Literature: From Here to Eternity

Well, what am I? I'm a private no-class dogface. The way most civilians look at that, that's two steps up from nothin'.
Robert E. Lee "Prew" Prewitt
Soldiers enjoy some typical R&R During the War.

A 1952 novel by James Jones, From Here to Eternity was based on his experiences serving in World War II. It was adapted into a film in 1953, a miniseries in 1979 and a TV Show in 1980. The film version, directed by Fred Zinnemann and staring an All-Star Cast including Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra and Deborah Kerr, remains the most iconic of these productions. It won eight Oscars in its year, including Best Picture.

The 1953 film is also famous for a certain scene involving Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, and a beach. It's an iconic bit, and new viewers may be surprised to discover that it's only three seconds long.

In 1941, a few short months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Private Robert E. Lee "Prew" Prewitt is transferred to the nearby Schofield Barracks in Honolulu. His CO at Company G, Captain Holmes, learns that Prewitt was a Boxer and tries to recruit him for the Unit’s Boxing Club. When Prewitt refuses, Holmes decides to make the new recruit’s life a living hell.

Other characters in the story include Prewitt’s buddy and only supporter on base, Angelo Maggio; Holmes’s wife Karen and her lover, Sgt. Warden; Prewitt's girlfriend, "nightclub hostess" Alma; and Staff Sgt. Fatso Judson, the brutish stockade guard who becomes Magglio's tormentor.

See also The Thin Red Line which features similar characters based on James Jones' real life experiences, including Private Witt, appropriately enough for a subsequent novel.

The Film and Book contains examples of:


Alternative Title(s):

From Here To Eternity