Classic movie site with rare images (no web grabs!), original ads, and behind-the-scenes photos, with informative and insightful commentary. We like to have fun with movies!
Archive and Links
grbrpix@aol.com
Search Index Here




Wednesday, August 28, 2013

MGM Back Into Uniform


A First Big War Hit After The War: Battleground (1949)

Don't Forget, said 1949 ads: There Was Fun As Well as Hardship
In This Recently Won War
The Battle Of The Bulge from standpoint of grunts endlessly marching through fog, then snow, from nowhere to nowhere. Battleground was the subject Dore Schary transferred from RKO to his new desk at Metro, revisiting a war lately over, and by other execs reckoning, over at boxoffices as well (MGM's Command Decision of the previous year had lost money). Schary did it despite them, his contract extending that authority, and scored a hit that put him solid: $2.5 million profit, a largest by far for 1949. Much credit belonged to directing William Wellman. He'd been on these uniformed treks before and come back with laurels, plus black ink. Battleground was acting lab too for Metro men with promise: Ricardo Montalban, Marshall Thompson, Jerome Courtland, Don Taylor, Herbert Anderson, James Whitmore ... pretty much the run of hopefuls for postwar stardom, buttressed by vets Van Johnson, George Murphy, others.


Wellman excess milks Doug Fowley's false teeth gag after fashion of jokes he'd similarly flogged in earlier pics; Bill, like other been-around-forever helmsmen, figured what was funny then (as in way back ...) would be funny now. Denise Darcel supplied ooh-la-la and art for Metro marketers, a voluptuary prop with which Wellman tickles Code limit (her dialogue-free exchange with Johnson and a bread-cutting knife raised '49 roofs). Other humor clicks: Van schlepping fresh eggs, seemingly across Europe, but can never pause long enough to scramble and eat them. Battleground made its pile by avoiding grit of Wellman's previous The Story Of GI Joe, being not a sugar-coat (good men do die), but opportunity instead for those who'd served to look back at trudgery of thankfully finished combat and recall lighter moments along with loss. Wellman and crew (not forgetting Schary) knew precisely a '49 public's mood, and with Battleground, enjoyed the biggest success any war movie had between victory and Columbia's From Here To Eternity.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

grbrpix@aol.com
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • March 2008
  • April 2008
  • May 2008
  • June 2008
  • July 2008
  • August 2008
  • September 2008
  • October 2008
  • November 2008
  • December 2008
  • January 2009
  • February 2009
  • March 2009
  • April 2009
  • May 2009
  • June 2009
  • July 2009
  • August 2009
  • September 2009
  • October 2009
  • November 2009
  • December 2009
  • January 2010
  • February 2010
  • March 2010
  • April 2010
  • May 2010
  • June 2010
  • July 2010
  • August 2010
  • September 2010
  • October 2010
  • November 2010
  • December 2010
  • January 2011
  • February 2011
  • March 2011
  • April 2011
  • May 2011
  • June 2011
  • July 2011
  • August 2011
  • September 2011
  • October 2011
  • November 2011
  • December 2011
  • January 2012
  • February 2012
  • March 2012
  • April 2012
  • May 2012
  • June 2012
  • July 2012
  • August 2012
  • September 2012
  • October 2012
  • November 2012
  • December 2012
  • January 2013
  • February 2013
  • March 2013
  • April 2013
  • May 2013
  • June 2013
  • July 2013
  • August 2013
  • September 2013
  • October 2013
  • November 2013
  • December 2013
  • January 2014
  • February 2014
  • March 2014
  • April 2014
  • May 2014
  • June 2014
  • July 2014
  • August 2014
  • September 2014
  • October 2014
  • November 2014
  • December 2014
  • January 2015
  • February 2015
  • March 2015
  • April 2015
  • May 2015
  • June 2015
  • July 2015
  • August 2015
  • September 2015
  • October 2015
  • November 2015
  • December 2015
  • January 2016
  • February 2016
  • March 2016
  • April 2016
  • May 2016
  • June 2016
  • July 2016
  • August 2016
  • September 2016