The Red Badge of Courage (1951) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Red Badge of Courage1951

The Red Badge of Courage (1951)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Red Badge of Courage Photos

Movie Info

In this film, based on Stephen Crane's novel, Audie Murphy stars as a Civil War soldier who must redeem himself after an act of cowardice. When he gets his opportunity, he is no less frightened than before; he simply has learned to push on in spite of that fear.

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Audie Murphy
as The Youth
Bill Mauldin
as The Loud Soldier
John Dierkes
as The Tall Soldier
Royal Dano
as The Tattered Man
Douglas Dick
as Lieutenant
Arthur Hunnicutt
as Bill Porter
Andy Devine
as Fat Soldier
Robert Easton
as Thompson
Smith Ballew
as Captain
Jim Hayward
as Union Soldier
Dan White
as Sergeant
Frank McGraw
as Captain
Tim Durant
as General
Gloria Eaton
as Southern Girl
Robert Cherry
as Soldier Who Sings
Whit Bissell
as Wounded Officer
Ed Hinton
as Corporal
Lynn Farr
as Confederate Soldier
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Critic Reviews for The Red Badge of Courage

All Critics (10)

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

October 3, 2013 | Rating: 76/100 | Full Review…

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

July 7, 2005 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

Almost seems like a documentary in look, action, acting. A Huston gem.

October 30, 2004 | Rating: 5/5

Through Henry, The Red Badge of Courage allows us to face the chaos and confusion, the terror and futility, of both large-scale, national strife and inner, personal turmoil.

March 2, 2003 | Rating: 7/10

Despite the studio's editing hatchet job, this remains a powerful tale of redemption

June 27, 2002 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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
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
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
Antony Stubbs

Super Reviewer

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