James A. Michener's hard-hitting novel of the Korean conflict finds slick translation in this topflight war spectacle.
James A. Michener’s hard-hitting novel of the Korean conflict finds slick translation in this topflight war spectacle.
In taking advantage of the navy’s resources, aboard an aircraft carrier off the coast of Korea and through the use of planes and equipment, Mark Robson in his taut direction catches the spirit of the navy and what it stood for in the Korean War, never losing sight, however, of the personalized story of a Navy combat flier.
Narrative drives toward the climactic bombing by US fliers of the five bridges at Toko-Ri, which span a strategic pass in Korea’s interior. Here the story of William Holden, a reserve officer recalled to service, unfolds. A fine flier, he is taken under the wing of the admiral, played by Frederic March, who understands his gripe of having been forced to leave his wife and children to return to the Navy.
Practically every principal performance is a standout. Holden lends conviction to his character, and March delivers a sock portrayal of the admiral, who is drawn to Holden beause he reminds him of his two sons lost in war. As Holden’s wife who brings their two daughters to Tokyo so they may be near the flier, Grace Kelly is warmly sympathetic.
1955: Best Special Effects.
Nomination: Best Editing