Episode Guide Show Notes

Episode 010: From Here to Eternity

Recorded on Saturday, June 6, 2020

At last, it’s the episode you’ve all been waiting for! Burt Lancaster takes center stage as we examine director Fred Zinnemann’s 1953 classic From Here to Eternity. Based on the novel by James Jones, the story follows a group of U.S. Army soldiers in the lead-up to the attack on Pearl Harbor. In charting the nation’s evolution from prewar naivete to postwar cynicism, the movie also presents what could be read as an origin story for film noir. But it’s not all bleak! Join us as we marvel at Lancaster’s glorious coif, reveal the significance of his standing in the rain, and laud the film’s magnificent circumvention of the erstwhile Hays Code. 

Notes, Quotes & References:

Burt Lancaster: Body and Soul,” by Dan Callahan (for The Criterion Collection)

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From A History of Narrative Film, by David A. Cook:

  • “The Hecht-Lancaster Company (Hecht-Hill-Lancaster after 1956), organized in 1947 by producer Harold Hecht and actor Burt Lancaster, was another successful independent. From the early fifties, it specialized in sophisticated action films starring Lancaster, such as The Crimson Pirate (Robert Siodmak, 1952), Apache (Robert Aldrich, 1954), Vera Cruz (Robert Aldrich, 1954), The Kentuckian (Burt Lancaster, 1955), and Trapeze (Carol Reed, 1956), although it also produced a number of important ‘small films’ [including The Sweet Smell of Success (Alexander Mackendrick, 1957)].”

From “Cartooned Hip Acting, 1967,” by Manny Farber (in which Farber was specifically writing about John Frankenheimer’s 1964 feature The Train):

  • “The overtone in a Lancaster performance is that of a man who seems to disappear into concentration when he has to work with his hands. The amount of work, involvement, that goes into a Lancaster action is fairly ravishing: he seems perversely committed to sidetracking quietly (no one’s going to notice this) the fantastic leonine head, the overrated nimbleness of his body. Lancaster half ruins his performance with innocent sincerity, but at that point he sinks into it with a dense absorption. His energy of concentration is like a magnet that draws the atmosphere into the action of his hands.”

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