The Sergeant

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In this melodramatic character portrait, a World War II military hero is victimized by his latent homosexuality. Master Sergeant Callan (Rod Steiger) is assigned to a U.S. Air Force base in a rural part of France. He takes over when the commanding officer turns out to be an alcoholic, rendered innefectual by insecurity and drink. Private Swanson (John Phillip Law) attracts the attention of the new commander when Callan recognizes he is probably the only one at the base who does not need to improve his work ethic. Swanson is forced into working in the company office with Callan as his direct superior and mentor. Swanson interprets the commander Callan to be lonely and initially cuts him some slack. When Swanson is denied a pass to visit his girlfriend, he becomes more agitated. Callan kisses him unexpectedly and Swanson goes AWOL, running off to his girl. Callan is repulsed by the discovery of his homosexuality and begins to drink heavily. The once-proud military leader begins a qucik and painful disinigration of personality that leads him to contemplate suicide in this tragic story from the novel by Dennis Murphy. This film marks the directorial debut for John Flynn.

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Rod Steiger
as Sgt. Albert Callan
John Phillip Law
as Pfc. Tom Swanson
Frank Latimore
as Capt. Loring
Elliott Sullivan
as Pop Henneken
Ronald Rubin
as Cpl. Cowley
Philip Roye
as Aldous Brown
Jerry Brouer
as Sgt. Komski
Memphis Slim
as Nightclub Singer
Gabriel Gascond
as Solange's Brother-in-Law
Gabriel Gascon
as Solange's Brother-in-Law (uncredited)
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