EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|KINGS GO FORTH (director: Delmer Daves; screenwriters: from the novel by Joe David Brown/Merle Miller; cinematographer: Daniel L. Fapp; editor: William Murphy; music: Elmer Bernstein; cast: Frank Sinatra (Lt. Sam Loggins), Tony Curtis (Britt Harris), Natalie Wood (Monique Blair), Leora Dana (Mrs. Blair), Karl Swenson (Colonel); Runtime: 109; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Frank Ross; MGM/UA Home Entertainment; 1958)|
World War II tale that mixes war and a soap opera war romance."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Delmer Daves ("The Red House"/"Pride of the
Marines"/"Destination Tokyo") directs
unconvincing World War II tale that mixes war and a soap opera war
romance. It's based on the novel by Joe David
Brown and is written by Merle
Miller. Monterey County,
California fills in for Southern France.
Gruff Lt. Sam
Loggins (Frank Sinatra) is part of the United State's 7th Army
attempting to remove the German occupiers from the hills of
southern France in 1944, during the late stages of World War II. Cpl. Britt Harris (Tony
Curtis) is the new replacement radio operator. He's a cocky, smooth
talking, college-educated, wealthy kid, whose dad owns a number of
textile mills. When not fighting the Germans, the troops get passes to
go to Nice. There Sam meets the lovely 19-year-old Monique Blair (Natalie Wood), an American
who lived all her life in France to get away from America's racial
prejudice. After putting Sam off for several weekends, Monique tells him that her deceased father was a Negro.
Monique does not expect to see Sam again, but he calls on her after a
few weeks pass after mulling things over. One night while out on the
town, they run into Britt. At a jazz club in Nice,
Britt performs a stirring trumpet solo with Red Norvo's
(with Pete Candoli
subbing on the horn for Britt) and impresses the wide-eyed Monique. The
mulatto feels she has more in common with the sophisticated Britt and
she falls in love, to the chagrin of Sam.
Britt changes his mind about the marriage application, saying he only
went out with her for kicks, Sam forces him to reveal himself as a
racist to Monique and her mother (Leora Dana). The two soldiers then go on a dangerous
mission to overtake a German-held village and as
they run to escape explosions, Britt is killed by a German soldier and
Sam loses an arm. After seven months in a French hospital, Sam vows to
return to his construction business in Los Angeles. But before he
leaves he visits Monique, whose mom died and she has turned her villa
into a school for the war orphans.
a timely message about racism, but the melodrama itself is mediocre
REVIEWED ON 6/15/2010 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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