From Here to Eternity
|From Here to Eternity|
original movie poster
|Directed by||Fred Zinnemann|
|Produced by||Buddy Adler|
|Screenplay by||Daniel Taradash|
From Here to Eternity
by James Jones
|Music by||George Duning|
|Edited by||William A. Lyon|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Running time||118 minutes|
From Here to Eternity is a 1953 George Reeves.
The film won eight Academy Awards out of 13 nominations, including for Picture, Best Director (Fred Zinnemann), Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Frank Sinatra) and Supporting Actress (Donna Reed). The film's title comes originally from a quote from Rudyard Kipling's 1892 poem "Gentlemen-Rankers", about soldiers of the British Empire who had "lost [their] way" and were "damned from here to eternity".
- Plot 1
- Cast 2
- Production 3
- Reception 4
- Awards and nominations 5
- References 6
- External links 7
In 1941, bugler and career soldier Private Robert E. Lee Prewitt (Montgomery Clift) transfers to a rifle company at Schofield Barracks on the island of Oahu. Captain Dana "Dynamite" Holmes (Philip Ober) has heard he is a talented middleweight boxer and wants him to join his regimental boxing team in order to secure a promotion. Prewitt refuses, having stopped fighting because he blinded his sparring partner and close friend over a year before. Holmes is adamant, but so is Prewitt.
Holmes makes life as miserable as possible for Prewitt, hoping he will give in. Holmes orders First Sergeant Milton Warden (Burt Lancaster) to prepare general court-martial papers after Sergeant Galovitch (John Dennis) first insults Prewitt, then gives an unreasonable order which Prewitt refuses to obey. Warden, however, suggests that he try to get Prewitt to change his mind by doubling up on company punishment. Warden's goal is not to punish Prewitt, but to prevent a court-martial for a career soldier. The other non-commissioned officers assist in the conspiracy. Prewitt is supported only by his friend, Private Angelo Maggio (Frank Sinatra).
Meanwhile, Warden begins an affair with Holmes' neglected wife Karen (Fort Bliss, including with him. As their relationship develops, Warden asks Karen about her affairs to test her sincerity. Karen relates that Holmes has been unfaithful to her most of their marriage. She miscarried one night when Holmes returned home from seeing a hat-check girl, drunk and unable to call a doctor, resulting in her being unable to bear any more children. She then affirms her love for Warden.
Prewitt and Maggio spend their liberty at the New Congress Club, a Inspector General. After Holmes' motives are revealed, the base commander orders a court-martial. When Holmes begs for an alternative, an aide suggests that Holmes resign his commission. Holmes' replacement, Captain Ross (John Bryant), reprimands the others involved and has the boxing team's framed photographs and trophies removed. He then demotes Galovitch to private and puts him in charge of the latrine.
Maggio escapes the stockade and dies in Prewitt's arms after telling of the abuse he suffered at Judson's hands. Prewitt tracks Judson down and kills him with the same switchblade Judson pulled on Maggio earlier, but sustains a serious stomach wound. Prewitt goes into hiding at Lorene's house.
When the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, Prewitt attempts to rejoin his company under cover of darkness, but is shot dead by a patrol. Warden notes the irony that the boxing tournament has been canceled because of the attack.
When Karen finds out that Warden did not apply for officer training, she realizes they have no future together. She returns to the mainland with her husband. Lorene and Karen meet on the ship. Lorene tells Karen that Lorene's fiancé was a bomber pilot who was heroically killed during the attack. Karen recognizes Prewitt's name, but says nothing.
- Burt Lancaster as First Sergeant Milton Warden
- Montgomery Clift as Private Robert E. Lee "Prew" Prewitt
- Deborah Kerr as Karen Holmes
- Donna Reed as Alma "Lorene" Burke
- Frank Sinatra as Private Angelo Maggio
- Philip Ober as Captain Dana "Dynamite" Holmes
- Mickey Shaughnessy as Corporal Leva
- Harry Bellaver as Private First Class Mazzioli
- Jack Warden as Corporal Buckley
- John Dennis as Sergeant Ike Galovitch
- Merle Travis as Private Sal Anderson
- Tim Ryan as Sergeant Pete Karelsen
- George Reeves as Sergeant Maylon Stark
- Claude Akins as Sergeant 'Baldy' Dhom
- Alvin Sargent as Nair
- Joseph Sargent as soldier
- Robert J. Wilke as Sergeant Henderson
- Carleton Young as Colonel Ayres
- Tyler McVey as Major Stern (uncredited)
James Jones, the novel's author, makes an uncredited appearance chatting to hostesses and other soldiers in the scene where Ernest Borgnine (Fatso) plays the piano at the New Congress Club.
Hollywood legend has it that Frank Sinatra got the role in the movie because of his alleged Mafia connections, and that this was the basis for a similar subplot in The Godfather. However, this has been dismissed on several occasions by the cast and crew of the film. Director Fred Zinneman commented that "...the legend about a horse's head having been cut off is pure invention, a poetic license on the part of Mario Puzo who wrote The Godfather." More plausible is the notion that Sinatra's then-wife Ava Gardner persuaded studio head Harry Cohn's wife to use her influence with him; this version is related by Kitty Kelley in her Sinatra biography.
- From Here to Eternity at the Internet Movie Database
- From Here to Eternity at AllMovie
- From Here to Eternity at the TCM Movie Database
- From Here to Eternity at the American Film Institute Catalog
- From Here to Eternity at Rotten Tomatoes
- From Here to Eternity at Virtual History
- Script (pdf)
- Buford, Kate. Burt Lancaster: An American Life. New York: Knopf, 2000. ISBN 0-679-44603-6.
- Dolan Edward F. Jr. Hollywood Goes to War. London: Bison Books, 1985. ISBN 0-86124-229-7.
- Evans, Alun. Brassey's Guide to War Films. Dulles, Virginia: Potomac Books, 2000. ISBN 1-57488-263-5.
- Sinatra, Nancy. Frank Sinatra: An American Legend. Chappaqua, New York: Readers Digest Association, 1995. ISBN 0-7621-0134-2.
- "Box Office Information for 'From Here to Eternity'." The Numbers. Retrieved: April 12, 2012.
- "The 26th Academy Awards (1954) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-08-20..
- Sinatra 1995, p. 106
- "From Here to Eternity (1953)." moviesplanet.com. Retrieved: May 31, 2011.
- Buford 2000
- Track 2.
- Brogdon, William. "Review:'From Here to Eternity'." Variety, July 29, 1953. Retrieved: January 14, 2010.
- "From Here to Eternity." Festival de Cannes. Retrieved: January 25, 2009.
William Holden, who won the Best Actor Oscar for Stalag 17, felt that Lancaster or Clift should have won. Sinatra would later comment that he thought his performance of heroin addict Frankie Machine in The Man With the Golden Arm was more deserving of an Oscar than his role as Maggio.
|Academy Award||Best Picture||Buddy Adler||Won|
|Best Director||Fred Zinnemann||Won|
|Best Actor||Montgomery Clift||Nominated|
|Best Actor||Burt Lancaster||Nominated|
|Best Actress||Deborah Kerr||Nominated|
|Best Writing, Screenplay||Daniel Taradash||Won|
|Best Supporting Actor||Frank Sinatra||Won|
|Best Supporting Actress||Donna Reed||Won|
|Best Cinematography (Black-and-White)||Burnett Guffey||Won|
|Best Costume Design (Black-and-White)||Jean Louis||Nominated|
|Best Film Editing||William A. Lyon||Won|
|Best Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture||Morris Stoloff||Nominated|
|Best Sound (Recording)||John P. Livadary||Won|
|Golden Globe Award||Best Supporting Actor||Frank Sinatra||Won|
|Best Director||Fred Zinneman||Won|
|New York Film Critics Circle Awards||Best Film||Won|
|Best Actor||Burt Lancaster||Won|
|Best Director||Fred Zinneman||Won|
|Cannes Film Festival||Special Award of Merit||Won|
|Grand Prize of the Festival||Nominated|
|BAFTA Award||Best Film from Any Source||Nominated|
|Directors Guild of America||Outstanding Directorial Achievement||Fred Zinneman||Won|
|Writers Guild of America||Best Written American Drama||Won|
|Photoplay Award||Gold Medal||Won|
Awards and nominations
With a gross of $30.5 million equating to earnings of $12.2 million, From Here to Eternity was not only one of the top grossing films of 1953, but one of the ten highest-grossing films of the decade. Adjusted for inflation, its box office gross would be equivalent to in excess of US$240 million in recent times.
The cast agreed, Burt Lancaster commenting in the book Sinatra: An American Legend that "His fervour (Sinatra), his bitterness had something to do with the character of Maggio, but also with what he had gone through the last number of years. A sense of defeat and the whole world crashing in on him... They all came out in that performance."
The New York Post applauded Frank Sinatra, remarking that "He proves he is an actor by playing the luckless Maggio with a kind of doomed gaiety that is both real and immensely touching." Newsweek also stated that "Frank Sinatra, a crooner long since turned actor, knew what he was doing when he plugged for the role of Maggio."
Of the actors, Variety went on to say, "Burt Lancaster, whose presence adds measurably to the marquee weight of the strong cast names, wallops the character of Top Sergeant Milton Warden, the professional soldier who wet-nurses a weak, pompous commanding officer and the GIs under him. It is a performance to which he gives depth of character as well as the muscles which had gained marquee importance for his name. Montgomery Clift, with a reputation for sensitive, three-dimensional performances, adds another to his growing list as the independent GI who refuses to join the company boxing team, taking instead the "treatment" dished out at the C.O.'s instructions. Frank Sinatra scores a decided hit as Angelo Maggio, a violent, likeable Italo-American GI. While some may be amazed at this expression of the Sinatra talent versatility, it will come as no surprise to those who remember the few times he has had a chance to be something other than a crooner in films.
Opening to rave reviews, From Here to Eternity proved to be an instant hit with critics and the public alike, the Southern California Motion Picture Council extolling: "A motion picture so great in its starkly realistic and appealing drama that mere words cannot justly describe it." Variety agreed: "The James Jones bestseller, 'From Here to Eternity,' has become an outstanding motion picture in this smash screen adaptation. It is an important film from any angle, presenting socko entertainment for big business. The cast names are exceptionally good, the exploitation and word-of-mouth values are topnotch, and the prospects in all playdates are very bright whether special key bookings or general run." 
Two songs are noteworthy: "Re-Enlistment Blues" and "From Here to Eternity", by Robert Wells and Fred Karger.
The on-screen chemistry between Lancaster and Kerr may have spilled off-screen; it was alleged that the stars became romantically involved during filming.