Review: ‘The Immortal Sergeant’

Story is a compact drama, interestingly told, of a lost sunrise patrol on the Libyan desert. It's an intimate study of characters and hardships encountered in the desert.

Story is a compact drama, interestingly told, of a lost sunrise patrol on the Libyan desert. It’s an intimate study of characters and hardships encountered in the desert.

There’s the sergeant (Thomas Mitchell), resourceful tactician of the last war and a most inspiring leader for the unit. It’s his influence, after fatal wounding, that drives corporal Henry Fonda on with the remnants of the outfit and transforms Fonda from a self-effacing individual into a determined, confident personality.

Desert warfare is vividly displayed, with the little group facing the rigors of forced marches across the sands with limited supplies; and mixing in several engagements against enemy units encountered along the way, including a climactic blasting of a German camp set up in an oasis.

Producer-writer Lamar Trotti provides director John M. Stahl with a neatly-woven script [from a novel by John Brophy], and Stahl directs in deft style.

The Immortal Sergeant

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director John M. Stahl; Producer Lamar Trotti; Screenplay Lamar Trotti; Camera Arthur Miller; Editor James B. Clark; Music David Buttolph

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1943. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Henry Fonda Maureen O'Hara Thomas Mitchell Allyn Joslyn Reginald Gardiner
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