A Walk in the Sun Film Details
Overview: During WWII, a platoon of American soldiers trudge through the Italian countryside in search of a bridge they have been ordered to blow up, encountering danger and destruction along the way.
Tagline: THEY FOUGHT BEST WHEN IT WAS HOPELESS!
Review: In a televised lecture Harry Brown explained to his students how important “banter” was in any story about the military. He ought to know. “A Walk in the Sun” is full of banter, all of it low brow but keen as well. The dialog is mostly stylized, along the lines of, say, Hemingway or Charles Portis’ “True Grit,” although it is not imitative in any way. “I wouldn’t trust you with a popgun,” says Friedman to Rivera. “You gotta trust me. I’m a machine gunner with a machine gun.” And somehow, despite the artistic effects, as if the lines were in blank verse, the dialog rings true to life among a small group of men with a superordinate goal. Dana Andrews’ Sgt. Tyne is standing alone at the beach, next to the body of his friend, a harmless medic. He lights a cigarette, says aloud, “Gee, I’m scared,” slings his weapon and walks off towards the thing that is frightening him. What a concise and very human admission. “Gee, I’m scared.” The artistic effects of the dialog are echoed in the direction by Lewis Milestone, full of silhouettes and inserts, but they don’t distract for a moment from our involvement in the story. In the opening scenes the men are packed into a landing craft approaching the beach at Salerno. They are mostly silent and thoughtful except when muttering brief remarks to one another or to themselves. (There are lots of soliloquies in this film.) We see hardly any of the scene except for dimly lighted faces. Sometimes during exchanges we don’t even see the faces, only a glistening helmet. And sometimes the screen is completely black. Milestone has been criticized as being too obvious, but I’ve never understood why. How many other directors would pass up a chance to show us dive bombers attacking troop ships. All we hear are the defensive boom-boom-booms of the 40 mm. guns and the explosions when a ship is hit. And all we see of the battle is a roiling plume of black smoke rising from behind a dune. It’s really an ensemble movie, with Dana Andrews the lead figure. We get to know the men pretty well, all of them distinguished from one another by their characters, not by the use of facile props like mustaches. Sometimes they’re pretty funny. During a break, one infantryman holds up a leaf and inspects it. He remarks to Huntz Hall’s lowbrow that it’s a wonderfully designed object. Huntz Hall puts him down and posits dismissively that there’s nuthin’ so special about a leaf. He’s seen lots of leaves. The men are identified only as belonging to “a Texas division”, and the landing seems to be at Salerno. Salerno was a botched landing. The enemy were all prepared because there was virtually no other place for the landings to be made. The beach head was probably saved by air support and naval gunfire. I’ve kind of emphasized the dreamlike banter that the author of the novel was so fond of, yet this is a film with quite a bit of action. The final attack on the farmhouse really IS enough to scare Dana Andrews — or anybody else — and it’s staged with Milestone’s signature panning shots. Good movie.
Language: English, Italian
Duration: 117 min
Genre: Drama, War
Also known as: Passeggiata al sole,Un paseo bajo el sol,Um Passeio ao Sol,Le commando de la mort,He vaelsivat auringossa,A Walk in the Sun,Un paseo en el sol,Het commando des doods,Séta a napsütésben,Προγεφύρωμα σφαγής,Dimoiria aftoktonias,Salerno Beachhead,Landung in Salerno,Spacer w słońcu,Salerno playa de invasion,O plimbare la soare,Opmars zonder genade,Caminhada Sob o Sol,Attack i sol,De vandrade i solen,Progulka pod solntsem,Den blodige vej,Commando de la mort,Progefyroma sfagis,Διμοιρία αυτοκτονίας,激戦地（1946）,Прогулка под солнцем,Salerno ora x