RARE Horror and Science Fiction Thrillers
The Execution of Private Slovik
A must see (and read) for anyone interested in WWII or the conflict each dogface must have experienced on the front lines. It is amazing to me how out of 40,000 deserters, 49 of which were sentenced to death, only ONE was executed. Indeed, the only one since the Civil War. What was so "special" about Eddie Slovik? The movie follows true to the excellent book by William Bradford Huie and Martin Sheen's performance is a study in reserved pain. He doesn't shout with indignation when sentence is conferred upon him. Rather, he takes it "in stride" as just another bit of dumb luck he has experienced his whole life. Snatched from the only good thing his short life ever provided, his wife Antoinette, after being reassured he would not be drafted was a cruel joke played upon a guy who was made to suffer cruelties all his life. I am not going to sit in judgment on his decision to confess to desertion. Hey, my dad faught in that war, you just can't have everyone deciding they are not going to fight. My argument is with the system that drafted this guy in the first place and the system that made him unique in the execution of sentence. Was Eddie Slovik the worst case of desertion in the entire war? I highly recommend this film and book. The book is out of print but Amazon found me a copy and I just finished reading it. I wish the film was available on tape but it isn't. I saw the movie on the "Encore" channel about a month ago after first seeing it on TV in 1974. It hasn't lost a thing. If you get a chance to see it, please do so, you won't believe how moving this story is.
Actors: Martin Sheen, Mariclare Costello, Ned Beatty, Gary Busey, Matt Clark Run Time: 120 minutes Year; 1974