Monday, April 5, 2010

From Here to Eternity

A third of the way through Kaylie Jones's memoir, Lies My Mother Never Told Me, I figured out I've a great (new) interest in the years just before and during WW II. Several weeks ago The Postmistress , a fictional account of life on both sides of the Atlantic in 1941 by Sarah Blake, mesmerized me. Jones's memoir shines a light on her very famous father, James Jones, who wrote such classics as From Here to Eternity and The Thin Red Line, both about WW II, soldiers, heroism, and the often tragic unfolding of life.

This morning, I watched From Here to Eternity, the movie from 1953, and was drawn in very quickly. Great acting and fabulous stars; who can resist Frank Sinatra, Montgomery Clift, Burt Lancaster, Donna Reed, and Deborah Kerr? The movie, a tamed down version of the book, published in 1951, was nominated for more Academy Awards than Gone with the Wind and ended up winning eight. The movie is "on demand" on Netflix so you can watch it right on your computer screen. I did and was thoroughly delighted.

I'm not quite sure from whence my recent fascination with WW II comes. I'm typically not too interested in war stories or movies. Guess I'll just let this interest take me wherever it may. I ordered used copies of these two famous books of Mr. James Jones from Powell's Bookstore today. I'll be interested to see how the screenwriter of From Here to Eternity, cleaned up Jones's words (some, it seems, were fairly scandalous by early post war standards) for the silver screen.

The beach scene with Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr was very cool by the way.....


  1. I didn't realize (of course, I should have!) that it was first a book. I'll check it out.

    And, sadly, I can never see that beach scene without thinking of the parody scene in "Airplane" when they are covered in seaweed.

  2. This is a classic that used to show on Saturday afternoon television years ago. I will have to watch it again on Netflix. I liked to watch war movies when I was younger ~ they focused on the characters and weren't as graphic as war movies today, which I rarely watch.


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