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To Hell and Back

To Hell and Back

4.5 8
Director: Jesse Hibbs,

Cast: Audie Murphy, Susan Kohner, Marshall Thompson


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The highly variable Audie Murphy delivers his best screen performance as "himself" in Universal's To Hell and Back. Based on the star's autobiography, this is the story of how Murphy became America's most-decorated soldier during WW II. After dwelling a bit on Murphy's hard-scrabble Texas upbringing, the story moves ahead to 1942, when, as a teenager, Audie


The highly variable Audie Murphy delivers his best screen performance as "himself" in Universal's To Hell and Back. Based on the star's autobiography, this is the story of how Murphy became America's most-decorated soldier during WW II. After dwelling a bit on Murphy's hard-scrabble Texas upbringing, the story moves ahead to 1942, when, as a teenager, Audie joined the army. Within a year, he was a member of the 7th Army, serving in North Africa, Italy, France and ultimately Germany and Austria. One by one, the members of Murphy's Company B are killed in the war, until only three men from the original company are left (the others appear at the finale as ghostly images, a standard visual cliché of 1950s war films). The bulk of the film is given over to Murphy's conspicuous acts of combat bravery, and his killing of 240 enemy soldiers. Highlighted by excellent battle sequences, To Hell and Back is a serviceable tribute to a most complex individual.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
World War II hero Audie L. Murphy (1924-1971) portrays himself in this 1955 motion picture based on his 1949 autobiography. Although the film delivers the guts and the glory, it comes up short on character development. Scriptwriter Gil Doud and director Jesse Hibbs certainly had good material. Here was the puny son of Texas sharecropping parents who dropped out of school to help support his family. Rejected when he attempted to enlist in the Navy and the Marines, he finally qualified for the Army in 1942 when he was 18. Then he served in Africa and Europe, earning more awards -- including the Congressional Medal of Honor -- than any other soldier in American history. While depicting these facts, the film fails to fathom the psyche that drives the quiet, self-effacing Murphy to perform Herculean deeds on the battlefield, including killing or wounding 240 enemy soldiers. Nor does the film develop any of the supporting characters. Too bad it did not follow the example set in 1953 by the Oscar-winning war film From Here to Eternity, based on ex-soldier James Jones' novel of war. Nevertheless, To Hell and Back did remarkably well at the box office, thanks to its battle sequences, the popularity of the likable Murphy, and the public's appetite for shoot-'em-up patriotic flicks (like the films of John Wayne). The acting of Murphy and the supporting cast -- including David Janssen, Jack Kelly, Paul Picerni, Marshall Thompson, and Charlie Drake -- is satisfactory but in no way exceptional.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Universal Studios

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Audie Murphy Himself
Susan Kohner Maria
Marshall Thompson Johnson
Charles Drake Brandon
Jack Kelly Kerrigan
Gregg Palmer Lieutenant Manning
David Janssen Lieutenant Lee
Paul Picerni Valentino
Richard Castle Kovak
Art Aragon Sanchez
Felix Noriego Swope
Brett Halsey Saunders
Bruce Cowling Captain Marks
Paul Langton Colonel Howe
Julian Upton Steiner
Mary Field Mrs. Murphy
Denver Pyle Thompson
John Bryant Jim
Gordon Geberl Audie Murphy as a boy
Barbara James Cleopatra
Howard Price Truck Driver
Anabel Shaw Helen
Nan Boardman Maria's Mother
Alexander Campbell Rector
Maria Costi Julia
Ashley Cowan Scottish soldier
Edna Holland Mrs. Houston
Don Kennedy Marine Recruit Sergeant
Henry Kulky Stack
Rankin Mansfield Dr. Snyder
Madge Meredith Corinne
Mort Mills Soldier
John M. Pickard M.P.
Didi Ramati Carla
Ralph Sanford Chief Petty Officer
Howard Wright Mr. Houston
Rand Brooks Lt. Harris

Technical Credits
Jesse Hibbs Director
Alexander Golitzen Art Director
Leslie I. Carey Sound/Sound Designer
Robert Clatworthy Art Director
Edward A. Curtiss Editor
Gil Doud Screenwriter
Russell A. Gausman Set Decoration/Design
Joseph E. Gershenson Musical Direction/Supervision
Maury Gertsman Cinematographer
Henry Mancini Score Composer
Audie Murphy Co-producer,Original Story
Aaron Rosenberg Producer
Tom Shaw Asst. Director
Bud Westmore Makeup


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To Hell and Back 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
MRansom More than 1 year ago
this was a wonderful story about audie murphywho portrayed himself in the movie. he was just a young country boy when his mom died and he wanted to take care of his brother and sister. he was persuaded that a life in the military whould be the best way to support them. he served with the 3rd infantry division in africa, sicily and europe. he didnt want the rank but he became an excellent leader of men and won a battlefied promotion and wanted to make the military a career. he was wounded and the wound was bad enough that he couldnt stay in the military. he became the most decorated gi in ww ii and in history.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Some things were changed; some, left out, but overall an excellent retelling of Murphys' life and career. His military history is amazing. 'Winning' more medals than any other person in WWII. That, alone, makes him a phenom. But, how he did it, when, and why, is even more engrossing. This movie tells a lot...not all, but, a lot, about what and how he did it. Excellent casting;(he chose one performer himself) good location scenes; very good dialogue; better thatn average performances by most involved. This was/is an excellent movie for Murphy buffs. If you like war movies, or Murphy, you'll like this one. Also, kudos to B&N for the quick way they got the movie to me after I ordered it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Audie Murphy is one of our greatest war heroes. As you can clearly see in this movie, he was a very brave and humble man. He deserves our praise. I watch this movie at least once a year. Everyone should see this, it will make you appreciate what our armed forces do for our freedom!
Guest More than 1 year ago
No one can do what he did...this movie is the best that their can ever be...it me cry and think about joining about the Army...I suggest that you watch this movie for your own good!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This true life Texan showed real courage. This story should be shown to kids all over the U.S. about unselfish acts. Acts that at the age of 19 are not very common.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this movie. I watch it everytime it is on. This is one movie I want to see on DVD very soon. To Hell and Back is one of those rare movies that everyone needs to see. Absolutley spectacular.