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Three Brave Men

Three Brave Men(1957)

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The working title of this film was The Chasanow Story. The film opens with the following written prologue: "The story you are about to see is based on a series of Pulitzer Prize winning articles by Anthony Lewis. The characters and names of individuals are our own invention, but the story is basically true. It is a story of moral courage shown under great stress by three individuals-and by an institution. That institution, whose shining deeds on behalf of freedom are written indelibly on the pages of history, is the United States Navy." This prologue is followed by a montage of newspaper headlines and newreels dealing with the spread of Communism. Over these images, a voice-over narrator states that "in this atomic age, the Communist Conspiracy is a matter of grave concern to every American... the government is forced to take drastic steps to combat this conspiracy...early in 1953, a new security program was inaugurated, designed to eliminate all possible risks to the national government while fully protecting the rights of the individual...like all new programs, it had to be tested in action....This is the story of one of the earliest cases, a case which had a profound effect on the future administration of the program."
       According to a 1957 article in Time, Lewis' articles chronicled the travails of Abraham Chasanow, who in 1954, was falsely charged with disloyalty and discharged from the Navy Department after twenty years of faithful service. After several years of appeals, Chasanow's name was finally cleared. This scandal forced the Navy to re-evaluate its security procedures. Studio publicity in the AMPAS file on the film states that it was not specifically Chasanow's story, but was inspired by it, and was filmed with the full cooperation of the Navy Department. A point is made in the picture that Pastor Browning is substituting for the Goldsmiths' rabbi, who is in the hospital. Although Hollywood Reporter news items place Monty O'Grady, William Hughes, Gary Spencer, Fred Fisher and Harry Baum in the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Another Hollywood Reporter news item lists Philip Terry in the cast, but he did not appear in the picture.