Monday, October 14, 2013

What’s The Red Badge of Courage Got to Do with The Twilight Zone? Plenty! Watch “The Hunt,” with Arthur Hunnicutt and Jeanette Nolan

Re-posted by Nicholas Stix

My boy and I watched John Huston’s The Red Badge of Courage again tonight. We’d first seen it three years ago, when he was 10. The occasion for watching it again was that he had had to read it for his class in communism, er, humanities/social studies, and write a paper on courage in Crane’s novel and another Civil War novel I’d never heard of, Shades of Grey.

By the way, the studio supposedly butchered Badge, but you could’ve fooled me. It’s a minor masterpiece, and the best performance I’ve ever seen from Audie Murphy. Since the picture only runs 69 minutes, the studio must have cut it, but it must have cut entire scenes, because the scenes that are there, all make powerful sense.

Arthur Hunnicutt plays an older Union soldier, but it was a variation on the same rustic type he always played, as the successor to Gabby Hayes. At one point, Hunnicutt’s character, Bill Porter, says he’d never gone anywhere without his dog before.

Watch “The Hunt” just below, and then tell me that it’s a mere coincidence that Earl Hamner Jr. would write a script about a man who wouldn’t go anywhere without his dog, starring Hunnicutt. Even if you mistakenly disagree with me, it’s a beautiful story. I'd only seen it once, a good 40 years ago, and yet I almost perfectly remembered the second half.

Oh, and keep some Kleenex handy, just in case.

“The Hunt” first aired on January 26, 1962.

Full credits.



A big thank you to GNUTresurrected, for the beautiful upload.


Anonymous said...

I had always thought Crane had actually lived the events as described in the "Red Badge" but no, he had not. Nonetheless it seems to be a pretty accurate description of what occurred. Well done.

Nicholas said...

When Badge was published, Civil War veterans reportedly praised Crane for its realistic character. While Crane hadn’t even been born yet, consider that having been born only six years after the war ended, he had grown up surrounded by Civil War veterans and their war stories, and was an ardent student of the war.

David In TN said...

"The Red Badge of Courage" film was on TCM last night as part of a John Huston night. As you wrote, the 69-minute film scene by scene seems to be a complete story as is.

You might say the only thing missing is you don't hear the REAL Rebel Yell. On the internet there is a film clip of 80-year old Confederate veterans giving the Rebel Yell provided by the Smithsonian.

When Audie Murphy died, I recall a tribute by Bill Mauldin, his costar in Red Badge. Murphy caused Huston to re-write Stephen Crane. There is a scene where Murphy tells Mauldin, "I ran away." Mauldin wrote something like, "The man who killed hundreds of German soldiers says he ran from battle and Murphy refused to say this "to a rear echelon ink-slinger."

So Huston wrote Mauldin's character admitting to running himself.

Nicholas said...


I was unaware of that. Thanks for the story.

David In TN said...


I just found Bill Mauldin's piece he wrote for Life Magazine when Audie Murphy died.

Google: "A Tribute to Audie Murphy By Bill Mauldin." It's at "Life, June 11, 1971 Google Book Result.

Mauldin described Audie Murphy as "A lonely, angry, wary little bobcat of a man." The whole thing is worth reading.

Murphy had reason to be wary, According to director Bud Boetticher, ever "drunk, bully, and frustrated athlete in Los Angeles" would try to pick a fight with the war hero. Invariably, Murphy would beat them to a pulp. He was very adept with his hands as well as with firearms.

Nicholas said...

Thanks again, David! What a beautiful tribute. So, Bill Mauldin could write, too.

Yeah, that's the nation we were born into, the nation that beat the Gerries and the Japs in the same war, and performed a thousand other wondrous feats.

David In TN said...

On Tuesday December 8, at 12:45 PM ET, TCM is showing The Gun Runners (1958). This is one of my favorite Audie Murphy films. The Gun Runners was the third film made from Hemingway's To Have and Have Not. The first remake was The Breaking Point (1950) with John Garfield.

Along with Murphy, The Gun Runners has Eddie Albert as the villain and character actor Everett Sloane in the Walter Brennan role from the Bogart film. Don Siegel directed.