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From Here to Eternity (1953)



Average Rating: 7.9/10
Reviews Counted: 47
Fresh: 42 | Rotten: 5

It has perhaps aged poorly, but this languidly paced WWII romance remains an iconic, well-acted film, featuring particularly strong performances from Burt Lancaster and Montgomery Clift.


Average Rating: 6.2/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 2

It has perhaps aged poorly, but this languidly paced WWII romance remains an iconic, well-acted film, featuring particularly strong performances from Burt Lancaster and Montgomery Clift.



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Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 14,335

My Rating

Movie Info

The scene is Schofield Army Barracks in Honolulu, in the languid days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, where James Jones' acclaimed war novel From Here to Eternity brought the aspirations and frustrations of several people sharply into focus. Sergeant Milt Warden (Burt Lancaster) enters into an affair with Karen (Deborah Kerr), the wife of his commanding officer. Private Robert E. Lee "Prew" Prewitt (Montgomery Clift) is a loner who lives by his own code of ethics and communicates better with


Drama, Romance, Classics

Daniel Taradash

Oct 23, 2001

NCM Fathom

Watch It Now



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All Critics (47) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (42) | Rotten (5) | DVD (16)

In From Here to Eternity, you can glimpse an uneasier future for America, with the social wreckage and the pretending.

January 29, 2014 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Scriptwriter Daniel Taradash rescued, if not quite a gem, then at least a high-grade industrial diamond from this rough original.

February 18, 2009 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is an important film from any angle, presenting socko entertainment for big business.

November 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sominex is cheaper and probably safer.

December 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (2)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Zinnemann's flat direction does produce its dull moments.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out | Comment (1)
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

So clear-eyed and three-dimensional that it makes the recent Pearl Harbor look like a bunch of kids playing dress up.

December 12, 2003 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Fred Zinnemann's strength as a director was less on the technical side and more in line with coaxing stellar performances out of his actors, and with this film, he drew a royal flush.

October 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

Despite sliding into melodrama a bit too often, From Here to Eternity remains a decent film due to the strong performances of its Oscar-nominated cast.

September 30, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

Watching it again after not seeing it for many years, I was also struck by how much of a debt novelist-screenwriter Donn Pearce ('Cool Hand Luke') owes to Jones.

September 19, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

It's the best-ever account of life in the peacetime army.

February 19, 2013 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

The result is a gripping movie that often makes you wish its director, Zinnemann, knew as much about American life as he does about the art of telling a story with a camera.

August 29, 2012 Full Review Source: The Nation
The Nation

The cast includes Frank Sinatra, Montgomery Clift and Ernest Borgnine, all of whom are fine, in what is essentially a melodrama.

September 29, 2010 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

A high-calibre Hollywood prestige drama, sharp and sobering, with top-drawer work from Lancaster, Clift and Sinatra.

September 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

I have to say that Clift's plot is far less compelling than Lancaster's and something of the zip goes when Frank Sinatra disappears from the action, sent to the stockade. But what a punch this movie still packs.

September 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Guardian

Director Fred Zinnemann's powerful adaptation of James Jones's bestseller won eight Oscars, upset the military and resurrected the acting career of Frank Sinatra.

September 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

The tough story on corruption in the military was given authenticity by being partially shot at Pearl Harbor.

February 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

Deserving to be seen and remembered for so much more than that kiss, this is old school drama of the highest order.

February 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

A seamless combination of high drama, romance and action.

June 4, 2007

Terrific performances from Montgomery Clift and Burt Lancaster highlight this limitedly involving romance.

November 8, 2006 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

"If a man don't go his own way, he's nothin," says Montgomery Clift in the superbly realized melodrama, set at the oubtbreak of WWII, a motto that also sums up director Fred Zinnemann's belief system.

July 4, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

There's no real "action" to speak of, aside from a few fistfights and the third act bombing attack, but From Here to Eternity sure isn't boring.

November 9, 2005 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for From Here to Eternity

Set in the weeks leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor, this is an easy paced (re: leisurely) melodrama focusing on several people at and around the Schofield Army Barracks in Honolulu. It's based on an acclaimed novel (though the film was heavily toned down) and won a ton of Oscars, including Best Picture.

It's a fair enough film, although I think it's mostly carried by the performances rather than the story lines, and also the performances probably stand out as better overall than the film as a whole. I wasn't sure I'd like it, what with all you ever seem to hear about it being in reference to the legendary scene where Lancaster and Kerr embrace on a beach as waves crash around them. There's some macho guy type stuff, and that's good, but I could have used more of that, and just an uncompromised adaptation in general.

The cast is notable, with appearances from Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed, Frank SInatra (in a great, Oscar winning role), and the wonderful Ernest Borgnine as an antagonist of sorts. They all do a great job, and Sinatra I feel did really deserve his Oscar.

All in all, a decent enough film. Zinnemann knew how to tell a great story, and it is shot well, but I don't think it's as good as it's made out to be. Still though, I was entertained, and it is better than the similar stuff that Michael Bay did in his infamous account of Pearl Harbor, so take that as some sort of recommendation.
March 15, 2012
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

I think the reason that From here to Eternity is such a classic is down to the performances rather than the film itself. The story is actually quite wishy-washy and the characters, excluding Burt Lancaster's Private Robert E. Lee, aren't particularly well written, that is as far as the film is concerned. I feel a lot was sacrificed in the adaptation of book into film but that said, I never really thought that much of the book anyway. Where the film does improve on the book however, is in the classic scenes - particularly the 'Beach' scene with Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster. Burt Lancaster and Montgomery Clift are the two shining stars of this film though and the two most convincing performances for sure. I don't think Deborah Kerr was given half the screen time she deserved and the film is all the worse for it. Overrated but still great.
January 11, 2012

Super Reviewer

An absolute classic fifties movie about love and war. Highly dramatic, highly exciting, and highly romantic. A terrific movie.
November 7, 2010

Super Reviewer

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  • From Here To Eternity (UK)
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