From Here To Eternity (1953)

From Here To Eternity
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Low level violence

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Actors: Frank Sinatra, Burt Lancaster, Donna Reed, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Ernest Borgnine, Philip Ober

In this landmark film, passion and tragedy collide on a military base as a fateful day in December 1941 draws near. Private Prewitt (Montgomery Clift) is a soldier and former boxer being manipulated by his superior and peers. His friend Maggio (Frank Sinatra) tries to help him but has his own troubles. Sergeant Warden (Burt Lancaster) and Karen Holmes (Deborah Kerr) tread on dangerous ground as lovers in an illicit affair. Each of their lives will be changed when their stories culminate in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Winner of eight Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor (Frank Sinatra), FROM HERE TO ETERNITY provided truly career defining roles for Frank Sinatra as Prewitt's buddy and Donna Reed (IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE), as a not-so-wholesome "club hostess".

DVD
Status: LongWait
Run time: 113mins
Origin: UNITED STATES
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Play It Again
by Jess Lomas,

Best known for the iconic kissing-in-the-waves scene, there’s a lot more to love about From Here to Eternity than Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster frolicking in the sand. Set on an American military base in Hawaii months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, it concerns Private Robert Prewitt (Montgomery Clift), a fine bugler and an even better boxer, newly transferred to the company. Captain Dana Holmes (Philip Ober) sets about trying to convince Prewitt to join the company’s boxing team, making his life misery until he relents to fight. Looking on is First Sergeant Milton Warden (Lancaster) who has grown tired of his Captain’s antics and fallen for his wife Karen (Kerr). Private Angelo Maggio (Frank Sinatra) is the comic relief as Prewitt’s reckless friend who can’t hold his drink,...

Best known for the iconic kissing-in-the-waves scene, there’s a lot more to love about From Here to Eternity than Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster frolicking in the sand. Set on an American military base in Hawaii months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, it concerns Private Robert Prewitt (Montgomery Clift), a fine bugler and an even better boxer, newly transferred to the company. Captain Dana Holmes (Philip Ober) sets about trying to convince Prewitt to join the company’s boxing team, making his life misery until he relents to fight.

Looking on is First Sergeant Milton Warden (Lancaster) who has grown tired of his Captain’s antics and fallen for his wife Karen (Kerr). Private Angelo Maggio (Frank Sinatra) is the comic relief as Prewitt’s reckless friend who can’t hold his drink, and has an ongoing spar with Sergeant Judson (Ernest Borgnine), the chief enforcer at the stockade. Finally, there’s Prewitt's love interest Lorene (Donna Reed), a gentleman’s club employee longing to return to her home town to lead an honest life.

This 1953 drama was based on the novel of the same name by James Jones, inspired by his own experiences serving in World War II. Daniel Taradash adapted the novel for the screen, and, together with director Fred Zinnemann, created an engrossing account of army life. The film perfectly encapsulates male camaraderie, the hierarchical exploitation of soldiers, and the solace found by many a lost man in this regimented way of living.

The bombing of Pearl Harbor scene is, in itself, reason enough to watch this movie. So caught up are we in the politics of the company and the romances blossoming that the Japanese planes startle us as much as they do the soldiers. It’s no surprise that the feature cleaned up at the Academy Awards, winning eight Oscars from its thirteen nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay. With a stand out performance from Lancaster, From Here to Eternity is a powerful and emotional time capsule of America on the brink of change.

4.5/5

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Member Reviews (26)

Helen
says
An incredible drama with so many twists and turns. Quite the surprise. I realise the era was wartime and men were often portrayed as hard and tough back then but did the women have to be so deranged? Not to be too critical, I still enjoyed this story of life on the army base in Hawaii in the lead-up to Dec. 7th 1941. These classics don't all age well and in parts the script didn't but in some parts was beautiful. eg all scenes of the bugle playing.
Posted Monday, 30 December 2013 See my other reviews
BennyRuss
says
What a legendary film. I was thoroughly impressed with it, especially Montgromery Clift and Deborah Kerr. They were the standouts :)
Posted Saturday, 16 February 2013 See my other reviews
Really interesting to finally see this classic. A great story about life in a US Army base on Hawaii at the commencement of WW2. Surprised to find out the famous 'beach kiss with wave' scene was a 2 second segment about a love story that wasn't even the main storyline.
Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 See my other reviews
Catherine & Mark
says
Interesting story but it is really a story about stupid people doing stupid things. The ending was very unsatisfactory.
Posted Monday, 3 September 2012 See my other reviews
Josh
says
To an extent, it can drag and lead you to the anticipation of the inevitable climax, but the balance of many entertaining subplots and the great performances by Lancaster and Sinatra make 'From Here To Eternity' a terrific World War II film.
Posted Friday, 11 November 2011 See my other reviews
Clouseau
says
Excellent movie! I can see why it won all its accolades at the time. The other reviewer - Derek - explains the movie perfectly and I can't add much more to his thoughts about it. Not to be missed!
Posted Wednesday, 9 November 2011 See my other reviews
jeanne watt
says
old and dull
Posted Tuesday, 13 September 2011 See my other reviews
Aileen Susan Jeffery
says
Oh how wonderful to see a very young Frank Sinatra and the other well known actors in a movie I had heard about but had never seen before. It was truly wonderful to watch it. Thank you for your service. Susan Jeffery P.S. I have really ehjoyed every movie I have had from you, and lots of the ones on my list are ones I saw when I was not even a teenager but loved them so much.
Posted Thursday, 23 June 2011 See my other reviews
Erin P.
says
Kind of slow and boring by today's standards, but it's easy to see why it's such an enduring classic. Just don't watch it if you're already feeling depressed because it certainly won't help.
Posted Saturday, 4 December 2010 See my other reviews
Paz A.
says
After all these years, and having seen it before, I still found the story engrossing. Burt Lancaster and Frank Sinatra are excellent. Still very good entertainment.
Posted Monday, 28 April 2008 See my other reviews
Ronald P.
says
Wonderful movie, well acted, several memorable moments.
Posted Wednesday, 20 February 2008 See my other reviews
Sacha S.
says
Posted Wednesday, 13 February 2008 See my other reviews
Lorene J.
says
Posted Wednesday, 19 September 2007 See my other reviews
Christiaan P.
says
Posted Monday, 27 August 2007 See my other reviews
lucy
says
Posted Wednesday, 1 August 2007 See my other reviews
Elaine T.
says
Had not seen this movie in many years. Most enjoyable, second time round.
Posted Saturday, 9 June 2007 See my other reviews
Nola S.
says
Posted Monday, 4 December 2006 See my other reviews
Derek
says
This is basically a movie about outsiders, people carrying emotional damage from their pasts which is now imposing limits on their futures. The Montgomery Clift character caused his previous sparring partner to go blind and now doggedly endures the punishments heaped on him by his superiors who want him to return to boxing for them. Frank Sinatra beautifully plays a larrikin character driven to the end by his sense of personal pride. Burt Lancaster (playing Burt Lancaster!) cannot rise above his own limitations even 'though it would win him the woman he loves. Deborah Kerr's character's experiences in her disastrous marriage are better explained in the book - here they are only hinted at. One can then better understand her essential inner emptyness and her ceaseless search for love. A beautiful exploration of these people and the army life which both supports them but can also ruin them.
Posted Saturday, 2 December 2006 See my other reviews
Jan B.
says
Posted Thursday, 29 June 2006 See my other reviews
Jan B.
says
Posted Thursday, 29 June 2006 See my other reviews
Ron
says
I was expecting more, some of the oldies have been great, but this was just an average story of several people with a not-so-pleasant life. A very young Frank Sinatra was interesting.
Posted Saturday, 22 October 2005 See my other reviews
John
says
A swag of good actors in this one and it shows. Well directed and a great human drama. You tend to forget its in black and white the story is so good.
Posted Monday, 9 May 2005 See my other reviews
Gillian
says
Great black and white movie telling stories of more than one character.
Posted Wednesday, 4 May 2005 See my other reviews
Sam Abagi
says
A melancholy story about army-life, relationships and expectations. The beach scene is not to be missed - classic!
Posted Tuesday, 21 December 2004 See my other reviews
Trevor Harrison
says
Posted Monday, 22 November 2004 See my other reviews
Heinz V. O.
says
Posted Monday, 21 June 2004 See my other reviews