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Hell to Eternity
Hell to Eternity
Actors: Jeffrey Hunter, David Janssen, Vic Damone, Patricia Owens, Richard Eyer
Director: Phil Karlson
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Military & War
NR     2007     2hr 12min

Tells the true story of Guy Gabaldon whose ability to speak Japanese helped him convince eight hundred Japanese soldiers to surrender after the capture of Saipan. — Genre: Feature Film-Drama — Rating: NR — Release Date: 5-JUN...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Jeffrey Hunter, David Janssen, Vic Damone, Patricia Owens, Richard Eyer
Director: Phil Karlson
Creators: Burnett Guffey, George White, Irving H. Levin, Lester A. Sansom, Gil Doud, Ted Sherdeman, Walter Roeber Schmidt
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Classics, Military & War
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Black and White - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/05/2007
Original Release Date: 08/01/1960
Theatrical Release Date: 08/01/1960
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 2hr 12min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 6
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French

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Movie Reviews

Hell To Eternity: Hatred Is A Three-Edged Sword
Martin Asiner | jersey city, nj United States | 06/20/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Most movies about the Second World War either deal with brave men performing heroically as expected or less heroic men doing the unexpected. In HELL TO ETERNITY the focus is on a man who is neither brave nor cowardly. He is no Henry Fleming dreaming of great exploits. Rather he is a man driven by hate for the same people whom earlier he had once called his own. He is Guy Gabaldon, a real life U. S. Marine who won several decorations for valor fighting the Japanese on Saipan.
The movie begins with Gabaldon as a boy living in a troubled street in Los Angeles. He is homeless, friendless, and more than a little filled with rage at a world that has no place for a poor boy of mixed Hispanic origin. A Japanese family sees worth in him, and much as Don Corleone did with Tom Hagen in THE GODFATHER, agree to take him in and raise him as one of their own. The adult Gabaldon is played by Jeffrey Hunter, who has the uneviable task of playing Gabaldon at varying times in a psychologically varying condition. Gabaldon learns to speak fluent Japanese and his face beams with delight as he addresses his adopted matriarch as 'Mama-san.' Life in the United States is indeed sweet, at least until Pearl Harbor, when he is swept up into the maelstrom of war. He does not relish the thought of fighting his adopted people, and he suffers greatly from the image of shooting at Japanese soldiers. During his initial introduction to training, he is befriended by a pre-Fugitive David Janssen, who shows him the ropes of being a soldier. Gabaldon learns to count on Janssen as a soldier, a friend, savior. During a vicious battle, Gabaldon sees Janssen gunned down right in front of him, and at that point, his world view is turned upside down. He now hates the Japanese with a ferocity that amazes even his friends. He uses his fluency in Japanese to lure them out of their lairs, and he guns them down by the hundreds. His hate drives him on until he meets a Japanese officer played by the immensely dignified Sessue Hayakawa, whose personal bravery restores Gabaldon's emotional equilibrium.
HELL TO ETERNITY is the rare war movie whose focus on killing is not to showcase either the fighting skills of the individual soldier or to build a national sense of patriotism and warlike fervor. Instead, director Phil Karlson uses the confusing images of war to mirror the equally confusing turmoil of one man who is called on to shift mental gears once too often."
The Marine who inspired the movie Hell To Eternity
Rogelio C. Rodriguez | Placentia, CA USA | 09/07/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Hell to Eternity depicts an unconventional manner of battling the enemy. A young Marine utilizes his foreign language skills in Japanese that he learned from his adopted family to influence and convince the enemy to surrender. This is a great WWII movie that shows a humanistic point of view of the war in the South Pacific.
This movie was insipred by a real-life Marine, Guy Gabaldon , a Mexican-American Marine from East Los Angeles. PFC Gabaldon " Maverick Marine" was credited with the capture of 1500 Japanese soldiers. He was initially awarded the Silver Star then later upgraded to the Navy Cross. Efforts have been made to petion for him to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
More interesting reading can be found in Guy Gabaldon's autobiography book "Saipan, Suicide Island"."
Based on fact WW2 drama
Seen Them All | SoCal Desert | 03/04/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is the story of Guy Gabaldon, an Hispanic juvenile, who is "adopted" by a Japanese family in Los Angeles before WW2. Growing up he learns to love and respect his "parents", their lifestyle, and to speak their language. When the family is sent off to an internment camp, Guy joins the Marine Corps. He is torn between the love of his parents and love of country. During the battle of Saipan he convinces hundreds of Japanese soldiers to surrender thus saving many lives, both Marines and Japanese. Based on the true life actions of Marine Hero Guy Gabaldon. Pretty good story and worth watching."
Life is a struggle and war is hell, a different perspective
Nora Roy | Glendale, AZ | 08/22/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Hell to eternity is a touching film, Jeffrey Hunter plays a young man with a poor home life who is adopted by a Japanese family prior to WWII. He is surrounded by people decrying the "japs" and endures a struggle of conscience. The only goodness and kindness he has ever experienced in his life was the gift of this Japanese family. His adopted family is placed in a relocation camp and his adopted brother proudly goes off to fight for the U.S. but he is left to struggle with his identity. He eventually does go to fight for the U.S. It is nice to see a different perspective, not all "Japs" are bad, war is never easy and a person must make a moral choice."