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The Red Badge of Courage

The Red Badge of Courage

Audie Murphy
Director: John Huston Cast: Audie Murphy
Audie Murphy
, Bill Mauldin
Bill Mauldin
, John Dierkes
John Dierkes
John Huston

DVD (Full Frame)

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The backstory of The Red Badge of Courage involves the toppling of MGM's old Louis B. Mayer regime in favor of Dore Schary and his young Turks. It is also the tale of how an intended epic was ruthlessly whittled down to a lower-berth programmer. Since this story has already been related in detail in Lillian Ross' Picture (not to mention several John Huston biographies), the focus here will be what shows up on screen in Red Badge of Courage. Based on the novel by Stephen Crane, the film stars real-life war hero Audie Murphy as a Civil War soldier who must redeem himself in his own eyes after an act of cowardice. When he finally gets his opportunity, he realizes that he is no less frightened than before; it is simply that he has learned to push on in spite of that fear. A comparative newcomer to films, Murphy acquits himself magnificently in the difficult title role; equally impressive are political cartoonist Bill Mauldin as "The Loud Soldier," John Dierkes as "The Tall Soldier" and Royal Dano as "The Tattered Man." When Red Badge of Courage tested poorly in preview, the studio sliced it down to 69 minutes and added a narrator (James Whitmore) to clarify the more obscure plot passages. Further hurting the film was Bronislaus Kaper's overbaked musical score, which seemed more suited to a gung-ho John Wayne flick than a comparatively intimate tale of personal fortitude. Though the finished product plays like a Reader's Digest adaptation, a few brilliant passages remain, notably the sequence in which a commanding officer ingratiatingly lies to his troops for the sake of morale. Like Orson Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons, Red Badge of Courage is a truncated classic -- but a classic, all the same.

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Product Details

Release Date: 08/20/2013
UPC: 0883316860106
Original Release: 1951
Rating: NR
Source: Warner Archives
Presentation: [Full Frame]
Time: 1:09:00
Sales rank: 18,581

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Audie Murphy Henry Fleming the Youth
Bill Mauldin Tom Wilson the Loud Soldier
John Dierkes Jim Conlin the Tall Soldier
Royal Dano The Tattered Soldier
Arthur Hunnicutt Bill Porter
Douglas Dick The Lieutenant
Tim Durant The General
Robert Cherry Soldier Who Sings
Dick Curtis Actor
Robert Easton Thompson
Jim Hayward Union Soldier
I. Stanford Jolley Actor
Fred Kohler Actor
Emmett Lynn Actor
Joel Marston Actor
Robert Nichols Actor
Lou Nova Actor
Ted Offenbecker Actor
House Peters Actor
William "Bill" Phillips Actor
Buddy Roosevelt Actor
Frank Sully Actor
Guy Wilkerson Actor
Lynn Farr Confederate Soldier
Smith Ballew The Captain
Whit Bissell Wounded Officer
Andy Devine The Fat Soldier
Ed Hinton Corporal
Glenn Strange Colonel
Dan White Sergeant
James Whitmore Narrator

Technical Credits
John Huston Director,Screenwriter
Albert Band Screenwriter
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Bronislau Kaper Score Composer
Ben Lewis Editor
Hans Peters Art Director
Gottfried Reinhardt Producer
Harold Hal Rosson Cinematographer

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