The Red Badge of Courage (1951)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The backstory of The Red Badge of Courage involves the toppling of MGM's old Louis B. Mayer regime in favor of Dore Schary and his young Turks. It is also the tale of how an intended epic was ruthlessly whittled down to a lower-berth programmer. Since this story has already been related in detail in Lillian Ross' Picture (not to mention several John Huston biographies), the focus here will be what shows up on screen in Red Badge of Courage. Based on the novel by Stephen Crane, the film stars … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Stephen Crane, John Huston, Albert Band
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 4, 2003


as The Youth

as The Loud Soldier

as The Tall Soldier

as The Tattered Man

as Lieutenant

as Bill Porter

as Fat Soldier

as Thompson

as Captain

as Colonel

as Union Soldier

as Sergeant

as Captain

as General

as Southern Girl

as Soldier Who Sings

as Wounded Officer

as Corporal

as Confederate Soldier

as Narrator
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Red Badge of Courage

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Critic Reviews for The Red Badge of Courage

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The fall and redemption of the protagonist, while clearly predictable, is still intelligently and effectively executed

Full Review… | October 3, 2013

What's truly amazing is how good the film is despite MGM slicing it up in the re-editing process.

Full Review… | July 7, 2005
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Red Badge of Courage

In spite of the studio's blasphemous 'recut' of John Huston's work, The Red Badge of Courage successfully illuminates the fragile psyche of the foot soldier in harm's way. Audie Murphy, given his own combat experience, seems perfectly cast as the civil war private battling fear and self-doubt while serving in a union regiment. Like the source material from which it sprang, this film is a study in humanity and man's astonishing ability to persevere.

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

For 1951 it was a pretty great movie. It had a great behind it, and got it acrossed well. I felt it ended a little suddenly, and to me it seemed like there seemed to be something missing, though im not sure what, but overall, it was a film , for any civil war buff, too see.

Bobby Hobbs

Super Reviewer


Heavily scissored by the studio, it's distressing to think how good Huston's Civil War flick could have been. It has some truly gorgeous visuals, in particular the close-ups of the young soldiers facing their first taste of warfare and the shot of the sunlight breaking through in shafts through the trees. The decision to keep the novel's anonymous characters (the film is adapted from a Stephen Crane novel), pays off, adding to the sense of alienation in combat (they are referred to in adjective titles, ie: 'The Tattered Man', 'The Tall Soldier'). Murphy also convinces as a young lad staring death in the face, and his eventual defiance in not letting the flags touch the ground makes for some striking cinematography, irregardless of your stance on war. Sadly, this would-be great was truncated down to just over an hour's worth of footage, making it a frustrating experience. In doing so, the audience feels a little short-changed by Murphy getting over his demons in about fifty minutes, the same effect as watching the regular cut of Apocalypse Now after one has grown accustomed to the full nightmare of Redux. What could have been....

Antony Stubbs

Super Reviewer

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