A book by James Jones published in 1951 offering a lengthy but beautifully written story about soldiers during World War II.

The story focuses on two main characters, Robert E. Lee Prewitt and Milton Warden, and the events that happen to them during peacetime. The brutal honesty Jones offers about the army was well-received by critics, though controversial to some because of how loaded the 856-page novel was with sex and violence. Jones was a WWII veteran himself and wanted to relate some of the experiences he had, both good and bad, to the interested reader.

The movie version starred Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr and Montgomery Clift. The most famous scene from the film is when Kerr and Lancaster make a little whoopie on a Hawaiian beach. This scene has been spoofed a number of times- perhaps most notably in “The Seven Year Itch” and “Airplane.”