The Way Ahead (The Immortal Battalion) (1945) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Way Ahead (The Immortal Battalion) (1945)

The Way Ahead (The Immortal Battalion) (1945)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Way Ahead (The Immortal Battalion) Photos

Movie Info

The Immortal Battalion has a bit of a convoluted history. It started life as a training film, The New Lot, which ran 44 minutes. When Winston Churchill approached David Niven about creating a film that would do for the British Army what In Which We Serve had done for the Royal Navy, he contacted Carol Reed and suggested expanding The New Lot. The result, written by Eric Ambler and Peter Ustinov, was the acclaimed The Way Ahead. For its U.S. release, Way Ahead was edited to a shorter length and retitled The Immortal Battalion. In either of its feature length forms, the film is concerned with the training of a bunch of raw recruits into a capable and efficient fighting regiment. Niven stars as Jim Perry, a lieutenant and former ordinary guy who finds that he must learn to take a tough line in order to make his wildly diverse crew come together and understand the importance both of the war and of their place in it. Although it takes time and constant effort on the part of Perry and his sergeant, the eight men eventually overcome their different backgrounds and feelings, and transform themselves into a unit which performs its tasks with admirable skill and dexterity, preparing them for their battle against the Desert Fox in Africa. Told in a semi-documentary style, Battalion also features the screen debut of Trevor Howard. ~ Craig Butler, Rovi

Cast

David Niven
as Lieutenant Jim Perry
Raymond Huntley
as Davenport
William Hartnell
as Sergeant Fletcher
Leo Genn
as Company Commander
Leslie Dwyer
as Side Beck
Hugh Burden
as Parsons
Jimmy Hanley
as Stainer
Alf Goddard
as Instructor
Mary Jerrold
as Mrs. Gillingham
Raymond Lovell
as Garage Proprietor
A.E. Matthews
as Col. Walmsley
Reginald Tate
as Commanding Officer
Jack Watling
as Marjorie's Boy Friend
George Merritt
as Sgt. Maj.
Renée Ashershon
as Marjorie Gillingham
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Critic Reviews for The Way Ahead (The Immortal Battalion)

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (3)

Direction by Carol Reed is competent, and undoubtedly accounts for the underlying genuineness of the picture as a semi-documentary.

March 26, 2009 | Full Review…

A warm and touching tribute to the British Army infantryman.

March 25, 2006 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Despite a framework which stresses regimental traditions and military valour, the film's celebration of the ordinary man as soldier leaves a residue of radicalism.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Bracing, spirited and lovely.

February 25, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Carol Reed directed this 1944 war film from a script by Eric Ambler and Peter Ustinov.

July 26, 2012 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

A rousing flag-waving war drama about the British Army, that was shot during the war and grew out of being a training film.

August 10, 2011 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Way Ahead (The Immortal Battalion)

½

Excellent performance by David Niven. The movie kept my interest. I've seen it all before--the ragtag bunch of draftees becomes a top flight fighting unit. It's good, but I doubt I'll watch it again. This was made during WWII so that gives it a slightly different edge.

Morris Nelms
Morris Nelms

Super Reviewer

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