Review: ‘Between Heaven and Hell’

Between Heaven and Hell is a good, hard-hitting action film, replete with the usual heroics but also full with the ugly realization that the men who fought World War II were far from perfect. The hero, played by Robert Wagner, is a moody Southerner in whom the camaraderie of danger awakens a social consciousness.

Between Heaven and Hell is a good, hard-hitting action film, replete with the usual heroics but also full with the ugly realization that the men who fought World War II were far from perfect. The hero, played by Robert Wagner, is a moody Southerner in whom the camaraderie of danger awakens a social consciousness.

The Francis Gwaltney novel painted a vivid picture of battle. The film, directed by Richard Fleischer, captures the sights and sounds of the Pacific fighting and generates a good deal of tension and excitement. Not all of it is believable, and Wagner’s final rushing down the Jap-infested mountain is almost ludicrous as he sideswipes one Jap party after the other.

Terry Moore is the only girl in the pic and she’s adequate in a brief role. Wagner gives a good, low-key performance as the boy who gets busted to private after he hits an officer who has killed the men in his patrol. Broderick Crawford is loud and overbearing as the psycho colonel. His role is made harder since the picture fails to point out that the colonel is in charge of a group of misfits.

Between Heaven and Hell

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director Richard Fleischer; Producer David Weisbart; Screenplay Harry Brown; Camera Leo Tover; Editor James B. Clark; Music Hugo Friedhofer

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1956. Running time: 94 MIN.

With

Robert Wagner Terry Moore Broderick Crawford Buddy Ebsen Robert Keith Brad Dexter

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