Wednesday, November 30, 2011

From Here to Eternity (1953)



“Maybe back in the days of the pioneers a man could go his own way, but today you got to play ball.”

            I read about From Here to Eternity a few times in various film books. I think the first time I really read about it was when I was read a biography on Ava Gardner… no she is not in the film but she was married to Frank Sinatra who was in it (in case you did not know). I came across the film on TCM when they had Montgomery Cliff as their actor under the day. I was a bit excited to see it since I was heard about it. I did not go into it with high expectations or any expectations at all and thank God I did not because I would have been disappoint and was.
            There are like five plots going on at once and I did not like any one of them. If I had to pick I liked the plot of Burt Lancaster’s character Sgt. Milton Warden and Deborah Kerr’s character Karen Holmes really falling in love with each when they have never been in love before. Their relationship was not outrageously romantic but to me they were the best actors in the whole film which in turn made their scenes watchable and bearable. Their famous kissing scene on the beach was really good. Kerr was excellent she was angry and spiteful at the world and she knocked it out. She looked gorgeous too. Burt Lancaster was so handsome and was such a great actor, he was very believable.
            I actually did not even remember or realize Montgomery Cliff was in the film. I do not like him at all he drives me nuts. His story line was a load of crap I though. He plays a soldier named Robert E. Lee Prewitt who transferred from the bugle corps. Karen’s husband Capt. Dana Holmes found out that Prewitt used to be a boxer and wants him for a match against another company (or so I think). Prewitt does not want to so Holmes and other soldiers make his life miserable. While out he meets a girl named Alma (Donna Reed). They fall in love but she does not want to be a soldier’s wife but she eventually relents and agrees to an engagement.
            Prewitt’s only friend is a guy named Angelo Maggio (Frank Sinatra). Angelo is a typical Italian with a quick temper. One night he pisses off the head of the stockade while out at a bar. His life like Prewitt’s is made miserable. Angelo eventually winds up in the stockade where he is beaten over and over again.
            So pretty much the only good scenes were the ones with Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr and I also liked Donna Reed she was excellent. Frank Sinatra was perfect along with the three actors I mentioned made the film worth sitting through. Reed and Sinatra would both win Awards for Best Supporting Actress and Actor respectively. This is what revived Sinatra’s career, he was in such a bad slump he could not get a hit with his songs. At this point in his life he was married to Ava Gardner and neither one was seen very favorably because she broke up his first marriage. They just got a lot of bad press which did not affect her career but did his.
            From Here to Eternity was not to my liking. The film to me dragged so bad in so many parts that my attention wandered. I understand the stories and everything that went on I just could not get into the plots and stories that was needed. From Here to Eternity is one of the best known and well admired classic films; I can see why that is so but it is not one I well admired. Although I am not a great fan of the film it is one that deserves to be seen at least once.