From Here to Eternity

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Date: 1953

Region: North America

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Film Video


FromHereToEternity.jpg

Artist: James Jones (1921 - 1977), author; Fred Zinnemann (1907 - 1997), film director

Confronting Bodies: The 1950s film censors, the U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee, McCarthyites

Date of Action: 1953

Location: United States

Description of Artwork: James Jones's novel, turned into a film by Fred Zinnemann, From Here to Eternity, portray's the U.S. Army in Hawaii on the eve of World War II. The film is best known for it's scene where Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster are embracing on a Hawaiian beach.

The Incident: Several scenes were removed from Jones's narrative and Zinnemann's production. One, which included a brothel, was turned into a club where soldiers merely drank and danced with women. In another more significant alteration, the 8-year-old son of Kerr's character was removed and replaced by a presentiment of her chastity taken on because of her husband's past infidelities. The filmmakers were reluctant to suggest that Kerr's maternal character would have a love affair.

Results of Incident: The story and subsidiary scenes were altered for the film's production.

Source: The New York Times