Written by / 3/02/2022 / No comments / , , , , , , ,

JOHN AGAR AND FRANK LOVEJOY FIGHT IN 'BREAKTHROUGH'

Year: 1950 Rating: ****

It's refreshing to find an old B&W World War II flick that's more adventure than melodrama, despite the corny trope of the nicest guy on board showing-off a picture of his wife and kids, and winding up predictably dead...

There's also the comic relief; a kindhearted simpleton; a muscle-bound dolt; a nervous, really young small town kid; a wise, head-strong Sergeant; an educated Lieutenant who lacks actual fighting experience; and his jaded, too-experienced Captain, trying to get him ready to, in this particular story, lead men onto the beaches of Normandy... 

John Agar in BREAKTHROUGH

All these examples aside, and despite pockets of timeworn dialogue, BREAKTHROUGH is original and entertaining enough to stand on its own merit, building up the plot within the action while in constant motion... 

John Agar plays Lt. Joe Mallory, bullied by first-billed David Brian as Capt. Hale outside a practice run, we soon enter the barracks where the privates reluctantly await their upcoming campaign: there's enough quirks and physical attributes to distinguish each person so that everything means more, later on, when the bullets fly...

Frank Lovejoy in BREAKTHROUGH

In particular, Dick Wesson's Pvt. Hansen, doing imitations of Edward G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart, which are cleverly written and genuinely funny: not just because the very nervous and young Richard Monahan, as Lt. Mallory... wearing foggy glasses and speaking in a high-pitched voice... needs something to keep him optimistic for what's ahead...

Frank Lovejoy is important enough as Sergeant Pete Bell, whose rock-hard countenance not only grounds the picture but his gravely voice convincingly narrates: from a crowded freight ship to Normandy Beach, thrusting the sand-crawling troops through heavy German gunfire, up and down pathways and hillsides where most of the suspense occurs, and the body count begins...

John Agar in BREAKTHROUGH and Frank Lovejoy

Unlike the more realistic SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, the soldiers don't drop like flies along the way. But there's a feeling that anything can happen, at any time, and that no particular man is safe: Even when the survivors find harbor in a French village that seems too good to be true, winding up in a climax that would repeat itself thirty-six years later in Stanley Kubrick's FULL METAL JACKET... 

So someone must've been familiar with BREAKTHROUGH, a programmer blending stock footage without seeming phony, and there's always a place to go without malaise, allowing the audience to keep track of each and every move. 

John Agar in BREAKTHROUGH with Brian Kelly
John Agar in BREAKTHROUGH

 

Share This Post :
Tags : , , , , , , ,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

All Time Popular

Featured Post

ROD STEIGER COMMANDS 'THE SERGEANT' WITH JOHN PHILLIP LAW

Rod Steiger & John Phillip Law in THE SERGEANT Year: 1968 Rating: ****1/2 It's not just what THE SERGEANT is about, or even who i...

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM
Movie Reviews, Interviews, Articles and Pop Culture from White Heat to Blue City

RIP ACTOR KEN HUTCHISON

TOTAL HITS

Popular Trending

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE
RANDOM QUOTE: "Madam, just because I drive a truck does not make me a truck driver." Stacy Keach, Road Games

FILM NOIR & NEO NOIR CRIME

FAVORITES SHORTLIST

1)OTLEY 2)HELL IS A CITY 3)ROBBERY 4)VIOLENT SATURDAY 5)THE FEARMAKERS 6)CANYON PASSAGE 7)HOT CARS 8)JUNGLE STREET 9)ANATOMY OF A MURDER 10)THE CROWDED SKY 11))THE MAN FROM LARAMIE 12)SHARKS' TREASURE 13)SWEENEY TWO 14)RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA 15)HARDCORE 16)THE SYSTEM 17)WHITE HEAT 18)AL CAPONE 19)THE SERGEANT 20)FALLEN ANGEL 21)NIGHT CREATURES 22)CURSE OF THE DEMON 23)ASH WEDNESDAY 24)KILLER FISH 25)AIR PATROL 26)DUEL IN THE JUNGLE 27)EASY LIVING 28)WILLIAM CONRAD'S BRAINSTORM 29)FRENZY 30)THE ROARING TWENTIES 1)DANA ANDREWS 2)JAMES CAGNEY 3)JACK NICHOLSON 4)MARLON BRANDO 5)STANLEY BAKER 1)VIRGINIA MAYO 2)SUE LYON 3)GENE TIERNEY 4)MERRY ANDERS 5)FAYE DUNAWAY DIRECTORS 1)JACQUES TOURNEUR 2)RICHARD FLEISCHER 3)STANLEY KUBRICK 4)ORSON WELLES 5)OTTO PREMINGER 6)JOHN LANDIS 7)JOHN GUILLERMAN 8)VAL GUEST 9)JOHN CARPENTER 10)MICHAEL WINNER

BRITISH NEW WAVE CINEMA

RARITIES AND EXPLOITATION

HAMMER HORROR & THRILLER

Popular This Month

CINEMA OF DANA ANDREWS

WESTERN GENRE REVIEWS

PEAKING INTO THE SIXTIES

KICKING IN THE EIGHTIES

TALES AND REFLECTIONS

REVVING THE SEVENTIES

FOR HORROR MOVIE REVIEWS


Reviews for the British series The Sweeney

Most Popular Last Year

RETURN TO THE HOMEPAGE