Between Heaven and Hell (1956)

93-94 mins | Drama | October 1956

Writer:

Harry Brown

Producer:

David Weisbart

Cinematographer:

Leo Tover

Editor:

James B. Clark

Production Designers:

Lyle Wheeler, Addison Hehr

Production Company:

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Day the Century Ended . Pre-production news items in HR yield the following information about the picture: Guy Madison was originally considered for the part of "Sam" and Joan Collins was considered for the role of "Jenny." John Sturges was initially to direct. James Poe was working on a version of the script in Feb 1956, but the extent of his contribution to the released film has not been determined.
       The Var review incorrectly credits Tom Edwards rather than Sam Edwards in the role of "Soames." Studio production notes in the AMPAS file on the film note that the scene in which Sam and the others land on the beach was filmed in the Hawaiian Islands, but the rest of the picture was shot at the Twentieth Century-Fox ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains. The film was nominated for an Academy Award in the Music (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture) ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Day the Century Ended . Pre-production news items in HR yield the following information about the picture: Guy Madison was originally considered for the part of "Sam" and Joan Collins was considered for the role of "Jenny." John Sturges was initially to direct. James Poe was working on a version of the script in Feb 1956, but the extent of his contribution to the released film has not been determined.
       The Var review incorrectly credits Tom Edwards rather than Sam Edwards in the role of "Soames." Studio production notes in the AMPAS file on the film note that the scene in which Sam and the others land on the beach was filmed in the Hawaiian Islands, but the rest of the picture was shot at the Twentieth Century-Fox ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains. The film was nominated for an Academy Award in the Music (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture) category. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
20 Oct 1956.
---
Daily Variety
10 Oct 56
p. 3.
Film Daily
11 Oct 56
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Nov 55
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Dec 55
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Feb 56
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
22 May 56
p. 24.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jul 56
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Aug 56
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Oct 56
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
13 Oct 56
p. 105.
New York Times
11 Oct 55
p. 51.
New York Times
12 Oct 56
p. 33.
Variety
10 Oct 56
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Exec ward des
Cost des
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hair styles
PRODUCTION MISC
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Day the Century Ended by Francis Gwaltney (New York, 1955).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Day the Century Ended
Release Date:
October 1956
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 11 October 1956
Production Date:
21 May--early July 1956
addl scenes early August 1956
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
10 October 1956
Copyright Number:
LP7345
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Color
De Luxe
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Lenses/Prints
lenses by Bausch & Lomb
Duration(in mins):
93-94
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
18043
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1945, on an island in the Pacific, Sam Francis Gifford is busted from sergeant to private and reprimanded by Col. Miles for assaulting an officer under combat conditions. Rather than send Sam to Leavenworth prison, the colonel sentences him to George Company, a remote backwater camp in the hills. He is driven there by Willie Crawford, a philosophical sharecropper, who avers that Leavenworth is preferable to George Company. Upon arriving, Sam is harassed by Capt. Waco, the sadistic, brutish commander, and his two beefy bodyguards, Millard and Swanson. After his brush with Waco, Sam pulls a photo of his wife Jenny from his pocket and gazes longingly at it. When Millard, a psychopathic bully, makes lewd comments about the photo, Waco pulls it from Sam's hands and sets it on fire. Later, Joe Johnson, a lieutenant in the company, wonders aloud when the inspector general will finally realize that Waco is unfit for duty. When Joe asks Sam if he ever met Col. Gozzens, Sam replies that the colonel was his father-in-law. The mention of the colonel's name causes Sam to reflect on a happier time before the war: Sam, a wealthy Southern landowner, frolics with Jenny, his new wife. When Jenny asks to join Sam as he makes his rounds among the sharecroppers, she is appalled by his callous attitude. When Sam chides Kenny, one of the sharecroppers, for failing to pick enough cotton and orders the Raker family to work on Sunday, Jenny protests, but Sam arrogantly asserts that the croppers must be kept in their place. Soon after, Col. Gozzens notifies Sam that their National Guard unit ... +


In 1945, on an island in the Pacific, Sam Francis Gifford is busted from sergeant to private and reprimanded by Col. Miles for assaulting an officer under combat conditions. Rather than send Sam to Leavenworth prison, the colonel sentences him to George Company, a remote backwater camp in the hills. He is driven there by Willie Crawford, a philosophical sharecropper, who avers that Leavenworth is preferable to George Company. Upon arriving, Sam is harassed by Capt. Waco, the sadistic, brutish commander, and his two beefy bodyguards, Millard and Swanson. After his brush with Waco, Sam pulls a photo of his wife Jenny from his pocket and gazes longingly at it. When Millard, a psychopathic bully, makes lewd comments about the photo, Waco pulls it from Sam's hands and sets it on fire. Later, Joe Johnson, a lieutenant in the company, wonders aloud when the inspector general will finally realize that Waco is unfit for duty. When Joe asks Sam if he ever met Col. Gozzens, Sam replies that the colonel was his father-in-law. The mention of the colonel's name causes Sam to reflect on a happier time before the war: Sam, a wealthy Southern landowner, frolics with Jenny, his new wife. When Jenny asks to join Sam as he makes his rounds among the sharecroppers, she is appalled by his callous attitude. When Sam chides Kenny, one of the sharecroppers, for failing to pick enough cotton and orders the Raker family to work on Sunday, Jenny protests, but Sam arrogantly asserts that the croppers must be kept in their place. Soon after, Col. Gozzens notifies Sam that their National Guard unit has been called up for action in the Pacific. On their voyage overseas, Gozzens confides in Sam that many will die, and once the war ends, things will be different in the New South. As they put ashore, they are baptized by a hail of gunfire initiating from the cliffs above. Sam leads Kenny, Raker and Chicago-bred Bernard Meleski to the top of the hill and tosses a grenade into the machine gun nest. The resultant carnage sets Sam's hands shaking. Back at camp, Lt. Ray Mosby, a gentleman land owner, questions Sam's familiarity with his former sharecroppers. The colonel then calls Sam into his office and informs him that he has recommended him for the Silver Star. Soon after, the colonel is killed by a sniper's bullet, sending Sam into a tremulous fit. Ray, now power mad and slightly paranoid, assumes command and orders Sam and his men to search a deserted village. When part of a dilapidated house collapses in a crash, Ray, startled, opens fire and guns down Raker, Kenny and Bernie. In a rage, Sam slugs Ray and is later court-martialed. After ending his reverie, Sam is ordered by Waco to lead a patrol into a Japanese-held village. In the jungle, they pass a Japanese mortar squad and finally arrive at the village, which is now deserted. When Sam reports back to Waco, Waco accuses him of lying about completing his mission and disregards his warning about the mortar squad. As Sam throws down a placard from the village church as proof, the mortar squad opens fire on the camp, killing Millard and many others. The attack sends Sam into another fit and causes Waco, shaken by Millard's loss, to break down in tears. Afterward, Joe, Sam, Willie, Terry and several others are sent to relieve a surveillance squad perched high in the hills, overlooking the river. That night Willie observes that Sam seems "beat." Sam replies that losing three real friends in battle has made him that way. The next day, the radio goes dead and Sam and Terry return to camp to procure a new battery. There they learn that Col. Miles has relieved Waco from duty because of his erratic behavior. Waco, demented and rambling, climbs into the jeep to leave camp and is gunned down by a sniper. On the trek back to the hill outpost, Terry spots a booby-trapped Japanese sword on the jungle floor and reaches for it, triggering an explosion that kills him. Soon after Sam reaches the post, the Japanese attack, slaying all but Sam and Willie. As dawn breaks, Sam, still shaken, vows that his sharecroppers will be better off after the war and offers Willie a job. Sam's change of heart causes his shaking to stop. A wounded Japanese soldier then tosses a grenade into the foxhole, injuring Willie's leg. As Sam bandages the leg, he spots a Japanese flotilla on the river. Willie then urges him to escape before they are cut off, and Sam runs to warn the battalion below, dodging bullets along the way. Wounded, Sam stumbles into camp and pleads with Miles to rescue Willie. Soon after, Sam, now bandaged and ready to be sent home, refuses to leave without his friend Willie. Just then, Willie is brought down from the hills and his stretcher placed next to Sam's for their journey home. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.