Film and Food

Movies reviews with matching food – eat, watch, enjoy

Best Picture – From Here to Eternity (1953)

Starring Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift & Deborah Kerr

Rating 6/10

This is not a love story. It is a war story. It’s about what people do with war and death when it’s all around them. How power corrupts and unquestionable duty of the ‘good’ soldier.

It all happens in Hawaii. I love Hawaii!!! Private Robert E. Lee Prewitt  (Clift) is newest addition to Schofield Barracks. He has a chip on his shoulder and fear pouring out of every orifice. His bugling and boxing days behind him, Prewitt is constantly bullied by his superiors to join their boxing team. His mate, Private Angelo Maggio (Frank Sinatra) has his back and often joins him in the unjust punishments he has to endure. Then there’s First Sergeant Milton Warden (Lancaster) who has a taste for his Captain’s wife (Kerr). They have the famous 2 second roll around in the sand as they embark on an illicit affair.

Danger lurks around every corner as Prewitt and Maggio make enemies and suspect acquaintances with questionable females while intoxicated! Doom! We all know where it’s headed… Pearl Harbour, December 7th 1941. On the surface, this may seem like a love story, but really it’s all about warfare and how men and women both cope with the pressures and subsequent releases around them.

This was an important film for Frank Sinatra and Ernest Borgnine. Both careers were previously in the doldrums then took off after this with Sinatra securing a record deal. I found the plot a little slow but quite interesting from a historical point of view. It was one of the first films to have a ‘rompy-pompy’ scene (at the beach) and it had many references to the act, which was rare in those days. The loose girls at the New Congress Club are prostitutes, though never directly referred to as such. And affairs were only really talked about rather than shown but it seemed like the norm in this world, which was probably true.

The final scenes give this otherwise slow plot a good kick up the bum. The soldiers are distracted from their sex and boxing world to an even more serious reality… war! It is time for boys to become men and the beginning of a new war experience for the “best army in the world”(Prewitt). I just love films set in Hawaii, so this one was a delight to watch. The eye candy ain’t bad either with Lancasters beautiful shoulders and Sinatra’s skinny little frame. Too cute.

From Here to Eternity Trivia:

  • Budget – $2.4 Million!
  • Montgomery Clift was so bad at boxing they had to use a double for the boxing scenes.
  • Clift was also really drunk in the street scene with Lancaster (who simply played drunk). Who’s the better actor then?
  • Sinatra’s career was going so badly he had to fight to be cast in this film! Thanks to then wife, Ava Gardner, he was successful. Imagine a world without old blue eyes!
  • The extras were all soldiers who had to be taught how to use the old army equipment filmmakers had found.
  • Lancaster was intimidated by Clift’s acting skill and dedication.
  • The rolling around in the surf idea was Lancaster’s. It was supposed to be a vertical kiss but steamy old Burt had other ideas.

From one mob to another Mob! Next time we are watching On The Waterfront starring the mumbling but oh so spectacular Marlon Brando. Check it out and let us know what you thought!!


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