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Red Badge of Courage [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Top Customer Reviews
The characters and language are believeable, so are the action scenes. Low budget, no blood and gore, but watch out for the death of the 'tall' soldier, Jim, one of the most powerful, touching death scenes ever put on film.
An interesting point concerns the main character Henry, played by B movie star, Audie Murphy. Henry is an inexperienced, frightened youth, who deserts and later rejoins the battle to find his personal courage. Murphy, on the other hand, was the most decorated American soldier of WW2. According to his citations, his leadership and bravery were astonishing. This real life 'baby faced' soldier put the film exploits of Sly Stallone and Clint Eastwood to shame.
When the film was finally completed, the test screenings were a failure. Houston remarked: "With the Red Badge of Courage, I quite understood at the time why they took the steps they did. I was present at a preview when damn near a third of the audience got up and walked out of the theatre."
Various edits were tried without the participation of Huston, who was working on the "African Queen" with Bogart and Hepburn, and seemed to not give a damn. All that resulted was a picture that got shorter and shorter. The final release version is 69 minutes. The original cut was of 95 minutes, not two hours as has been suggested.
"...they cut out one scene that was probably the best in the picture, in a way of anticlimax. The monumental death of the tall soldier. The boy and the tattered soldier walk away down the hill, and the tattered fellow says, "I've never seen a feller die like that." He begins to ramble and begins to walk around in circles then dies himself. This was the most extraordinary moment in the picture as far as I was concerned. It wouldn't have made any difference so far as the audience was concerned. They still walked out in the middle of the picture."
The footage that was extracted was from the master negative. It was discarded to the floor of the editing suite and thrown away as useless. There are no records of any of the cut scenes or extra footage surviving.
Louis B.Read more ›
The American Civil War and Union soldiers head South to confront the Confederate army. Young Henry Fleming (Murphy) is ill prepared for the horrors of war, so when the crunch comes he retreats from the first battle he's faced with and has a life choice of either being known as a coward, or find something from within to make him strong enough to return to the front line.
Nutshell History Of The Production.
John Huston believed that this could have been his masterpiece, but an MGM power struggle saw the film butchered. A narration was insisted upon after poor test screenings, Huston washed his hands off the picture, while Lillian Ross produced a critically acclaimed book about the production. With no fanfare or bunting put out by the studio to promote the picture, the eventual 70 minute cut of the movie flopped as audiences didn't quite like the tonal flows of the piece. Over time, even in its truncated form of just under 70 minutes, pic has garnered praise to become something of a classic as it stands, while also being considered as a lost masterpiece due to the cut material apparently being lost forever.
Beautifully photographed by Rosson, it's a film that has often been tagged as some sort of arty exercise. Yet it never once feels like it has ideas above its station, it quite simply is a very intimate and touching portrayal of Americans fighting Americans.Read more ›
Someone who can, should find the original film - the longer version - and could make a Colorized version.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What can I say about this film a brilliant film Audie Murphy was great made you feel sorry for the youth another classic film it showed how terrible war is thanks again kind... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Very hard to find on DVD.This is by far the best film Murphy made and stands as a classic war film.I had doubts when I found it was to be shipped from Hong Kong but it arrived well... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Deborah Smith