Diary of a Sergeant (1945)

“One thing I envy the others tho. They got theirs in combat. I got mine on D-Day alright, but it was in North Carolina, when half a pound of TNT exploded ahead of schedule. I didn’t have a German Scalp hanging from my belt . I didn’t have a Purple Heart. I didn’t even have an overseas ribbon. All I had was just no hands. ” – Harold Russell

Number of Times Seen – 1 (26 Jul 2021)

Brief Synopsis – During WWII, an injured soldier works on his way to recovery with the help of the Army.

My Take on it – As a HUGE fan of the movie The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), I have been interested in seeing this short documentary for quite some time yet never get around to it.

In a recent episode of the Movies By Minute Podcast of the movie, one of this week’s cohosts – Bryon Lockhart from the Marine Corp Minute mentioned this film and it piqued my interest to finally see what it was all about.

It amazed me how many aspects of the problems that Harold Russell faced were integrated into his character of Homer in the film and this movie does a great job showing the hardships that he faced.

Obviously since this is an Army film, it comes across as being a bit too propaganda-y and they sugar coat many of the difficulties that I’m sure he faced along the way.

The fact that William Wyler chose to change his film in order to integrate him into the story says so much about how effective this film was at the time.

Knowing the film so well, helps get an even better understanding how close Homer and Harold Russell’s stories truly are which in turn makes this movie even more powerful to take in.

I’m so glad I was reminded about this movie and had the opportunity to finally see what it was all about.

Tnx Bryon!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Director William Wyler saw this film and chose its featured actor, Harold Russell, to play a role in the film The Best Years of Our Lives (1946). Russell’s role was rewritten to incorporate as much as possible his real-life injuries and the lessons he had learned in his rehabilitation. Russell won two Academy Awards for that film. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)


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