Six wounded soldiers await shipment home. Reagan's Yank character asks little more of him than that he supply bravura; he's exceeded at every turn by Todd, who is wonderful as a hardheaded, truculent Scottish soldier who remains aloof toward his fellow patients. Nicholls, the head doctor,
and Neal, a firm but gentle nurse, ask Reagan and the other patients to be kind to Todd, who's dying of a terminal illness but does not know it. It's a difficult task, though, since the stubborn Scot rejects the friendship of Reagan and the others, more or less telling them to mind their own
business when they try to strike up conversations or do little favors for him.
On his 21st birthday, however, Todd is given a complete new Scottish outfit (including kilt and bagpipes) as a gift from the patients. This softens his heart, and he explains in his own halting manner that he has never before been so touched. At last he befriends his fellow patients, but when
Nicholls finally tells him he's dying, Todd again closes up like a clam, this time bitterly lashing out at Reagan and the others because he now believes their actions were motivated only by pity.
This is a poignant drama, fluidly directed by the versatile and underrated Sherman which, despite the screenplay's failure to "open up" the original play, is kept from becoming claustrophobic largely due to Sherman's inventive setups and staging. The 30-year-old Richard Todd had made only one
previous film (FOR THEM THAT TRESPASS) before completing THE HASTY HEART, although he had been on stage since the late 1930s. He was a standout discovery here, and no doubt drew upon his experience as a paratrooper during WWII for his role, which netted him an Academy Award nomination for Best
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Six wounded soldiers await shipment home. Reagan's Yank character asks little more of him than that he supply bravura; he's exceeded at every turn by Todd, who is wonderful as a hardheaded, truculent Scottish soldier who remains aloof toward his fellow pat… (more)