Joe Dante on

The Red Badge of Courage

Released 1951
Distributor MGM

Audie Murphy goes back to war and doesn’t like it. Still the best film version of Stephen Crane’s classic Civil War saga despite being metaphorically dragged from the back of a truck by MGM. Murphy reportedly offered to buy the picture back from MGM and let Huston re-edit it, but it was not to be. Lillian Ross’s devastating, essential reportage on the unmaking of this film can can be ordered here.

About Joe Dante

Joe Dante is a lifelong film buff who turned his obsession into a career. He got his start cutting trailers for Roger Corman and later directed the hit movie Gremlins, as well as Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Innerspace and Small Soldiers for producer Steven Spielberg. His feature films include The Howling, Piranha, Matinee, The ‘burbs , Looney Tunes Back in Action, The Hole (first winner of the 3D Persol Award at the Venice Film Festival) and the zom-com Burying the Ex. His TV directing work includes: Police Squad, Amazing Stories, the HBO film The Second Civil War, the Masters of Horror titles Homecoming and The Screwfly Solution, and episodes of Eerie, Indiana, CSI: NY, Hawaii 5-0, Witches of East End, Legends of Tomorrow and Salem. His latest big screen credit is an episode of the upcoming Nightmare Cinema.