ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Film Review: From Here to Eternity

Updated on November 16, 2015
Film Frenzy profile image

Written by: Jason Wheeler, Film Frenzy Senior Writer & Editor.


In 1953, Fred Zinnemann released the drama film From Here to Eternity, based off the 1951 novel of the same name by James Jones. Starring Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed, Frank Sinatra, Philip Ober, Mickey Shaughnesy, Harry Bellaver, Ernest Borgnine, Jack Warden, John Dennis, Merle Travis, Tim Ryan, George Reeves, Claude Akins, and Alvin Sargent, the film grossed $30.5 million at the box office. Nominated for the Academy Awards for Best Actor twice, Best Costume Design (Black-and-White) and Best Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture, it won the awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Writing, Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography (Black-and-White), Best Film Editing, and Best Sound (Recording) as well as the Golden Globe Awards for Best Supporting Actor and Best Director.


In late 1941, Private Robert E. Lee Prewitt is transferred to Honolulu, where his commanding officer in Company G, Captain Holmes, learns he was a boxer and tries to recruit him for the unit’s boxing club. However, Prewitt refuses and Holmes decides to make his life a living hell while Prewitt’s only supporter on base is Angelo Maggio.


A great film that deserved its many awards, From Here to Eternity does well in providing a glimpse into the lives of a few men serving in the US Army in the tense days before the country’s involvement in World War II. Most notable is that it’s the first film where Frank Sinatra tried to be a serious actor. He succeeded remarkably well, giving humanity and depth to his character. The scene where he escapes from the stockade to tell Prewitt of Judson’s abuse towards him there is done very well, making the audience really feel for and resonate with him.

The film also demonstrates very well that not everyone in the armed forces is there for altruistic reasons. It also shows that when the military makes use of a draft, bad apples are going to be mixed with the good. The aforementioned Judson is a great example, as his first appearance shows him to be a hothead with a short fuse. While Prewitt and Maggio are in the New Congress Club, Judson is playing the piano quite loudly and Maggio just wants him to play a little quieter. What results isn’t Judson simply playing the piano less loudly, but the two of them nearly starting a fight. Judson’s character as a boorish brute is furthered as he later provokes him by kissing a photo of Maggio’s sister and whispering in Prewitt’s ear. It really all later comes to a head in the aforementioned scene where Prewitt is told of his abuse in the stockade and following Maggio’s death, Judson and Prewitt have a fight themselves. Interestingly, it’s not until his beating of Maggio to death that he exemplified himself as a murderous hothead, as before he was just a hotheaded loudmouth. His killing Maggio was where Judson’s character lost any sort of redemptive qualities.

There’s also Captain Holmes. He’s not as bad as Judson, but he’s still not a standup member of the US Army either, seeing as he’s constantly working to get Prewitt into the boxing club. He flat out ignores military operating procedure following his stopping a fistfight between Sergeant Galovitch and Prewitt, in the hopes that Prewitt will appreciate being let off the hook and join. He had ignored military procedures in the past, which is probably what made him do it this time. However, the films shows that he hadn’t counted on everything being seen by the base commander, who orders an investigation then a court-martial. His replacement is actually a pretty entertaining foil as the guy decides to reprimand everyone and removes the boxing club’s photographs and trophies, showing him to be more by the book than Holmes.

And the film doesn’t give any of its characters a pleasant ending, with Maggio and Prewitt dying as well as Karen breaking everything off with Warden, thus staying married to Holmes. Judson also ends everything seriously wounded in the stomach. But it’s not just a depressing ending for all these characters, seeing as the Japanese attacked in the infamous Pearl Harbor bombing. It makes it so that every single character in the film is going to have their lives affected in some way as America goes to war following the film’s closure.

4 stars for From Here to Eternity

the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent WNI's positions, strategies or opinion


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)