Friday, 15 November 2013

KINGS GO FORTH (1958) WEB SITE

HOME      FILMOGRAPHY      BIOGRAPHY       GALLERY      PROJECTS      TV MOVIES

 
 

























  • Production Credits

  • Director - Delmer Daves
  • Screenplay - Merle Miller
  • Source Material (from novel) - Joe David Brown
  • Producer - Frank Ross
  • Associate Producer - Richard Ross
  • Production Manager - Richard F. McWhorter
  • Assistant Director - Edward Denault
  • Director of Photography - Daniel L. Fapp
  • Editor - William B. Murphy
  • Music - Elmer Bernstein

Cats Credits

  • Frank Sinatra - Sam
  • Tony Curtis - Britt Harris
  • Natalie Wood - Monique Blair
  • Leora Dana - Mrs Blair
  • Karl Swenson - Colonel
  • Ann Codee - Madame Brieux
  • Jackie Berthe - Jean Francoise
  • Marie Isnard - Old Woman with Wine
  • Pete Candoli - Trumpeter
  • Red Norvo - Vibraphonist
  • Mel Lewis - Drummer
  • Richie Kamuca - Tenor Saxophonist
  • Red Wooten - Bassist
  • Jimmy Weible - Guitarist
Kings Go Forth is one of, maybe the only, film about the Allied offensive in Southern France in late summer of 1944. Several divisions who were fighting in Italy under Mark Clark were sent to invade France from the south. The action as compared to the larger shows movie east from Normandy and north up the Italian peninsula was light as the Germans were retreating to protect their own borders. It was called the champagne offensive because it was as you see it with Frank Sinatra and Tony Curtis, fighting one minute, and on a weekend pass the next.

Frank Sinatra narrates the story with him as one of the protagonists. He's an army lieutenant and he's just gotten some replacements for his company, one of them being Tony Curtis. Curtis is a spoiled rich kid, a real smooth operator. But he turns out to be a good soldier and he and Sinatra become friends despite Sinatra being an officer and Curtis non-com.

Then the two of them get interested in the same girl, Natalie Wood. She's an American expatriate living with her widowed mother, Leora Dana. Her father was a black man and they left the United States many years before to escape ruling prejudices. Ironic that they escape to France and then France gets occupied by the real prejudice merchants.

The film is divided equally, half of it concerning the war and half of it dealing with the romantic triangle. For the second time in his career, the first being in Sweet Smell of Success, Tony Curtis plays a heel and does it well. Curtis was really coming into his own as a player and not just a pretty face. Kings Go Forth was filmed on the heels of his Oscar nominated performance in The Defiant Ones.

Frank Sinatra gives one of his best screen performances in Kings Go Forth. None of the hipster slang, not the nebbish of his forties musicals, Sinatra plays a really good man trying to deal with his own inner conflicts about what he's been brought up to believe and the feelings he has for Wood. It's something different and Sinatra does it well.

Natalie Wood was as beautiful as they come and Leora Dana as her mother who's seen too much of the world and is determined to protect her daughter has some of her best screen moments. Tony Curtis liked working with Natalie Wood very much in the films they made together, but he does mention in his autobiography it would have really been great if someone like Dorothy Dandridge had been cast in her role. It might have made Kings Go Forth better remembered today, as much as classic as Guess Who's Coming To Dinner.

Elmer Bernstein did the film score and one of the themes was given a lyric by Sammy Cahn and became the song Monique after Natalie Wood's character. Frank Sinatra made a hit record of it though it is only heard instrumentally in the film. It's one of his loveliest ballads.

Viewers should see the film before hearing Sinatra's record of it. The whole premise of the film is the plain Sinatra and the smooth Curtis competing for Wood. You hear old Blue Eyes sing Monique and you'll find it hard to believe why he didn't just sing that song.

Why Natalie would have melted right away in his arms.
 

CRITICA EN EL PERIODICO "ABC DE MADRID" (5-3-1959)
"Cenizas bajo el sol", la película que se proyecta en el cine Paz, es un relato cinematográfico de excelentes calidades. Seguimos en él la historia, digamos amorosa, ya que hay un amor y un amorío de dos militares norteamericanos, en la última guerra mundial, durante las luchas que siguieron al desembarco de las fuerzas aliadas en la Costa Azul. El guión está construido con gran habilidad, de manera que hay escenas bélicas y los episodios amorosos en los que intervienen ambos combatientes, un oficial y un sargento de transmisiones de la misma unidad, se equilibran de manera que la narración no resulta en ningún instante sobrecargada. desde luego, la historia es dramática, pero su dramatismo se ha sabido buscar y hallar principalmente en las situaciones de la muchacha que ha despertado los sentimientos de los dos hombres, y entre ellos mismos, en sus actitudes diferentes hacia ella. Todas las reacciones de los personajes centrales que son cuatro: los dos soldados, la joven motivo del conflicto que se plantea y explaya, y la madre de ésta, se han cuidado muy particularmente, así que la pintura de los caracteres resulta acabada. El clima de la película, es igualmente, otro acierto, un clima hecho de la vida en las ciudades costeras, y de recreo, en tiempo de paz, y de los campos de batalla, a cuatro pasos de ellas. La interpretación es excelente, asimismo en general -y señalamos las de los cuatro artistas principales-, pero es la de Frank Sinatra la que sobresale, y, quizás una de las mejores que hemos admirado de este celebrado actor. A Tony Curtis en cambio, le hemos visto más afortunado otras veces, quizás porque en ésta su papel resulta un tanto ingrato. En cuanto a las dos mujeres, dan, cada una en su estilo, versiones exquisitas de sus personajes.-DONALD.