Fear and Desire ★★★

"You know, there's nothing so refreshing as an afternoon outdoors in enemy territory." ~ Lieutenant Corby

Four crew members from a plane downed behind enemy lines try to make it back to their own side. They wipe out a cabin of soldiers, encounter a girl (Virginia Leith) returning from fishing, and make a plan to escape on a raft down a river. But the stress gets to Private Sidney (Paul Mazursky). He kills the girl and runs off stark raving mad. Meanwhile, Sergeant Mac (Frank Silvera) becomes obsessed with killing an enemy general.

The other two, Lieutenant Corby (Kenneth Harp) and Private Fletcher (Stephen Coit), attempt to steal a fixed wing plane from the enemy's landing strip. Internal dialog and narration (David Allen) provide insights into the thoughts of the soldiers. If there is a message here, it's how confusing and unreal war is to its participants.

Although this has the feel of a Twilight Zone episode, it's not as mind-twisting as it tries to be. This was writer Howard Sackler's first feature film as well as director Stanley Kubrick's. Both would go on to much more substantial work. Everyone has to start somewhere.

TajLV liked these reviews