Kings Go Forth
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The first of two films Sinatra made in 1958, Kings Go Forth might be seen as an attempt to capture some of the glory of From Here to Eternity (1953). Both are set during World War II and feature some morally dubious characters, but beyond that, there's not much to link the two.
Sinatra isn't playing a supporting character in Kings Go Forth. Instead he's front and center as Sam Loggins, a lieutenant fighting the Germans in southern France late in the war. With his radio operator buddy Britt Harris (played by Tony Curtis), Loggins makes time for a little high life along the Riviera where he meets and falls in love with French resident Monique (Natalie Wood). Loggins is surprised to learn that Monique is actually a mulatto, even more surprised when she falls in love with Britt. Of course Loggins isn't going to give up so easily, even for a buddy.
Sinatra enlisted several jazz musicians to make appearances in Kings Go Forth, including Red Norvo, Pete Candoli and Mel Lewis. Sinatra himself sang on the soundtrack album but not in the film. Kings Go Forth had something of a literary background since it was based on a novel by Joe David Brown, the author of Paper Moon. The actual screenplay was by Merle Miller, whose biography of Harry S. Truman would become a bestseller in the 1970's. In case you're curious, that's mostly Monterey County, California filling in for France.
Director: Delmer Daves
Producer: Frank Ross
Screenplay: Merle Miller, based on the book by Joe David Brown
Cinematography: Daniel L. Fapp
Editor: William Murphy
Art Direction: Fernando Carrere
Music: Elmer Bernstein
Cast: Frank Sinatra (Lt. Sam Loggins), Tony Curtis (Britt Harris), Natalie Wood (Monique Blair), Leora Dana (Mrs. Blair), Karl Swenson (Colonel).
by Lang Thompson