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Beach Red

In contrast to many professedly anti-war films, Beach Red is indisputably sincere in its war is hell message. Except for brief reveries of civilian life, the film focuses entirely on a single dreary campaign by an American unit out to take a Japanese-held island in the Pacific.

With:
Cornel Wilde Rip Torn Burr DeBenning Patrick Wolfe Jean Wallace Jaime Sanchez

In contrast to many professedly anti-war films, Beach Red is indisputably sincere in its war is hell message. Except for brief reveries of civilian life, the film focuses entirely on a single dreary campaign by an American unit out to take a Japanese-held island in the Pacific.

Notably absent are the usual stereotypes: the tough-talking sarge with the heart of gold, the frightened kid who becomes a man in combat, etc. The trouble with the screenplay, adapted from Peter Bowman’s 1945 novel, is that little is substituted for these wisely-avoided cliches. The central characters are spokesmen for differing points of view, not real, full-bodied people. The acting quality suffers as a result.

The captain (Cornel Wilde) loves his wife and hates war. The sergeant (Rip Torn) derives sadistic pleasure from the war. An 18-year-old minister’s son (Patrick Wolfe) remembers his girl back home and inarticulately echoes the captain’s pacificism. His Southern sidekick (Burr DeBenning) is a hearty illiterate for whom the armed forces is a haven.

1967: Nomination: Best Editing

Beach Red

Production: United Artists. Director Cornel Wilde; Producer Cornel Wilde; Screenplay Clint Johnston, Donald A. Peters, Jefferson Pascal; Camera Cecil R. Cooney; Editor Frank P. Keller; Music Elbey Vid, Antonio Buenaventura; Art Director Francisco Balangue

Crew: (Color) Extract of a review from 1967. Running time: 105 MIN.

With: Cornel Wilde Rip Torn Burr DeBenning Patrick Wolfe Jean Wallace Jaime Sanchez

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