To Hell and Back

Audie Murphy was born near Kingston, Texas, June 20, 1924, one of 11 children in a poor sharecropper family abandoned by his father. He enlisted in the Army at age 19, served in the 15th Infantry 3rd Division in North Africa, Italy, southern France and Germany. He and Matt Urban of the 9th Division were awarded 29 decorations, the most of all soldiers in World War II. In the battle of the Colmar pocket Jan. 26, 1945, he saved his platoon by firing a machine gun from a damaged tank, killing 240 Germans, and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor (by Gen. Alexander patch in the field, not by President Truman). He failed in business after the war, made several dozen Hollywood films, was charged with attempted murder in a barroom brawl in 1970, died with 5 others in a plane crash May 28, 1971.
U.S. Postal Service's Distinguished Soldiers series released Nov. 1, 1999


Released 1955 by Universal Pictures, TechniColor, 106 min., mono sound
Directed by Jesse Hibbs
Produced by Aaron Rosenberg
Written by Gil Doud based on the autobiography Audie Murphy
Film Editing by Edward Curtiss
Cinematography by Maury Gertsman
Music by Henry Mancini


Audie Murphy as Audie Murphy
Marshall Thompson as Johnson
Charles Drake as Brandon
Jack Kelly as Kerrigan
Gregg Palmer as Lt. Manning
Paul Picerni as Valentino
David Janssen as Lt. Lee
Richard Castle as Kovak
Bruce Cowling as Captain Marks
Paul Langton as Colonel Howe
Art Aragon as Sanchez
Felix Noriego as Swope
Denver Pyle as Thompson
Brett Halsey as Saunders
Susan Kohner as Maria
Anabel Shaw as Helen
Mary Field as Mrs. Murphy
Julian Upton as Steiner
Gordon Gebert as Young Audie
Gen. Walter Bedell Smith as Introduction


revised 12/5/05 | Film Notes | History Department