From Here to Eternity (1953)

One of the Greatest Movies of All-Time

From the Epic Book, by James Jones comes possibly the greatest movie of all-time.  At the time, it’s 14 academy awards nominations at the time was epic.  The movie won 8 academy awards – 2nd most ever at the time next to “Gone with the Wind.”

With 5 well known movie stars in leading and supporting roles, this movie is tour-de-force with multiple oscar nominated and oscar winning performances.

Montgomery Clift – This is the movie that you will fall in love with Montgomery Clift.  Possibly the greatest performance ever in a movie…he rivaled Marlon Brando in his day for emotional and convincing performances.  Montgomery=Clift was one of the biggest stars of the 1950’s and he really packs a punch in this movie.

Frank Sinatra – He really worked hard for his part, and he really was the perfect selection.  Sinatra has a recklessness in his acting and a believability that transcends most other performances in a movie.  His persona seems to take over the movie with his brash, unrelenting character.  His “screen test” for the movie, actually made it into the film because his “screen test” was so good, they decided NOT to reshoot it.

Burt Lancaster & Deborah Kerr.  An interesting selection for these two.  Burt Lancaster had never been in a starring role in a major movie…He does a incredible job.   Deborah Kerr is probably the person you would least expect to be in the role she is cast.  Up until this time she usually played a “proper lady” who had high morals and valued being “discreet.”  This role was the complete opposite…she flaunted sexuality, and purposely sought after young GI’s to entertain.  This movie had to pass the censorship of the day, so you can only imagine what the “real book” would have revealed if it were allowed to be put on the screen.

Donna Reed.  Her best performance in a movie.  Her character is complicated…and that is an understatement.  She is stuck in a degrading profession, but she has dreams and plans and has rules, but rules are meant to be broken.  She discover love and heartbreak.  She won an Academy Award as well as Frank Sinatra both in Supporting Roles.

Other Notables:  George Reeves, the original Superman has a bit part in the movie.  He was at the time very well known due to his popular TV series.  Ernest Borgnine also delivers an incredible performance as a reckless persona who bullies everyone in his way.

“From Here to Eternity” has possibly the most famous scene ever recorded in a movie…the love scene between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr on the beach at Oahu.   When I watch that scene I think how hard it would be to get it right.  To dive in and not get hurt–The water and the sand covering the body–The sheer physical stamina it must have taken to make this scene.  It is quite simply one of the most memorable scenes ever made in a movie.  This scene is perfect MOVIE MAGIC.

This movie simply has one of the best plots ever created.  This movie reels you in with so many “human interest” stories and then combines those with the trauma and reality of war.  This truly is a movie that works all the way through to the end.  I felt anger at times; tears flowed freely in the movies climatic scene.  There are many other funny and inspiring moments.

One of the greatest movies of all time.  A purely enjoyable movie to watch on so many levels.  The plot, the actors, the beautiful island setting, and the reality of the grave situation of war make this almost the perfect movie.  This movie easily rates in my TOP TEN most favorite movies of All-Time.  Really pay attention to this one…you will love it.

Todd Morgan
About Todd Morgan 56 Articles
Todd is one of nation's top classic movie experts, with a passion and determination to help the younger generation discover some of the truly greatest movies ever made. Todd reviews 2-3 movies every week and also prepares classic movie trivia, lists, writes books, and develops games all on Classic Movies. Contact him at

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