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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
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One of the most influential novelists of the mid-20th century to deal with the subject of war, James Jones was something of a fixture in Hollywood as a source of great books. James Ramon Jones was born in Robinson, IL, in 1921, the son of Ramon Jones, a dentist, and the former Ada Blessing. The stock market crash in October 1929 destroyed the family's finances, and Ramon later sank into alcoholism, while Ada was crippled by diabetes. Seeing limited prospects in front of him and eager to separate himself from his family, James enlisted in the U.S. Army in June 1939 and was stationed in New York, Puerto Rico, the Canal Zone, and California, before he was transferred to the Army Air Corps in Hawaii. Jones was present when Pearl Harbor was attacked and served in the defense of Hawaii; while awaiting reassignment to a combat area, he took some literature and writing courses at the University of Hawaii. In late 1942, he was shipped out for the Solomon Islands, and, in January 1943, participated in fighting on Guadalcanal. Jones's army record was marred by his going AWOL in late 1943 after he was denied leave and his request for a limited duty assignment was ignored. In the late winter of 1944, he was suddenly promoted to sergeant, though by then was manifesting enough mental problems that he was sent to a psychiatric unit for observation. In the summer of that year, after being diagnosed with a psychoneurotic disorder, he was honorably discharged. Jones later moved to New York (briefly attending New York University) and then to North Carolina before returning to live with the Handys in Robinson, IL, where he spent five years working on the book that became From Here to Eternity, receiving encouragement from two Scribners editors, Maxwell Perkins and Burroughs Mitchell. Meanwhile, Jones published his first short story, Temper of Steel, in Atlantic Monthly during 1948. From Here to Eternity was finished in 1950 and published in 1951. The film rights were immediately bought for 87,000 dollars by Columbia Pictures, whose president, Harry Cohn, vowed to turn the 850-page book into a major movie, despite having to overcome such hurdles as a narrative that freely mentioned homosexuality, whorehouses, marital infidelity, and as much brutality as had ever been offered to the filmgoing public. A huge amount of Jones's experiences seemed bound up within the narrative, which was an uncompromising love/hate account of the army. The screenplay by Daniel Taradash kept the spirit of the book intact and the resulting film by Fred Zinnemann (starring Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra, and Donna Reed) was one the most honored and prestigious (and successful) ever issued by Columbia, winning eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It quickly took on a life of its own in popular culture, with the romantic tryst in the surf on the beach between Lancaster's Milt Warden and Kerr's Karen Holmes becoming one of the most suggestive and widely known (and parodied) love scenes of the decade. Sinatra's performance as Maggio rescued his acting career from oblivion, while Clift's cemented his reputation as one of the finest actors of his generation. Over the remainder of the 1950s, Jones split with Lowney Handy (with whom he had run a writer's retreat) in an acrimonious break-up and, with help from novelist Budd Schulberg, met and married actress Gloria Patricia Mosolino. Jones also finished and published his second novel, Some Came Running, the story of a returning ex-soldier who finds himself alienated from the pettiness and prejudices of his hometown. Although it was far longer than From Here to Eternity and got decidedly mixed reviews because of its length, the book became a bestseller and earned Jones 250,000 dollars for the film rights. Vincente Minnelli turned it into a very good movie starring Frank Sinatra, Shirley MacLaine, and Dean Martin. By the end of the '50s, Jones had mo