The cinema : 1952 (1952)

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200 THE CINEMA ends is a gross over-simplication of the novelist's views. Faulkner's statement, coming at a dramatically less vul- nerable moment, is fuller and more specific to the story's particular conflict. A film, being primarily a dramatic medium, does not at any time permit a great deal of direct preaching and, certainly, once its dramatic conflict is re- solved, can accommodate none. As a result Chick's uncle's lines, which are reasonable enough as far as they go, prove in the sober context of the film's story entirely inadequate. IV An attempt to transform a novel's atmosphere and approach by re-seeing its action through a new creative sensibility can be found in Lewis Milestone's film of Harry Brown's novel A Walk in the Sun. Robert Rossen's adaptation retains almost every detail of the story: all the incidents are left intact and only in one respect amplified. Rossen's script expands one of the novel's minor characters and gives him lines which externalize and expand some of the novelist's comments. Windy (John Ireland) is shown at intervals during the film composing letters to his sister and his soliloquies form a sort of chorus to the film's action. It is in these that the film periodically pauses to assess the action which has been shown - and thereby provides Milestone with an oppor- tunity to state his attitude to the film's situations. This, and the recurring ballad heard on the sound-track, give the film a wider perspective which the novel does not attempt. Harry Brown's novel, written while the war was still in progress, is a brief account of an American army platoon's single operation in Italy. It takes place within twelve hours and the military operation (which never shows the enemy) serves as a basis for a study of character rather than as an element of suspense. The characters - about a dozen are