The Way Ahead


Action / Drama / War


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June 05, 2015 at 11:24 PM



David Niven as Lt. Jim Perry
Peter Ustinov as Rispoli - Cafe Owner
Trevor Howard as Officer on Ship
William Hartnell as Sgt. Ned Fletcher
720p 1080p
813.37 MB
24.000 fps
1hr 55 min
P/S 2 / 6
1.84 GB
24.000 fps
1hr 55 min
P/S 2 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bkoganbing 8 / 10

An Excellent and Unusual British Wartime Picture

The version of The Way Ahead that I have is one that was edited for the American market and has a narration by US war correspondent Quentin Reynolds. It was his narration that sets the stage for a wartime tribute to the civilians who volunteered for king and country at a time of their nation's greatest peril.

When war in Europe was declared David Niven was one of the British stars in America that went back to serve. Since he had been in the army before taking up acting, he was able to secure a commission. For a good deal of the war he was a training officer and really was drilling the men as we see on Salisbury plain. Some of his time was spent in the commandos in missions to Europe. And he was released to make wartime films Spitfire and The Way Ahead.

The script was written by a 21 year old actor/playwright named Peter Ustinov who has a small role in the film. According to a new biography of Niven in order to secure Ustinov's service, enlisted man Ustinov was attached to officer Niven as his orderly.

A whole lot of faces familiar in the British cinema appeared in The Way Ahead, people like Stanley Holloway, Jimmy Hanley, James Donald, Leo Genn, and Trevor Howard. And it was directed in good style by Carol Reed, one of his earliest films.

One big flaw in the film was that the men who trained with officer Niven and sergeant William Hartnell ended up serving with him in North Africa. Not possible in America and not possible in the UK either. But since the idea was to show camaraderie, I guess that Two Cities Films can be forgiven.

The point of the film and of Quentin Reynolds narration is that in time of peril it is the democracies and not those totalitarian countries with a superman philosophy who have the real strength of character. May it ever be so.

Reviewed by mowens1 10 / 10


Having lived in England at the time this movie depicts, I can attest to the absolute authenticity of its content. The characters were those I met every day during those awful years of turmoil. I am also advised by my husband, an ex-paratrooper, that this movie was used as a training film for all recruits, because of its strict adherence to actual army conditions in those days. The main joy for me in watching this film is the group of actors who were so familiar to all of us during those years. From Stanley Holloway (later so famous as Eliza Doolittle's father) to Jimmy Hanley, the handsome, easy-going boy-next door, and all the others in that wonderful ensemble cast - they all appeared in many different movies and were always welcomed as old friends whenever we saw them on the screen.

Reviewed by ubercommando 8 / 10

Best war movie made in the 2nd World War

I really can't understand some of the more negative comments from some reviewers from the USA about this movie. For me, it is far superior to equivalent American wartime propaganda movies (including enjoyable but hardly realistic efforts such as 7 Graves To Cairo and Sahara), and made and acted by a British cast who were serving servicemen as well (unlike a certain J. Wayne or H. Bogart). Carol Reed gives us on the surface a cliche ridden movie but his gritty visual style which would become his trademark plus a script that still gives depth to a by now familiar concept lift this way above other movies made at the time.

The soldiers don't look pristine and for most of the time, don't act heroically until the last 5 minutes. They're not an elite unit (as in Sands of Iwo Jima), they grumble, complain and stagger their way to the front lines but nor are they goofballs, pranksters or loveable rogues. They are ordinary men in difficult times, which was what the film makers wanted to show. They are not all broad stereotypes either; some, like the characters Davenport or Brewer, may on the surface seem like the upper class toff and the cheeky cockney but again, the way they interplay with the rest of the cast, they become more than just representatives of their class.

For an old war movie, I was impressed with the action. Early on, when the two old soldiers are talking about how much better it was in the army in their day, we get a juxtaposed montage of David Niven in training, showing how hard it is. A lot of the burning troop ship shots are done hand held, which adds to the tension. The Tunisia scenes look very authentic and see how Reed indulges in rapid cutting, disorienting explosions and run down and dirty art direction. The only film that comes close to achieving this kind of grittiness in the war years is "Guadalcanal Diary".

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