On the DVD: The black and white film is not anamorphically enhanced but presented full frame in its original aspect ratio of 1.37:1, although the transfer is well done and the picture is pretty sharp. Sound is 2.0 mono rather than the standard 5.1 reworking of the audio track, and it works. The dialogue is clear without any noticeable hiss. There's a 22-minute "making of" documentary, which doesn't really do justice to the film and contains very little information of interest. Along with this is Fred Zinnemann's As I See It, an extract from the director's home video footage from the shoot. You also get the theatrical trailer, but the best feature is the audio commentary, by Fred Zinnemann's son Tim and screenwriter Alvin Sargent, which has some fantastic detail about the struggle between director and studio-head Harry Cohn over casting, along with the run-ins with the censor and US military over the "inflammatory nature" of the film.--Kristen Bowditch
The Making Of "From Here To Eternity"
Excerpt from "Fred Zinneman: As I See It"
Commentary by Tim Zimmerman and Alvin Sergeant
Languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
Subtitles: English, French, German, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Hindi ,Turkish, Danish, Arabic, Bulgarian, Swedish, Finnish, Icelandic, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese, Greek, Hebrew, Spanish, Italian
FROM HERE TO ETERNITY presents a realistic portrait of army life in Hawaii immediately before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The film features strong performances by Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Frank Sinatra, Donna Reed, Ernest Borgnine and Montgomery Clift. An extremely competent supporting cast includes Jack Warden, Philip Ober and Mickey Shaughnessy.
Burt Lancaster makes a convincing first sergeant. One who is running the show and is full of knowledge about how the army really works. He also has good instincts when it comes time to act as he demonstrates in the showdown with the sadistic "Fatso" played by Ernest Borgnine. Borgnine himself is exceptional in his most famous impersonation of a villain.
Frank Sinatra definitely deserves his Oscar in the role of the defiant Maggio. However, after seeing Lee Marvin play a drunk it is hard to appreciate any other actor's attempt compared with Marvin's portrayal of one in PAINT YOUR WAGON.
FROM HERE TO ETERNITY was a relatively low-budget production but it still managed to receive five Academy Awards and eight nominations.
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