The Immortal Sergeant

  • 1943
  • Movie
  • NR
  • War

This mediocre drama stars Henry Fonda as a Cpl. Colin Spence, a Canadian (hence his lack of a British accent) serving with the British Eighth Army in the Libyan desert. He and his comrades in arms, commanded by tough old Sgt. Kelly (Thomas Mitchell), are cut off from their lines and face annihilation. During a lonely night vigil with the dying Kelly, Colin...read more

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This mediocre drama stars Henry Fonda as a Cpl. Colin Spence, a Canadian (hence his lack of a British accent) serving with the British Eighth Army in the Libyan desert. He and his comrades in arms, commanded by tough old Sgt. Kelly (Thomas Mitchell), are cut off from their lines and face

annihilation. During a lonely night vigil with the dying Kelly, Colin contemplates his slim chance of leaving the desert alive, and, in flashback, we see his prewar life. A reporter and would-be novelist, he is deeply in love with Valentine (Maureen O'Hara), but because of his reluctance to tell

her so, she seems destined to pair up with Colin's polished, assertive rival, Benedict (Reginald Gardiner). The story creeps toward the present until, after Kelly's death, Colin leads a desperate attack against a German position, destroying the enemy and their supplies. Spotting the burning

stores, a British unit arrives to find only three men left alive, including the wounded Colin. After recuperating in a Cairo hospital, he summons the courage he has found on the battlefield and sends a wire to Valentine, proposing. Following their marriage, Colin delivers a prayer for the sergeant

who inspired him to become a man of action. Basically a propaganda film, THE IMMORTAL SERGEANT had the distinction of being the first American film to portray British troops in action in North Africa--and there's action aplenty in this production. After its completion, Fonda joined the Navy,

preferring not to discuss this patriotic role (which he reportedly despised). He spent the rest of the war in the Central Pacific as an air combat intelligence officer, receiving a Bronze Star and a Presidential Citation.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This mediocre drama stars Henry Fonda as a Cpl. Colin Spence, a Canadian (hence his lack of a British accent) serving with the British Eighth Army in the Libyan desert. He and his comrades in arms, commanded by tough old Sgt. Kelly (Thomas Mitchell), are c… (more)

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