Tuesday, 16 June 2009


Reel Life 1955 : Audie Murphy recieves a medal for outstanding valour in TO HELL AND BACK

I've waited years to see this. Somehow this biopic of war hero/actor Audie Murphy has always eluded me. I've always been a fan of Murphy's films - mostly easy going Westerns - so a film based on his wartime exploits held some attraction for me but we kept missing each other over the years.Finally, I found this widescreen VHS copy in a box outside a charity shop - price 20p! Was I at all disappointed ? Well, no, I never really expected the film to be a masterpiece (it is, after all, directed by the anonymous Jesse Hibbs) but I liked it a lot, even if it somewhat plays down the incredible exploits that earned Murphy every American medal for bravery right up to the Congressional Medal of Honor, plus several French ones as well (see picture below). Murphy does a pretty good job of playing himself (this was his sixteenth film) and is ably supported by Charles Drake, Jack, Kelly, Marshal Thompson, Paul Picerni and David Janssen. A remake would be welcome showing something of Murphy's off-screen problems - then again, maybe not, as we're always too eager to show the downside of heroes and if nothing else Audie Murphy was a hero. Rating ***

Real Life 1945 : Audie Murphy recieves a French Medal for outstanding valour

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