The Way Ahead (The Immortal Battalion) (1945)
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as Lieutenant Jim Perry
as Sergeant Fletcher
as Company Commander
as Side Beck
as Mrs. Gillingham
as Garage Proprietor
as Col. Walmsley
as Commanding Officer
as Marjorie's Boy Friend
as Mrs. Perry
as Sgt. Maj.
as Marjorie Gillingham
Critic Reviews for The Way Ahead (The Immortal Battalion)
Direction by Carol Reed is competent, and undoubtedly accounts for the underlying genuineness of the picture as a semi-documentary.
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.
One must rely on one's fellow man to get through; no one can go it alone; no one needs to go it alone.
Audience Reviews for The Way Ahead (The Immortal Battalion)
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.
It's quite a coincidence that the release date of this British wartime production was June 6, 1944. D-Day. Having gained a foothold on Fortress Europe, the allies still had the prospect of the long march to Berlin ahead...and with that daunting task in mind, I'm pretty sure the optimistic tone of this Carol Reed flick was designed to help bolster the public's morale. The theme of the film is certainly a familiar one to moviegoers by now. We follow a rag-tag group of enlistees - representing various strata of British society - and watch as they undergo Army basic training. In time, even this group of misfits is transformed into a well-disciplined fighting unit under the command of Lt. Jim Perry (David Niven) and drill sergeant Ned Fletcher (William Hartnell). It's not until the 2nd half of the flick does the action ramp up a bit. The group boards a transport ship headed for the northern coast of Africa where the forces of General Rommel await them...but before they can get there - disaster strikes. An explosion racks their transport ship and it is soon a raging inferno. The scene is surprisingly similar to one in Humphrey Bogart's ACTION IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC (released a year prior to this). A very young Peter Ustinov has a small role as a cafe owner. Ustinov co-wrote the screenplay. I also didn't notice his name in the credits but Trevor Howard can be seen as the transport ship officer. Being a propaganda film - it's completely sanitized of any overt violence - virtually death-free for a war flick. Only the greater virtues of war and man need be shown. The USA cut even has an added prologue and epilogue equating the british common men depicted in the film to the Minutemen of the Revolutionary War. Interesting. 7 / 10
An interesting film about the war shot during the war but only for those really into the subject since it is pretty weak compared to some hidden little gems of WWII desert warfare movies.