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Dana Andrews in A Walk in the Sun

July 24, 2012

Tags: Dana Andrews, World War II, A Walk in the Sun

I'm participating in the Dana Andrews blogathon at Classic Movie man. I've chosen to discuss his work in A Walk in the Sun. Dana plays a corporal taking over from his sergeant who has broken down under the stress of war. The director, Lewis Milestone, had different actors in mind for this ensemble of soldiers, similar to what he was attempting in The Purple Heart, another WWII film starring Dana Andrews. It was that experience with Dana that made Milestone never waver in his decision to put Dana in the pivotal role of leading the men after their sergeant collapses. Dana's matter of fact nobility is often a feature of his greatest work. Near the end of the film there are unforgettable closeups of Dana as he forges relentlessly ahead--but without the usual heroics and melodrama of war films. If there has ever been a better performance in such a film I don't know what it is.