The Way Ahead

Synopsis: A group of conscripts are called up into the infantry during WWII. At first they appear a hopeless bunch but their sergeant and Lieutenant have faith in them and mould them into a good team. When they go into action in N. Africa they realise what it's all about.
Genre: Drama, War
Director(s): Carol Reed
Production: VCI Entertainment
  1 win.
Rotten Tomatoes:
91 min


500 of them stark-naked,

screamin' their heads off, all with spears.

Yes, they weren't very nice, those spears.

Well, they say it's much worse now,

but these young fellas nowadays,

they haven't got the stomach for it.

There's not many has when

it comes to a spear.

Talk sense, man. All I say is, if

there is a war, which God forbid,

then you can say goodbye to England,

home and beauty,

because the young chaps

now, they can't fight.

Hello, Drummer.

Well, what about us?

What about

the Duke of Glendon's Light Infantry, eh?

What about the Dogs?

But you said yourself

the Dogs aren't what they were.

It's all this education and machinery

and goin' to the pictures.

It's all right to have a good regiment

but where are the men to fight in it?

That's the point.

Where are they?

There you are. That ought

to warm 'em up a bit.

International crisis.

I tell you, Fred, things

are getting serious.

Do you know what time I got

home last night? Half past ten.

- Winston's having another go at them upstairs.

- Oh, well, that's something.

You know that fellow Westlake,

National Liberal, Bromwich East?

Do you know how long he went on last night?

Hour and 40 minutes solid.

I know. I know. You're dead right.

It's the third time this week.

I tell you, Fred,

my missus is getting proper fed up.

We're going to have a war.

Right. Let 'em start one now.

Let 'em get on with it. Let us get home

early to our suppers for once in a change.

War? Not a chance of it, madam, not this year.

It's not in anybody's interests, is it, really?

- Passage for California?

- Yes. The end counter over there.

Payable to the Agency, sir.

Just "& Co". No "Limited"

You'll arrive in Benghazi on the 20th...

- Are we likely to run into any sandstorms?

- No, madam.

The Italians haven't been very clever

about their publicity.

Libya's the only unspoiled playground

in the Mediterranean.

War, that's the trouble.

It may start at any moment.

We'd like to do lots of repairs,

but our hands are tied.

- Not when it comes to taking the rent!

- If times were normal,

we'd be giving you a bath with a geyser

and new paint.

I don't want a geyser.

I want the guttering put right.

Drip, drip, drip! It drives you mad.

We can't all be thinking of ourselves

in times like these, Mrs Williams.

And with summer coming on,

it won't bother you so much.

I've only had it six months,

now they're talking about a war.

I won't be able to get any spares. Foreign.

- You may not be able to get any petrol.

- Don't talk silly.

How am I going to get home?

- It's nearly quarter past, Jim.

- Won't be a moment.

You're in a bit of a hurry, aren't you?

- Oh, that again.

- I've got to be at the Drill Hall by half past.

Territorials! Look here, Jimmy boy,

I was in the last lot.

At the War Office.

Nearly ruined my health.

Don't start looking for trouble.

If there is going to be a war,

and if they hadn't told us to keep cool after

Munich, I wouldn't have put new pumps up,

but if there is going to be a war,

the whole place goes over to munitions.

With that knack of yours

and my good management,

why, there'll be a packet

in it for all of us.

Enough for you to buy

that place of your own.

And it's patriotic, too. Hello, Mrs Perry.

Hello, Mr Jackson. Coming, Jim?

- I can't go with my buttons like this.

- Buttons! Listen to him.

A man with your husband's brains

playing at soldiers.

It isn't as if he's got any rifles

or machine guns or any real things.

- But they have, haven't you?

- Of course we have. Hurry up.

The trouble is to get them all clean.

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Eric Ambler

Eric Clifford Ambler OBE (28 June 1909 – 22 October 1998) was an influential British author of thrillers, in particular spy novels, who introduced a new realism to the genre. He also worked as a screenwriter. Ambler used the pseudonym Eliot Reed for books co-written with Charles Rodda. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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