Immortal Sergeant

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Immortal Sergeant
Directed by John M. Stahl
Produced by Lamar Trotti
Written by Lamar Trotti
Based on Immortal Sergeant 
by John Brophy
Starring Henry Fonda
Maureen O'Hara
Thomas Mitchell
Music by David Buttolph
Cinematography Arthur Miller
Edited by James B. Clark
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s)
  • January 11, 1943 (1943-01-11) (United States)
Running time 91 mins.
Country United States
Language English

Immortal Sergeant is a 1943 American war film set in the North African desert during World War II. It stars Henry Fonda as a corporal lacking in confidence in both love and war, Maureen O'Hara as his girlfriend, and Thomas Mitchell as the title character. The film was based on the novel of the same name by John Brophy.

Plot[edit]

In North Africa, experienced Sergeant Kelly (Thomas Mitchell) leads out a British patrol, accompanied by Corporal Colin Spence (Henry Fonda), an unassertive Canadian. When they are attacked by Italian airplanes, they manage to shoot one down, but it crashes on one of their vehicles, killing eight men. Later, Kelly leads the six survivors on an attack of an Italian armored car, but is seriously wounded. He orders Spence to leave him behind; when Spence refuses to obey, he shoots himself.

Spence leads the remaining three men towards an oasis. Before they can reach it though, a transport plane lands and disgorges German soldiers who set up a base. After sneaking in to steal badly needed food and water, Spence has to assert his leadership when one of his men advocates surrendering. Instead, Spence leads them in a surprise attack under the cover of a sandstorm. The British emerge victorious, though one man is killed and Spence is wounded.

The corporal comes to in a Cairo hospital and finds he is to be given a medal and promoted to lieutenant. His newfound assertiveness extends to his personal life. He proposes to his girlfriend Valentine (Maureen O'Hara), whom he had thought of (in flashbacks) throughout his ordeal.

Cast[edit]

  • Henry Fonda as Corporal Colin Spence
  • Thomas Mitchell as Sergeant Kelly
  • Maureen O'Hara as Valentine
  • Allyn Joslyn as Cassity
  • Reginald Gardiner as Benedict
  • Melville Cooper as Pilcher
  • Bramwell Fletcher as Symes
  • Morton Lowry as Cottrell
  • John Banner as Soldier (uncredited)
  • Wilson Benge as Waiter (uncredited)
  • Lane Bradford as Returning Soldier (uncredited)
  • Gordon B. Clarke as Soldier (uncredited)
  • James Craven as NCO (uncredited)
  • Italia DeNubila as Dance Specialty (uncredited)
  • Bess Flowers as Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
  • Bud Geary as Driver (uncredited)
  • Frederick Giermann as Soldier (uncredited)
  • Henry Guttman as Soldier (uncredited)
  • Sam Harris as Party Guest (uncredited)
  • Charles Irwin as NCO (uncredited)
  • Peter Lawford as Soldier (uncredited)
  • Anthony Marsh as Assistant Post Corporal (uncredited)
  • Bob Mascagno as Dance Specialty (uncredited)
  • John Meredith as Soldier (uncredited)
  • Edmund Mortimer as Party Guest (uncredited)
  • Jean Prescott as Minor Role (uncredited)
  • Cyril Ring as Man at Train Depot as Soldiers Depart (uncredited)
  • Donald Stuart as Post Corporal (uncredited)
  • David Thursby as Bren Carrier Driver (uncredited)
  • Leslie Vincent as Runner (uncredited)
  • Hans von Morhart as Soldier (uncredited)
  • Sam Waagenaar as German (uncredited)
  • John Whitney as Soldier (uncredited)
  • Eric Wilton as Headwaiter (uncredited)

External links[edit]