The Men

Synopsis: Ex-GI Ken who as a result of a war wound is paralyzed below the waist. In the hospital back home, he passes through an initial period of depression with the help of a sympathetic Dr. Brock and his faithful fiancée Ellen. Ken's bitter isolation is also overcome with the help of his fellow patients, especially the intelligent young cynic Norm, the witty Leo and serious young Angel. Soon Ken throws himself into the work rehabilitation and after a long period of physical therapy even suspects he may regain the use of his limbs. With the approval and help of the doctor, he and Ellen marry, but on their wedding night both have misgivings about the marriage: the full realization of Ellen's new responsibilities frighten her and makes her more uncertain than ever, and Ken reverts to self-pity. There is a violent argument, and he goes back to the hospital. But his blazing anger finds no sympathy from his buddies, and after a surprising conversation with Dr. Brock, Ken realizes that he must retur
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Fred Zinnemann
Production: Columbia Pictures
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
85 min

That was a bad shot,

or else he was impatient.

He must've aimed for my head,

but he got me in the back.

I was scared. I couldn't feel

anything from my waist down.

I thought I was dying.

It's funny.

It's very, very funny.

I was afraid I was gonna die.

Now I'm afraid I'm gonna live.

"Oh, you'll be walking again

in a couple of months,

Lieutenant Wilczek."

How many months?

I've lost count.

But let's keep it gay.

Soldier, repeat after me:

"The war's over now, and I'm

glad I'm still half alive.

I'm a lucky-"

- A fine way to treat a Silver Star.

- Turn the light out.

Good night.

You know how it is.

You read a lot of things.

You hear a lot of things.

You get a lot of misinformation

from people who oughta know better.

Okay, let's summarize

what we've learned.

Paraplegia is the result

of an injury to the spinal cord.

That break in the cord causes

immediate and lasting paralysis...

of motion and feeling

in the lower body.

In general, most paraplegic

patients will, at various times,

suffer all

of the following symptoms:

pain, muscular spasms,

bed sores,

paralysis of the bladder

and bowels.

However, all of these

may and can be controlled...

by medical therapy, surgery,

proper nutrition,

physical rehabilitation

and self-care.

Lastly, the question of walking.

In almost every case, the word

"walk" must be forgotten.

It no longer exists.

In short, most paraplegics...

must content themselves

with life in a wheelchair.

Make yourselves accept that.

It'll make it

a lot easier for them.

Well, I've talked a long time.

Perhaps there are some

questions you'd like to ask.

Doctor, my boy -

he's only 19.

I know.

But with proper care,

he may live to be 90.

Doctor-Brock, is it?

Well, this condition-

there must be some cure.

Paraplegia isn't

a death sentence any longer.

I'm happy to say

that in this hospital...

the mortality rate has been

less than three percent.

I didn't mean that.

I meant the spine injury.

Surely there must be

some way of healing it.

There must be

specialists somewhere.

Madam, there is no method

known to medical science...

for the regeneration

of spinal cord tissue.



my husband and I,

we have a little girl.

We've always wanted

to have a large family,

but now if we could just have

at least one more for the child's sake.

Will it be possible?

Well, that's difficult to say.

In some cases, it is possible.

However, I can't discuss

your husband here.

I'll be happy to meet

with you whenever you say.

Dr. Brock, what about

the bladder and bowels?

How badly are they affected?

Most men find that they're capable

of retraining themselves...

and in time achieving

regularity in these functions.

Any more questions?

Dr. Brock.

We've been married nine years.

I thought my husband and I knew

each other as well as anyone could,

and I want to keep

our marriage going.

But... he's so changed.

He's different.

He isn't different.

He's the same man

with a spinal cord injury.

- But when I try...

- Oh, I know right now he's unhappy.

He's depressed.

He feels himself totally

dependent on others.

He says to himself,

"Im not a man any longer.

I can't make a woman happy."

ls it any wonder he finds it difficult

to adjust to the situation?

But... how long will it take?

Face it

It's going to take time.

It's going to take patience.

For you and for him.

But... will we have

anything in common now?

No more, no less

than you had before.

Dr. Brock,

if you were a woman,

would you marry a paraplegic?

Might as well just ask me

if I want to get married, period.

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Carl Foreman

Carl Foreman, CBE (July 23, 1914 – June 26, 1984) was an American screenwriter and film producer who wrote the award-winning films The Bridge on the River Kwai and High Noon among others. He was one of the screenwriters that were blacklisted in Hollywood in the 1950s because of their suspected Communist sympathy or membership in the Communist Party. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Men" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 1 Feb. 2023. <>.

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