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I'm not a film critic, but I'll tell you what I think about the movies I watch. I enjoy understanding the history behind the movies we watch, as well as the collaborative effort necessary to produce movies.

From Here to Eternity

From Here to Eternity 2

From Here to Eternity (1953)

Directed by Fred Zinneman

Starring: Burt Lancaster, Frank Sinatra, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed, Ernest Borgnine

It’s 1941 and Private Prewitt (Clift) just transferred into an infantry unit. Soon he’s being hazed for his refusal to become part of the unit’s boxing team. Private Angelo Maggio (Sinatra) is the first of several soldiers to come to his defense. Now the two are at odds with the bullies of the unit. Meanwhile, the wife (Kerr) of a philandering Captain (Philip Ober) from the same unit is seeking comfort in the arms of his second in command (Lancaster). The men of this unit each face their own challenges, but the biggest challenge is yet to come.

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Upon the release of this film Variety magazine said “The James Jones bestseller, From Here to Eternity, has become an outstanding motion picture in this smash screen adaptation. It is an important film from any angle.” I would have to agree with their immediate assessment. The cast includes a vast array of talent including some of the biggest leading actors and actresses. Burt Lancaster (Judgment at Nuremberg), Frank Sinatra (Suddenly), Montgomery Clift (Red River), and Ernest Borgnine (Marty) all do a great job with challenging roles. The women are led by Deborah Kerr (The King and I) and Donna Reed (It’s a Wonderful Life), both beautiful and talented actresses who do wonderful work in this one.

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The talent in this film had an awesome screenplay to work with. The characters all have moments where we learn a great deal about them. This knowledge makes this an easy movie to sink into. The characters all feel equally important thanks to a number of stories written into one larger experience. It’s also an amazing story about the men and women involved with the military in Hawaii and the days leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor. This is more interesting since the film was released only 12 years after that attack.

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The camera work and special effects in this movie are really great. The movie feels nicely edited and has good transitions from one story to the next. This isn’t intended to have separate episodes, so it’s nice that the transitions don’t take you to an entirely new place, just to a new point of view. Director Fred Zinnemann (High Noon) did a wonderful job with the production of this movie. Thanks to these aspects this film seems to be ahead of its time in many ways.

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From a critical standpoint this movie did all the right things. When the Oscars were over, From Here to Eternity had won eight of the thirteen awards it had been nominated for. This included Best supporting Actor (Sinatra) and Actress (Reed), Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Sound Recording, Best Director, and Best Picture. Lancaster, Clift, and Kerr were all nominated for their roles as well.

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I’m not going to have much criticism for such a well-made movie. I loved it from beginning to end. If you’re a fan of any of the actors you need to see this one. If you haven’t seen it in a while take the time and enjoy a movie masterpiece. I give this one 5 out of 5 stars.

Rating: Approved

Running Time: 118 minutes


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7 Comments on “From Here to Eternity”

  1. vinnieh July 24, 2013 at 3:20 AM #

    Excellent post, what a star-studded and highly talented cast assembled.


    • jeffro517 July 24, 2013 at 12:36 PM #

      Thanks! It’s always interesting to see what happens when you get this much talent on one project.



  1. The Longest Day | Did You See That One? - February 20, 2014

    […] of five writers. Along with Ryan, the other writers included Romain Gary (White Dog), James Jones (From Here to Eternity), David Pursall (The Blue Max), and Jack Seddon (Tomorrow Never Comes). This movie was eventually […]


  2. Field of Dreams | Did You See That One? - March 24, 2014

    […] portraying an over-the-hill hippie leader looking for some peace in his life. For Burt Lancaster (From Here to Eternity), there could have been no better swan song. In his final role he gives a great performance that […]


  3. Red River | Did You See That One? - July 25, 2014

    […] features a great collection of actors starting with John Wayne (McLintock!) and Montgomery Clift (From Here to Eternity). The cast also includes Joanne Dru (She Wore a Yellow Ribbon), Walter Brennan (Kentucky), Coleen […]


  4. The King and I | Did You See That One? - July 29, 2014

    […] for her lifetime of work in films. She was in some of the classic Hollywood movies including From Here to Eternity, An Affair to Remember, and Black Narcissus. Rounding out the big names in the cast is Rita […]


  5. Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison | Did You See That One? - May 2, 2015

    […] This is a dramatic look at war, based on the novel of the same name by Charles Shaw (Death is a Number). The film was directed by John Huston (The African Queen), who also wrote the screenplay alongside John Lee Mahin (Quo Vadis). The film stars Oscar nominees Robert Mitchum (The Longest Day) and Deborah Kerr (From Here to Eternity). […]


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