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The Story of G.I. Joe (1945)

Cast: Burgess Meredith, Burgess Meredith, Robert Mitchum, more...
Director: William Wellman, William Wellman
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Image Entertainment
Genre: Classics, War
Running Time: 108 min.
Languages: English
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This title is currently out of print.

Synopsis
The Story of G.I. Joe was based on the columns of Scripps-Howard war correspondent Ernie Pyle. Though already past 40, Pyle insists upon marching along with an Army infantry unit during the Italian campaign. He befriends several of the soldiers, including commanding officer Robert Mitchum (his breakthrough role), family man Freddie Steele and would-be romeo Wally Cassell. The "plot" of the film is moved forward by the progression of the war itself; basically, however, G.I. Joe is an anecdotal collection of comic, dramatic and tragic vignettes. Some of the more memorable moments include Freddie Steele's ongoing efforts to listen to a recording of his infant son's voice; Mitchum's casual reactions to his many field promotions; and a wedding ceremony which is "punctuated" by an air raid. Many infantry veterans consider The Story of GI Joe to be the single most realistic Hollywood war film of the 1940s, eschewing big stars, phony heroics and overblown battle sequences in favor of the everyday trials and tribulations of the humble foot soldier. Ironically, Ernie Pyle, who acted as technical adviser (when he wasn't busy on the front), was killed by an enemy sniper shortly before the release of this film. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide



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