The wartime drama Hell to Eternity
(1960) is divided into three chronological segments and is based on the experiences of the real Guy Gabaldon (played as an adult by Jeffrey Hunter
, and as a boy by Richard Eyer
). In the first segment, Guy is a homeless waif without many prospects when he is adopted by a Japanese-American family. He grows up just in time to be drafted into battle in World War II -- the bombing of Pearl Harbor has a particularly devastating effect on his family and their friends. After a wild last fling with two buddies (David Janssen
and Vic Damone) and some women, Guy heads off to war where he distinguishes himself because of his fluency in Japanese.