Local film critic Dr. Jack Rhodes will introduce and discuss the 1950 film, “The Men,” at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, as a free event during the annual Weyauwega International Film Festival.
The film festival will run Wednesday through Saturday, Nov. 12-15, at the Gerold Opera House on Main Street in downtown Weyauwega and will feature a large number of independent and experimental films from the United States and other countries.
According to Rhodes, “The Men,” directed by Fred Zinnemann, was considered edgy and experimental in its day.
The film featured the debut of Marlon Brando. It depicts the plight of seriously injured servicemen attempting to recover their lives and their health in a military hospital ward following World War II.
Zinnemann and producer Stanley Kramer used 45 actual, wounded servicemen in the supporting roles, surrounding a small core of professional actors including Brando, Jack Webb (of “Dragnet” fame), Everett Sloane and DeForest Kelley (Dr. McCoy on “Star Trek”). Teresa Wright plays Brando’s estranged fiancee.
The film was written directly for the screen by Carl Foreman, whose later Hollywood scripting credits would include “High Noon” (1952) and “The Bridge on the River Kwai”(1957).
“The Weyauwega Film Festival organizers have asked me each year to come up with a classic film from the studio era that was considered ground-breaking or controversial for its time,” Rhodes said, noting that his prior selections have included John Frankenheimer’s “Seconds,” starring Rock Hudson, and David Miller’s “Midnight Lace,” starring Doris Day.
“This year’s choice, an unflinching look at the realities of a military hospital ward, is as timely as some of our recent newspaper headlines about this persistent medical and administrative situation,” Rhodes said. “This little-seen movie packs a considerable punch into its brief running time of 85 minutes.”