Three performers for six roles: this is the game of the film. A melodrama about two love triangles. In the first, Hagalin is killed by his mistress and her lover. In the second, attorney ... See full summary »
The new commander of a Navy Underwater Demolition Team--nicknamed "Frogmen"--must earn the respect of the men in his unit, who are still grieving over the death of their former commander and resentful of the new one.
Sam Gifford remembers : In prewar years he was an arrogant southern cotton plantation owner, married to the daughter of a colonel. At the beginning of the war he was mobilized with his National Guard unit as a sergeant. Came the day when, revolted by the cowardice of his lieutenant, who had fired at his own men, he hit him. Downgraded, he was sent to a disciplinary battalion. Sam now discovers his new detachment, his new commanding officer, just another cowardly brute, Captain Waco Grimes. While in combat, Sam will gradually become closer to the privates, working-class people he used to despise. He will become another man, a better man.Written by
This movie's title is taken from an expression that means purgatory. See more »
In the cast listing, Robert Wagner is listed as Sfc/Pvt. Sam Francis Gifford. He should be listed as T/Sgt/Pvt. Sam Francis Gifford. The rank Sfc (Sergeant First Class) did not exist during WWII. At that time it was T/Sgt (Technical Sergeant). See more »
Opening credits prologue: An Island in the Pacific 1945 See more »
I have a large collection of war movies and consider this one to be among the best ever made. Many of the war movies have what I consider to be too many flashback scenes of home and try to become love stories with a few battle scenes. These scenes in Between Heaven and Hell actually have a real purpose in the story. More than any war movie that I have seen, this one shows a trend in American history that is often overlookthe fact that wars and the men who serve in them traditionally return home with a more egalitarian outlook, hungry to reform the society that they left. Between Heaven and Hell shows a man's transformation into a better person as a result of his war experiences. Sam Gifford is a man on the edge of breaking from the strain of war. He has experienced loss and hardship and realized that in the past he has been the unnecessary source of it for others. Between Heaven and Hell has a psychological realism that most war movies lack. It shows war heroes for what they aremen who rise above their ordinary selves to do extraordinary things in adversity. This is great story telling with great characters.
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