Following a youth blighted by petty crime and two brief spells in prison, Eddie Slovik (Martin Sheen) is paroled in the spring of 1942 and decides to turn his life around by getting a steady job and going straight. Employed by a local plumbing firm, he meets and marries the company's bookkeeper, Antoinette, and the pair begins a period of wedded bliss reassured by the fact that Eddie's criminal record classifies him as unfit for duty in the War raging around the globe. But, completely out of the blue, Eddie is reclassified and is immediately drafted by the US Army, eventually finding himself on his way to the front lines in France. During the journey, an artillery attack separates Eddie and his buddy (Gary Busey) from their unit and results in them taking refuge with a Canadian military police unit.
Finally returning to duty six weeks later, Eddie decides he would rather face a court martial than be forced to fight and, in all likelihood, be killed during the European conflict. Expecting a dishonourable discharge from the army and to be jailed until the end of the war, Eddie delivers a note confessing to being a deserter and stating his intention to run away again if necessary. But, after being taken into custody and placed in the military division's stockade as expected (and desired), Eddie's life takes a tragic turn when the circumstances surrounding his case and the US army's situation in France conspire to seal his fate.
Martin Sheen stars in the compelling told true story of Private Eddie Slovik who, in 1945, became the only American soldier to be executed for desertion since the Civil War. Made by Universal TV and first screened on NBC in 1974, The Execution of Private Slovik was nominated for eight Emmy Awards, including Best Direction for Lamont Johnson, Best Writing in Drama – Adaptation for Richard Levinson and William Link and Best Actor for Martin Sheen. It won two Emmys for Frank Morriss's editing.
The Execution of Private Slovik will get its first ever UK DVD release on 23rd April 2012 from Transition Digital Media at the RRP of £12.99.
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