quayle is the officer assigned by the British to lead a task force to put the guns out of commission. When Quayle is injured, the mission winds up in the relatively inexperienced hands of Gregory Peck. There's little love lost between Peck, explosives expert David Niven and Greek patriot Anthony Quinn, especially when it becomes known that there's a traitor in their midst. Resistance leader Irene Papas weeds out the traitor, but there's still those guns to take care of. Filmed on location in Rhodes and distinguished by Oscar-winning special effects, Guns of Navarone (based on Alistair MacLean's best-seller was a major box-office hit of 1961; less successful was the pared-down 1977 sequel, Force Ten From Navarone. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Caine Mutiny
Robert Francis is at the center of the story as Willis Keith, a newly-minted ensign assigned to the destroyer/minesweeper U.S.S. Caine during World War II. Soon after his arrival, the ship gets a new captain, Lt. Comdr. Philip Francis Queeg Humphrey Bogart, a tough, no-nonsense veteran officer who tries to turns the crew into proper sailors and the Caine into a tight ship, engendering resentment from some of the men and several of his officers. A veteran of difficult years of service for too long, Queeg has insecurities about himself, his command, and his career that begin to manifest themselves as spells of temper over small details that cause him to make mistakes. Lt.Keefer (Fred MacMurray), the glib-tongued communications officer, begins making suggestions to the ship's sincere but overburdened first officer, Lt. Steve Maryk (Van Johnson), that Queeg may have mental problems. Maryk initially rejects these suggestions, and tries to support the captain, but conditions deteriorate to the point where Maryk is forced to relieve Queeg of command, and is charged -- along with Keith, who supported him -- with mutiny. Enter Lt. Barney Greenwald (Jose Ferrer), a lawyer in civilian life, who reluctantly agrees to help them, mostly out of sympathy for the impossible predicament in which Maryk has found himself trapped. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Burt Lancaster
    Burt Lancaster - Sgt. Milton Warden
  • Montgomery Clift
    Montgomery Clift - Robert E. Lee Prewitt
  • Deborah Kerr
    Deborah Kerr - Karen Holmes
  • Donna Reed
    Donna Reed - Alma Lorene
  • Frank Sinatra
    Frank Sinatra - Angelo Maggio
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