Frank Sinatra goes soldiering in this adaptation of Joe David Brown’s novel, Kings Go Forth. It’s a simple, rather straightforward action-romance, laid against the attractive background of the French Riviera and the Maritime Alps.
The race angle is played to the hilt. The girl, played by Natalie Wood – an American living in France – is of mixed blood, her mother being white and the (dead) father having been a Negro. This revelation is the key to Wood’s romantic entanglements.
It’s an odd war that is being fought in this picture. The men fight and die in the moun- tains during the week. On weekends, there are passes for visits to the Riviera. The year is late 1944, and while Allied armies push into and beyond Paris the American Seventh Army has the job of cleaning out pockets of German resistance in the south.
Among the replacements joining Sinatra’s platoon is Curtis, a rich man’s son, with charm to spare and an eye for all the angles. Sinatra meets Wood and falls in love with her. She in turn falls in love with Curtis.
Sinatra, the rough-tough soldier, creates sympathy by underplaying the role. Wood looks pretty, but that’s just all. Curtis has experience acting the heel, and he does a repeat. He’s best when acting the charm boy.