Few in 1953 believed that Hollywood could adapt James Jones’ controversial critique of the US Army and its fascist excesses in the years leading up to Pearl Harbor without compromising with the establishment. But Columbia Pictures succeeded, and Fred Zinnemann's film went on to be box-office and Academy Award-winning smash of the year. This chapter looks at the evolution of the production, its positioning within and critique of the war genre, its revelations about American brutality, and the way in which Zinnemann and his colleagues evaded censorship by the Production Code and the military.
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