Although Frank Sinatra never served in the Army during WW II, his portrayals of men in uniform have been excellent. Among them are ANCHORS AWEIGH, FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, VON RYAN'S EXPRESS, and this, one of his best acting efforts. It's 1944 and Sinatra and Curtis are in France, battling
the Nazis with the Seventh Army. On a brief furlough from the fray, Sinatra meets Wood, a gorgeous American living in Nice with her mother, Dana, a widow. The two of them fall in love but when he asks for her hand, she refuses. He can't understand why, and she finally explains that she is the
result of a mixed marriage and that her father was black. Sinatra doesn't see that as a deterrent, but what does matter is that Wood is apparently in love with Curtis. Sinatra tells Curtis about Wood's parentage, but that doesn't bother Curtis at all. They are about to return to the war and a
particularly deadly mission when Curtis, a cad, admits that he had no intention of marrying Wood. When she learns that, she is crushed. Sinatra is so angered that he intends to kill Curtis while on the assignment, but the Nazis do it first. In the battle Sinatra loses an arm. When the war ends,
Sinatra returns to Nice and learns that Dana has died and Wood has converted the Cote D'Azur mansion into a school for orphans of the war.
The issue of miscegenation may have been a hot topic when Brown wrote the book, but it had little impact in the film. Much of the movie was spent with long dialogue sequences, and, although it's set against the war, there's very little feeling that anything momentous is going on beyond the mission
Sinatra and Curtis take, which has something to do with directing the artillery fire onto a German munitions depot. Frank and Richard Ross are brothers and have produced or coproduced many films through the years. Some good jazz is provided by Candoli, Norvo, Lewis, Kamuca, Wooten, Weible.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Although Frank Sinatra never served in the Army during WW II, his portrayals of men in uniform have been excellent. Among them are ANCHORS AWEIGH, FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, VON RYAN'S EXPRESS, and this, one of his best acting efforts. It's 1944 and Sinatra an… (more)