One war played out in front of the cameras, another raged behind them. Entangled in studio controversy during production and severely reedited for numerous reasons before release, The Red Badge Of Courage intrigues with what might have been. Yet half a century later, this National Board of Review 10-Best Films of 1951 selection still remains one of the movies' most memorable portraits of men at war.
John Huston adapts and directs this tale of fear and bravery from Stephen Crane's novella and patterned by cinematographer Harold Rosson after Civil War photos of Matthew Brady. Audie Murphy, America's most decorated World War II hero, plays the untested youth first running from then later facing his fears, and G.I. cartoonist Bill Mauldin is his wise, easygoing pal. Pin a badge of honor on this overlooked classic.