The Red Badge of Courage (1951)


“If the boys was a-standin’ an’ a-fightin’, I’d stand an’ fight too – I’d bet my boots on it, by Jiminy I would. ” – The Loud Soldier

Number of Times Seen – 2 (30 Jun 2001 and 19 Jul 2017)

Brief Synopsis – A young soldier getting ready for battle during the Civil War questions his own courage and the courage of his comrades.

My Take on it – I recall being “forced” to read this novel when I was in High School but have absolutely no recollection of what it was all about.

John Huston was able to take the classic novel by Stephen Crane and create a great war movie that shows us how soldiers contemplate what will happen to them and how they will react in an upcoming battle.

They do a wonderful job giving us a clear depiction of the many different reactions of men when they think about going into war and also how they react when in the midst of it all.

This film is a bit short, but still is quite effective.

Supposedly, Huston’s original cut was twice as long as the released film but the studio edited it down to the trim 69 minutes that we can watch.

It’s too bad, since I’d love to see the full version of this despite that being impossible to ever happen.

Bottom Line – Great war movie that really gives us the feeling that no one knows what will happen when the bullets start to fly.  It may be a bit short, but still does a wonderful job getting it’s point across as to how soldiers react towards the anticipation of battle and then in the heat of battle.  Too bad that Huston’s original film was edited down and I’d love to see the full (unattainable) version of this film. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Early in the film, Henry Fleming is shown writing a letter to his family. The date at the top of the letter is 10 September 1862. This makes the battle depicted in the film either Turner’s Gap, South Mountain, MD, on Sept 14 or Antietam Creek (Sharpsburg), MD, on Sept 17. Scholars generally agrees that the battle in the novel is more like Chancellorsville, VA, in May 1863. The novel never names a place or gives a date. One year after the publication of the novel, Stephen Crane wrote a short story entitled “The Veteran,” published in “McClure’s” magazine. In the story Henry Fleming is an old man telling the story of his first battle in the Civil War. There Fleming identifies the battle as being Chancellorsville. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy

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One thought on “The Red Badge of Courage (1951)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1951 | MovieRob

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