The Men (1950)

The Men


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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In his film debut, Marlon Brando plays Ken, a World War II vet paralyzed in combat. The tragedy leaves him embittered and despondent, and from his hospital bed he lashes out at the world, even turning away his girlfriend Ellen (Teresa Wright). Slowly, his doctor (Everett Sloane) begins to penetrate the soldier's psyche, and finally Ken begins therapy; before long, he has built up his body, and learned not only to maneuver his wheelchair but to drive a specially-made car. He and Ellen agree to … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Carl Foreman
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 16, 2003



as Ellen Wilozek

as Dr. Brock

as Norm

as Nurse Robbins

as Ellen's Mother

as Ellen's Father

as Dolores

as Mr. Doolin

as Dr. Kameran

as Man at Bar

as Angel's Mother

as the Lookout

as Thompson

as Mullin

as Hopkins

as Gunderson

as Justice of the peace
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Men

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (3)

Producer Stanley Kramer turns to the difficult cinematic subject of paraplegics, so expertly treated as to be sensitive, moving and yet, withal, entertaining and earthy-humored.

Full Review… | November 1, 2007
Top Critic

Even in his first movie, Brando's ability to transcend mediocre material is very much in evidence.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Stern in its intimations of the terrible consequences of war, this film is a haunting and affecting, as well as a rewarding, drama to have at this time.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

This was Marlon Brando's film debut and, as such, set standards not only for his fellow actors but for himself.

Full Review… | November 1, 2007
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Brando's first movie is a syrupy soap opera-like Stanley Kramer produced social conscience message movie.

Full Review… | May 1, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Zinnemann's film one of Hollywood's first and most honest attempts to portray the physical, psychological, and sexual problems of paraplegics, splendidly acted by Brando in his feature debut.

Full Review… | July 14, 2006

Audience Reviews for The Men


It's hard for me to believe, but until recently I didn't know what Marlon Brando's first movie was. It was an innocuous but well-meaning film with a flat, artless title: "The Men."

Directed by the Austrian-born Fred Zinnemann (who became world-famous a few years later with such films as "High Noon" and "From Here to Eternity"), "The Men" plays like a TV Movie of the Week focused on a contemporary social issue. The issue was the struggle of young World War II veterans to re-integrate into American society, particularly those who had lost a limb or were in wheelchairs.

The war had only been over a few years (Germany and Japan surrendered in 1945), so this was a pressing current issue.

Brando plays the lead character, a handsome, rugged young man laid low by a gunshot wound to the spine. Not only has he lost the ability to walk (and have intercourse, which is hinted at several times), he has lost the will to live. He chases his devoted girlfriend away (Teresa Wright) and sinks deeper into depression.

Several things happen that do lead to change, and this is nice to see. But "The Men" never really takes off. It remains a fairly engaging but mediocre work of journalism. Brando is surprisingly subdued. Thank God he had the guts the following year to release the whirlwind inside him with "A Streetcar Named Desire," which changed cinema history and earned him his first Oscar nomination. (He lost to Humphrey Bogart in "The African Queen.")

Bill D 2007
William Dunmyer

Super Reviewer

Good drama examining the difficulties faced by men paralyzed in the WWII. Brando is very good here minus the method affectations that marred a great deal of his later work. He's ably abetted by Teresa Wright who gives a customarily low key and effective performance.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Brando's first performance in film, if you can find this movie I highly recommend watching it, especially if you're a fan of his (I don't know why you wouldn't be). This movie is realistic, dramatic, and romantic. I loved it.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

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