THE STORY OF G.I. JOE (1945) B/W 109m dir: William A. Wellman
w/Burgess Meredith, Robert Mitchum, Freddie Steele, Wally Cassell, Jimmy Lloyd, Jack Reilly, William Murphy, William Self, Dick Rich, Billy Benedict
From The Movie Guide: "This story of the greatest of America's WWII combat correspondents, Ernie Pyle, immortalizes the man who celebrated the common soldier in his dispatches and books (Brave Men and Here is Your War). As the film begin, Pyle (Burgess Meredith) catches up with a tired platoon of infantrymen in Italy, observing and comforting them as they fight through town after town, enduring death, misery, boredom, and fear. Leading the platoon is Lt. Walker (Robert Mitchum), a tough but likable officer who is respected and admired by his men. The film has no real story, only the consistent wearing down of the men through combat and fatigue. Meredith is superb, conveying the humanity and caring of Pyle, but it is Mitchum, in a star-making performance, who steals the show. This great picture had the full cooperation of Pyle, who was killed in the South Pacific before seeing THE STORY OF G.I. JOE."
From Now Playing, A Viewer's Guide to Turner Classic Movies: "TCM presents the world television premiere of a newly restored version of director William Wellman's The Story of G.I. Joe (1945). This World War II drama, unseen on television for 20 years, stars Burgess Meredith as celebrated Scripps Howard war correspondent Ernie Pyle, with Oscar-nominated Robert Mitchum in his breakthrough role as the commander of a unit whose struggles Pyle is documenting. It is said that many veterans consider Wellman's depiction of day-to-day military life to be the most realistic in the history of movies. Pyle, who acted as technical advisor on the film, was killed by an enemy sniper shortly before its release."
The film was nominated for two Oscars: Best Supporting Actor (Mitchum) and Screenplay (Leopold Atlas, Guy Endore, Philip Stevenson).