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ROD STEIGER PLAYS 'THE SERGEANT' WITH JOHN PHILLIP LAW

Poster Artwork for THE SERGEANT Year: 1968
It's not just what THE SERGEANT is about, or even who it's about: An American World War II decorated hero returning to France the following decade for a peacetime gig not as risky or daring: This Army Sergeant of military construction laborers wielding old-school, tough-as-nails tactics to shape things up — until both someone and something distracts him...

MSgt. Albert Callan is an extremely closeted closet homosexual, and on the surface, Rod Steiger portrays a lonely Army lifer who finally finds a true friend he can mentor and/or simply hang around with. Of course it's deeper than that; but as a film from 1968 about 1952, John Flynn directs with a unique, strategic, cautious approach aptly suited for and catered to Steiger's creepy-harsh yet desperately sympathetic performance.

Ludmila Mikaël & John Phillip Law in The Sergeant RATES: ****1/2
On the other side is contentedly handsome John Phillip Law, who often plays mellow wooden types but he plays them well...

His targeted Pfc. Tom Swanson to Steiger's subtle style of persuasive bullying... after being shifted from an outdoor job to his personal office clerk... is, in its own way, equal to the intense title role...

Law's naïve and oblivious reactions to the kind of awkward and painfully intriguing, passive/aggressive action only Steiger could effectively pull off within a sparse, subtle maze countered by French starlet Ludmila Mikaël as Law's town-next-door girlfriend, caught in the middle of something that would not only be considered impossible back then, but never fathomed in the first place. And yet, controversial theme aside, THE SERGEANT is an outright buddy flick bromance coinciding with the gentle male/female love story. Surprisingly, it's the latter that lacks conviction and seduction.
Rod Steiger (beating Simon Oakland for the gig, thankfully) and John Phillip Law in The Sergeant
John Phillip Law and Rod Steiger in The Sergeant RATES: ****1/2
John Phillip Law and Rod Steiger bonding in THE SERGEANT by Seven Arts Productions
Top: Rod Steiger with Bottom: John Phillip Law gunning for THE SERGEANT
Cute and flirtatious, uncredited French girl in THE SERGEANT
John Phillip Law and Rod Steiger in THE SERGEANT
Quentin Tarantino shouts-out THE SERGEANT in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Rod Steiger as The Sergeant, a role heavily campaigned for by Simon Oakland... the right choice was made
Lovely French ingenue Ludmila Mikaël as Solange Gérard in THE SERGEANT
The supercool Warner Seven Arts Logo on the bottom right for this powerful poster of THE SERGEANT
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