Hello, my fellow film lovers. Rare and Collectible DVDs as the name suggests is all about those films that are not mainstream, that have been lost, or forgotten or you have just not heard about.
We are all different as to why a film appeals to us but some films are universally recognized as having that certain something that sets them apart. I am not a film critic but merely someone who watchers a film and either likes it or doesn’t so it’s more about the storyline. Sometimes the direction can be a bit average, or the actors are miss cast but if the plot is good and well written then that s good enough for me.
The first film I would like highlight is also one of my favourites (strange about that).
FROM HERE TO ETERNITY is in my opinion one of the best films made on Pearl Harbor. It starts with looking at a peace time army not ready for war and preoccupied with social events that begin to have inevitable and eventual tragic consequences.
“It’s in 1941. Robert E. Lee Prewitt has requested Army transfer and has ended up at Schofield in Hawaii. His new captain, Dana Holmes, has heard of his boxing prowess and is keen to get him to represent the company. However, ‘Prew’ is adamant that he doesn’t box anymore, so Captain Holmes gets his subordinates to make his life a living hell. Meanwhile, Sergeant Warden starts seeing the captain’s wife, who has a history of seeking external relief from a troubled marriage. Prew’s friend Maggio has a few altercations with the sadistic stockade Sergeant ‘Fatso’ Judson, and Prew begins falling in love with social club employee Lorene. Unbeknownst to anyone, the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor looms in the distance.”
The actual attack on Pearl Harbor is brilliantly filmed and captures the panic and confusion that undoubtedly happened. The ending where Karen Holmes and Lorene are being repatriated by ship back to USA sums up the reality that America is now at war and life has changed forever.
The acting by Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra and Ernest Borgnine is outstanding and what makes this film the great film it is.
The last comment on this film is the famous beach scene between Kerr and Lancaster. When this film was made in 1953 it had the censors in meltdown. By today’s standard, it would not raise an eyebrow but in 1953 it was risque.
Montgomery Clift threw himself into the character of Prewitt, learning to play the bugle (even though he knew he’d be dubbed) and taking boxing lessons. Fred Zinnemann said, “Clift forced the other actors to be much better than they really were. That’s the only way I can put it. He got performances from the other actors, he got reactions from the other actors that were totally genuine.”
Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra and author James Jones were very close during the filming, frequently embarking on monumental drinking binges. Clift coached Sinatra on how to play Maggio during their more sober moments, for which Sinatra was eternally grateful.
The MPAA banned photos of the famous Burt Lancaster–Deborah Kerr passionate kiss on the beach for being too erotic. Many prints had shortened versions of the scene because projectionists would cut out frames to keep as souvenirs.
The censors demanded that Deborah Kerr‘s swimsuit should feature a skirt in its design so as to not be too sexually provocative.