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The Naked and the Dead Details


Despite an ad campaign wherein RKO Radio congratulated itself for its "guts", this long-delayed film version of Norman Mailer's bestselling WW2 novel The Naked and the Dead still had to pull most of its punches (especially when it came to four-letter words). Aldo Ray heads the cast as sadistic sergeant Croft, who'd as soon kill one of his own men as he would the Japanese. Sensitive, moralistic Lieutenant Hearn (Cliff Robertson) tries to put a leash on Croft, but he's ordered to keep out of the situation by psychotic General Cummings (Raymond Massey), who is convinced that soldiers will fight harder the more they hate their superiors. The film wavers uncomfortably between excessive violence and excessive moralizing, with time out for a few ill-conceived slapstick setpieces (including an outsized barroom brawl) and romantic interludes with such zaftig beauties as stripteaser Lili (Lili St. Cyr) and good-time girl Mildred (Barbara Nichols). In one of his first film appearances, comedian Joey Bishop plays Pvt. Roth, whose reaction to Sgt. Croft's relentless anti-semitism culminates in a spectacular death scene. Distribution of The Naked and the Dead was taken over from the failing RKO Radio operation by Warner Bros., who also changed the name of the film's widescreen process from SuperScope to WarnerScope. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Aldo Ray
as Sgt. Croft
Cliff Robertson
as Lt. Hearn
Raymond Massey
as Gen. Cummings
Barbara Nichols
as Mildred
Richard Jaeckel
as Gallagher
James Best
as Rhidges
Joey Bishop
as Roth
Jerry Paris
as Goldstein
Robert Gist
as Red
L.Q. Jones
as Wilson
Casey Adams
as Co. Dalleson
Henry Amargo
as Julio Martinez


Raoul Walsh
Norman Mailer
Book Author
Denis Sanders
Terry Sanders
Joseph La Shelle
Bernard Herrmann
Composer (Music Score)
Bernard Herrmann
Musical Direction/Supervision