A Walk in the Sun (1945)

Genres - War  |   Sub-Genres - War Drama  |   Release Date - Dec 3, 1945 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 117 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Michael Costello

Lewis Milestone's solid, low-key war film manages to avoid the flag-waving clich├ęs of most WWII pictures, as it concentrates on the thoughts of the members of an infantry platoon as they undertake an assault on a German-held farmhouse outside Salerno. Robert Rossen's script is less dramatic than novelistic in its effect, as the voice-over narration allows the characters to express the fear of death, boredom, cynicism, and even their rapport with their weapons, in a way that's rare in a combat film. Emphasizing the isolation of the group of G.I.s united only by their common mission, the closest the film comes to gung-ho sentiment is their quietly repeated pet phrase, "Nobody dies." In the equanimity with which the soldiers advance on the farmhouse, Milestone underlines the many battles these veterans have yet survived, and the peace that even the most frightened have made with death. Dana Andrews projects quiet authority in a film that is more than most an ensemble piece, leading a cast that includes John Ireland, Lloyd Bridges, Richard Conte, and surprisingly good Huntz Hall.