30 May 2018 | verbusen
Don't Expect The Book and It's Decent
The Naked and the Dead (1958), my rating 7 of 10. I see why this film has a middling score on IMdb after reading a synopsis of the book. If one comes to watch this film after reading the book and hope for it to be very faithful to the book such as a Cain Mutiny film did, you will not be happy. I watched the film without reading the book, which is considered by many to be one of the greatest novels of the 20th century, so I had no preconceptions of how the tale should unfold. For this reason, I'm happy I was able to enjoy the film on its own merits, I give it a decent score of 7. After reading a synopsis of the book, it contains much more personal information about the characters, especially pertaining to anti-Semitic bigotry and homosexual tendencies. Written in 1948, I bet this book turned some heads, it seems ahead of its time. 10 years later, America has fought in yet another war, and its appetite for war action dramas was changing to a more cynical side. The book mainly focuses on Aldo Ray's character along with some lurid domestic scenes involving soldiers and cheating wives and strippers. Aldo Ray is portrayed as a functioning psychopath, not really all that crazy but definitely a murdering sadist as he cold blooded murders a Japanese prisoner. Besides the Lieutenant/General conflict of Robertson and Massey's characters, two action supporting characters I personally like to watch had some decent screen time, LQ Jones and Robert Jaeckel. LQ's character is married to a stripper who sends him money (silly premise), I thought of a Z budget war film LQ was in, "Iron Angel" where he is in a strip club in Asia and there is a stripper there on the main stage up close and personal, with a very noticeable appendectomy or caesarian scar. Now that's a really good setting of a raunchy strip bar (although I think it had more to do with the film's low budget)! Richard Jaeckel gets some good screen time and shows his "I'm devastated" face he is usually called to perform in his films; hey he was a B movie action film guy and one of the few who consistently was called upon to show some emotion other than being angry. This was made by RKO Radio Pictures who was going out of business soon but the production values are decent. We see large military formations in the film, not just a squad. Perhaps the end footage was lifted from another film but I doubt it as the end says it was filmed in Panama and probably used our Canal Zone military units at the time for the large scenes. Purists may be dismayed that not much of the tank hardware is accurate but it looks better than the Battle of The Bulge and their newer tanks. Based solely as a war action drama and nothing more I am giving the film a 7 out of 10. If you are coming here after reading the book you may get about 40 percent of the character development (guessing) and I'm sure would not enjoy it as much. It should be remade now!