The Story of G.I. Joe - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Story of G.I. Joe Reviews

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May 18, 2016
robert mit. did a great job of showing a tired leader trapped in a wra
April 23, 2016
This movie tries so very hard to be poignant that I almost feel hard-hearted/bad considering that I found the whole thing so rigorously boring. I understand that the life of a G.I. was brutal, short, and involved a lot of sitting around and waiting in a foxhole. It makes for a tough situation if you want to make a realistic film, and I believe this film made a valiant effort. In fact, I think it's probably better than I think it is considering other people's reviews of it. I just personally found the film to have too many characters to keep track of, not enough interesting plot devices, and a bland style. Wellman is a mixed bag of a director for me, but I feel he just about remade this film in much better fashion four years later with "Battleground." It's got the same style with much better characters, and a more definite plot. The best element of this film is Mitchum, but his talents can be found in much more digestible films after this one.
½ May 5, 2014
good WWII war pic made during WWII
½ February 6, 2014
The only film that Robert Mitchum was ever nominated for an Academy Award for. Apparently Dwight Eisenhower's favorite movie. A movie chronicaling Ernie Pyle's experience in WW2 in Europe. The cliched characters made it difficult to watch. The war scenes are considered some of the best at the time.
November 23, 2013
Gritty, realistic (by Hollywood standards) WWII film about war correspondent Burgess Meredith following a company of US soldiers in western Europe. Robert Mitchum has definite star quality in one of his early lead roles as one of the company commanders. William A. Wellman directed the film and it reminded me of "Saving Private Ryan" in many ways.
½ July 23, 2013
Good depiction of the US North African and Italian campaigns of WW2, as seen from the perspective of average infantry soldiers, and a distinguished journalist. Initially not that engaging, it gets better as it goes along. Very gritty by the end.

Solid performances from Robert Mitchum and Burgess Meredith. Good supporting performances too.
November 10, 2012
Well-presented war film that chronicles a group of infantrymen during World War II, led by Burgess Meredith, who is corresponded by fellow soldier Ernie Pyle (Robert Mitchum). The troop heads through the ugly battle terrain of Tunisia and Italy, and as they progress, the relationships between one another grow and they become very close during their brutal journey. They also pick up an adorable dog during the trip (which thankfully survives by the end). Quite a nice film to say the least, with good battle scenes and set pieces, and a fine performance by Robert Mitchum that established him as a star. May not be in the same league as "All Quiet on the Western Front," but still worthy of a watch.
March 30, 2012
As much as I liked Wellman's Battleground, this film reaches a whole new level in its dissection of the US Infantry during WW II. This is much more of an epic experience, as we follow this platoon of soldiers across Africa and Europe, through the various landscapes and cityscapes which have been decimated by the war. It's a bleak film that shows the loneliness and isolation which infantry units experienced, really touching on the anxieties and fears about facing the German army, who essentially had crushed anyone who stood in their way. While it's rather epic, the film does spend a lot of time with the individuals of the unit, particularly their commanding officer, Lt. Walker (Robert Mitchum). Probably my favorite scene of the film involves the Lieutenant and a war correspondent which encompasses much of what the film is saying. These infantry men's daily lives are full of drudgery, mud and despair and when they die, they die in this shit hole. The scene is perfect because while the correspondent is saying these things, Mitchum passes out from exhaustion, the life of an infantry-men. It's a beautifully bleak film that possibly could be the best war film ever made.
February 22, 2012
The Story of G.I. Joe is a fantastic war film, directed by William A. Wellman, the director of the equally great 'Battleground'. This film tells the story of Ernie Pyle, a journalist war correspondent who made a name for himself by reporting from the front lines with American troops. The film is told from the perspective of Pyle, or rather through his eyes, even though vocally, he doesn't play a huge part (Very similar to Charlie Sheen's role in Platoon). It follows him and his encounters and interactions with different squads and platoons he's assigned to. Though he does not have a gun, he always carries his trusty typewriter and sends his articles about the men back home. He becomes one of the soldiers - one of their brothers. In real life, Ernie Pyle is the one of a few civilians to be awarded a Purple Heart. It's noteworthy that this movie was made while WWII was still happening. Unfortunately, Pyle was killed by a japanese sniper in the Pacific shortly before the movie was released.
½ August 8, 2011
The is didn't grab me; it just seemed a so-so retelling of "how the Americans won the war".
July 19, 2011
I just finished watching it.. Well I wouldn't give it 5 stars but in my book..
3.5 maybe even 4 stars..We really don't know what went on.. We were not there
and hearing from some folks that were in WWII some said it was a little far fetched and a few said it was close to what happened... I guess it all depends were each soldier was at the time of this war.
June 12, 2011
Extremely well done WWII flick made in 1945. Definitely more intense and realistic than most other WWII films made prior to this one and certainly may have struck a chord with returning veterans. Burgess Meredith plays reporter Ernie Pyle who marches along with the American soldiers as they make their way through Africa then Italy. He befriends them, particularly Lt. Walker played by Robert Mitchum. Both Mitchum and Meredith are outstanding in their characterizations - Mitchum would earn an Oscar nomination for the role. The war scenes are exceptionally handled and often the photography is stunning. There were moments of ridiculous and unnecessary humor that should have been removed. However, The Story of GI Joe is a very strong, yet somewhat little known, war film.
April 3, 2011
Early war film with a strong stance, but it's need to comment on war is at the cost of developing its characters.
April 1, 2011
Excellent war movie about journalist Ernie Pyle who joined the Company C of the 18th Infantry during WWII and his journey with the men. Worth watching for the realistic characterizations and what may be the most realistic battle scenes in a film from the 1940s. Not your typical flag-waving war propaganda picture that were being made during the war. This was also Robert Mitchum's breakthrough role. Really good movie. 8/10
May 25, 2010
there is a very cute puppy in this
March 12, 2010
This bleak, 108-minute, black & white, World War II combat movie from
director William A. Wellman, who went on to direct "Battleground," doesn't cut its characters any slack. Fiercely realistic, "The Story of G.I. Joe" refuses to sugar coat the gritty fighting in this traditional World War II epic. Meaning, of course, that nobody here wants to kill their superior officer or complain about incompetent leadership. The soldiers of Company C, 18th Infantry, as well as Scripps-Howard war correspondent Ernie Pyle (Burgess Meredith) meet each other in the Tunisian desert and contend with mud, blood, and more throughout the action. Incidentally, the real-life Pyle died before the film opened in late 1945. He survived the European Theater of Operations and died in the Pacific. Robert Mitchum shines as company commmanding officer Lieutenant Bill Walker and lets Pyle ride with his troops that haven't experienced a baptism under fire. Significantly, "The Story of G.I. Joe" represented the one and only Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor that Mitchum received. Indeed, many scholars argue that this movie made Robert Mitchum into a leading man. Meantime, scenarists Leopold Atlas, Guy Endore and Philip Stevenson were nominated for Best Screenplay writing, and Louis Applebaum and Ann Ronnel got nominations for Best Music scoring. This grim story starts in North Africa after American troops have been routed by Rommel at the disastrous Battle of Kasserine Pass and these follows these soon-to-be seasoned soldiers over Sicily into Italy. Clearly, the message of "The Story of G.I. Joe" is war is hell.

You can tell that "The Story of G.I. Joe" was not the usual flag-waving piece of propaganda. The scene in the church where Lt. Walker and Sergeant Steve Warnicki (Freddie Steele of "Hail the Conquering Hero") with our heroes having to take time out from prayer to blast the bejesus out of cunning German soldiers concealed in the second floor is one of the best. One recurring gag concerns Sergeant Warnicki who totes around a carefully wrapped up record of his son that he cannot get to play on any phonograph. Eventually, when he figures out how to play it, Warnicki goes berserk, a casualty of battle fatigue, and tries to launch a one-man assault against the Germans to end the war. Captain Walker has to clobber Warnicki and they send him back to face the medics. In a regular World War II movie made during the war, the sergeant would have celebrated the record with his buddies and there would have been no depressing conclusion like happens here. Surprisingly enough, especially for a World War II movie, "The Story of
G.I. Joe" differs from most because it either implies or outright mentions the strategic blunders of the Allies. The latter half of the action occurs during the infamous battle of Monte Cassino. Unless you are a World War II armchair strategist, Monte Cassino may mean nothing to you, but it represented an important battle. The Allies attacked a hill-top, sixth-century Benedictine monastery that the enemy had occupied, particularly the elite German 1st Parachute Division. The Allies began attacks on the monastery in January, but the Allies did not take the monastery until May. Initially, the Allies did not want to bomb the monastery because it was a religious site, but repeated
failures to take the monastery finally prompted them to bomb it from the air. Unfortunately, turning the monastery into rubble served the Germans more than it did the Allies. General Dwight Eisenthower reportedly called "The Story of G.I. Joe" one of the best movies of World War II.

Cinematographer Russell Metty, who later won an Academy Award for "Spartacus" (1960), lensed "The Story of G.I. Joe" largely in the rugged Southern California deserts and at the Selznick Studios. Interesetingly, Wellman biographer Frank T. Thompson noted that the War Department gave the filmmakers 150 Italian Campaign veterans to appear in the film. This constituted a six-week leave of sorts before they were shipped off to the Pacific. Sadly, like Pyle, most of their veterans died during the battle of Okinawa.
August 24, 2009
Boring and pointless.
½ August 8, 2009
"The Story of G.I. Joe" is a humanizing account of the highs and lows experienced by American infantry in WWII as seen through the eyes of war correspondent Ernie Pyle. Russell Metty's photography is fluent and well-composed, and the exceptional battle sequences (akin to what Spielberg would accomplish in "Saving Private Ryan") excel not only in dazzling the viewer, but also in promoting character and theme development.
July 25, 2009
A great WWII film directed by William Wellman and filled with wonderfully human moments.
June 22, 2009
Maybe not as hard-hitting by today's standards, but I can see how this would have been the "Band of Brothers" of its day. I excuse myself from saying anything else here as I share two connections with the main character, Ernie Pyle: 1) he's a fellow Hoosier, and 2) I earned a degree from the journalism school that was named in Pyle's honor.
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