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Naked and the Dead, The

Director:  Raoul Walsh
Year Released:  1958
Rating:  0.5

Words cannot adequately describe how much of a bastardization this is of a classic novel by Norman Mailer about World War II – the treatment here is uneven, dull and amounts to little (the last hour’s attempt at meaning is presented by Cliff Robertson in a fairly lame final speech). The book is quite long, and to compensate the screenwriters had to cut out relevant material and produce a Cliff’s Notes version, making the picture uneven (the first hour and last hour are about different things) and turning three-dimensional characters (who Mailer based on the men he fought with) into caricatures (the captain, in particular, is a silly brut – to get you to adequately hate him, he shoots friendly Japanese soldiers who carry around pictures of their family and squashes wounded birds in his hand). If this mess didn’t embarrass Mailer … it should have.

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