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Halls of Montezuma (1951)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 1951 (Chile)
A company of Marines races against the clock to find a Japanese rocket base.



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Complete credited cast:
Lt. Anderson
Pigeon Lane (as Walter {Jack} Palance)
Sgt. Johnson
Lt. Col. Gilfillan
Pretty Boy
Don Hicks ...
Lt. Butterfield
Correspondent Dickerman
Sgt. Zelenko
Philip Ahn ...


The Marines attack a strongly held enemy island in the Pacific. We follow them from the beach to a Japanese rocket site through enemy infested jungle as their ex-school teacher leader is transformed into a battle veteran and his squad becomes a tight fighting unit. Written by Derek Picken <dpicken@email.msn.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rocket | island | beach | battle | jungle | See All (88) »


Action with the Battling Leathernecks! See more »


Action | Adventure | Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

1951 (Chile)  »

Also Known As:

Okinawa  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


'The Hollywood Reporter' announced on 11 January 1951 that during the San Francisco premiere of this movie, a full company of new US Marines would be sworn-in at a special military ceremony at the film's launch. See more »


After Anderson sees Pretty Boy was shot dead, he stands up and shoulders his rifle under his arm, but the next camera shot shows his rifle behind his arm. See more »


Sgt. Randolph Johnson: Wasn't there a comment by your General Sherman about war?
Lt. Butterfield: Yeah, he said, "War is Hell." What did he know, that eight-ball never left the States.
See more »


Referenced in Full Metal Jacket (1987) See more »


Marines' Hymn
Music from the "Gendarmes' Duet" from the opera "Geneviève de Brabant"
Written by Jacques Offenbach
Sung over the opening credits
Also played during the first landing
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User Reviews

Spiking Those Rockets
31 August 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I was surprised that Halls of Montezuma was not an adapted play since a great deal of the action takes place in a cave that serves as a battalion headquarters where Colonel Richard Boone is trying to extract information from prisoners.

That in itself wasn't easy because the Japanese were not known for surrendering. Boone gives an order to try and take prisoners on this landing on an unnamed Pacific island.

Richard Widmark's company finds a few of them and it's a rough go and several members of Widmark's command die in the mission. The Japanese are firing a lot of rockets from a hill and the bombing from planes doesn't do any good. Before the big push towards that hill can be made those rockets have to be dealt with.

A lot of promising young players from 20th Century Fox were in Widmark's platoon like Robert Wagner, Jack Palance, Richard Hylton, Skip Homeier, Martin Milner. Some make it and some don't. There are several flashback sequences showing these guys in their civilian lives and earlier in the war.

At the headquarters there's also quite an assortment, Jack Webb a war correspondent, Philip Ahn an articulate Japanese prisoner who is a baseball player in civilian life and looking decidedly out of place there is the urbane Reginald Gardiner replete with cigarette holder. He's along for the ride because he's an expert on Japanese culture and psychology and speaks the language.

Halls of Montezuma is a good, not a great war film. Three performances do stand out. Karl Malden as the veterinarian now serving as a medic and career marine Bert Freed and his sergeant Neville Brand.

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