Made in 1974, The Execution Of Private Slovik is, as the title suggests, about the execution of a soldier, in this case the only person put to death by the US military for desertion since the Civil War. Martin Sheen plays Eddie Slovik, who is initially ineligible for the draft due to his criminal past, but as the war drags on and the need for soldiers gets more desperate, gets called up.
While his wife tries to get him out of the army, he’s forced into a rifle unit, which may not be the best place for him as he doesn’t like gun. Once in Europe he quickly decides the front line isn’t the place for him, as he’s too terrified and becomes paralysed while under enemy fire. After a short time AWOL, which the army overlooks, he’s told he’ll be sent back to the frontline. Slovik refuses to go, saying he can only take an assignment back from the front line as he’s a bad frontline soldier and will just be a liability to his unit. His decision to make a stand leads to a court martial and the ultimate sentence. [Read more...]