From Here To Eternity
- Fred Zinnemann
- Reviewed by
- a.k.a. Jacinda
- Review date
- Monday, September 03, 2001
Robert E. Lee Prewitt (Montgomery Clift) has requested Army transfer and is sent to Schofield in Hawaii. When Prewitt decides not to box on his unit's team his new captain (Philip Ober) starts to punish him cruelly. It turns out not to be easy to break his will though. The insubordinate Prew becomes friends with the light-hearted Private Maggio (Frank Sinatra) and starts to fall in love with the bar girl Lorene (Donna Reed). In the meantime Sergeant Milton Warden (Burt Lancaster) secretly starts a passionate affair with the Captain’s wife (Deborah Kerr). Things get out of control when Pearl Harbor is attacked by the Japanese.
I don’t know where to start with my praise. I simply love everything about this movie. From Here To Eternity doesn’t feel like the typical war movie to me. War only serves as a backdrop for the personal stories to be told. This is a military drama packed with realistic characters and real emotions.
The love story between Lancaster and Kerr simply took my breath away. I love the fact that Kerr’s character is more than a beautiful accessory. Karen Holmes is a woman with a sad and bitter past. There is something mysterious about her. Warden is the perfect man to handle this fragile woman and to discover her secret. He is manly but he knows how to treat a woman the right way. The classic scene at the beach reveals the tragedy in Karen’s life. The atmosphere is incomparably tense. A truly unforgettable and poignant scene.
Lancaster’s portrayal of Warden is one of the most charismatic ones I have ever seen. I especially like his interaction with Clift’s Prewitt. It is impressive to watch the complexities Clift adds to his character. To me, these two men are the standouts of the movie. Their ideals are shaped by virtues you will hardly find in movies nowadays. They actually believe in something and they behave like men – like real men.
From Here To Eternity also deals with ethics and humanity. In this regard it is a brave statement for peace. The attack on Pearl Harbor is the climax of the movie. War changes everything there was before.
This movie has something bittersweet about it – an after-taste that is hard to forget. Fred Zinnemann’s From Here To Eternity is filled with remarkable characters of great depth. It is a powerful movie about loyalty and friendship, about love and war. A classic that deserves to be considered one of the greatest movies ever made.
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