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Home of the Brave Movie Review

bridges edwards played lloyd

After his death in 1998, everyone remembered Lloyd Bridges fondly, but I heard distinct rumbles that there was no such thing as a Lloyd Bridges movie. Home of the Brave comes damn close, though. This tough look at racial prejudice in an army unit during World War II was an adaptation of Arthur Laurents’ 1945 Broadway play. Onstage, the target of the abuse had been Jewish, but in the 1949 film, he was the only black member of a platoon based on a Pacific island. James Edwards played the role with an unflinching, smoldering anger that was quite rare at that time. His one friend is his old school pal, played by Bridges with deep and unforced affection. Douglas Dick is a youthful Major for whom the job is way over his head, Steve Brodie is an abrasive, prejudiced soldier who makes Edwards’ life hell, and Frank Lovejoy is a seasoned G.I. who appears unprincipled at the outset. The sequences focusing on the friendship between Edwards and Bridges are the best in the film, and blacklisted screenwriter Carl Foreman's gritty script (excluding a series of “charming” and “delightful” exchanges that I can't imagine any guy saying outside of a 19th century drawing room) and Mark Robson's sensitive direction make Home of the Brave the best of the postwar films of its type (and far superior to the 1947 RKO release, Crossfire). Bridges went on to become an Emmy-nominated television star, but Edwards, despite his early fame and enormous talent, last played a bit role in Patton in 1970 before he died at 48.

1949 86m/B Lloyd Bridges, James Edwards, Frank Lovejoy, Jeff Corey, Douglas Dick, Steve Brodie, Cliff Clark; D: Mark Robson; W: Carl Foreman; C: Robert De Grasse; M: Dimitri Tiomkin. VHS, LV

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