Eight Iron Men (1952) Bonar Colleano, Arthur Franz, Lee Marvin, Richard Kiley, Nick Dennis, James Griffith, Dickie Moore, George Cooper, Barney Phillips, Robert Nichols Movie Review

Eight Iron Men (1952)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Bonar Colleano, Lee Marvin and Richard Kiley in Eight Iron Men (1952)

Saving Private Small

Wet and tired a group of GI's find themselves within hours of moving out after news makes it down the line that they are to be replaced. But they face conflict as one of their guys is pinned down in the street outside by a German machine gunner and they have been told that rather than risk more lives they are to leave him there. For Sgt. Joe Mooney (Lee Marvin) he arrived there with eight men and he plans to leave with the same eight men.

With its heritage being a stage play it is little surprise that "Eight Iron Men" is a wordy movie which is likely going to appeal to those who enjoy movies which rely on dialogue over visuals. As such whilst the set up to "Eight Iron Men" sees a man pinned down in a watery fox hole in the middle of a street what you really get is a collection of characters and the way they react to each other in a stressful situation. As such you have the fast talking wise guy Pvt. Collucci who always has a wise crack, the more fearful Pvt. Coke who has a bad feeling as well as other characters including the weary Sgt. Joe Mooney. Unfortunately for me the dialogue heavy nature of "Eight Iron Men" wore out its welcome even before the first 30 minutes were up and wanted more than the interactions of these men as they deal with the feelings for a squad member.

Now there is more to "Eight Iron Men" as we some times get to see their dreams and fantasies which tend to be about women and the right girl. It is a kind of curious subplot although it certainly peps things up visually thanks to the various attractive actresses who appear in these daydreams.

The thing is that each of the main actors certainly bring the unique qualities of their characters to life especially Bonar Colleano who brings plenty of humour to the movie with his wise cracks and ducking and diving attitude. And you can tell these men were well rehearsed as the dialogue fires between the men in a rapid fashion, in fact you could say it is too slick as it just doesn't ring true.

What this all boils down to is that "Eight Iron Men" is a movie of entertaining characters played by actors who weren't yet major stars. But it is a movie which is not only dialogue heavy but that dialogue is so slick it doesn't ring true.