The Steel Helmet (1951)

Approved  |   |  Action, Drama, War  |  2 February 1951 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 2,453 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 37 critic

A ragtag group of American stragglers battles against superior Communist troops in an abandoned Buddhist temple during the Korean War.



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Complete credited cast:
Gene Evans ...
Robert Hutton ...
Steve Brodie ...
James Edwards ...
Richard Loo ...
Richard Monahan ...
Pvt. Baldy
William Chun ...
Harold Fong ...
Neyle Morrow ...
Lynn Stalmaster ...


During the Korean War, strong but worn and cantankerous Sergeant Zack is aided by a young, orphaned Korean boy. Together they encounter and join a small group of American soldiers. The group stumbles upon a Buddhist temple where they decide to hold up, believing it to be empty... Written by Karl Engel <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It's the REAL Korean Story! See more »


Action | Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 February 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

38ste breedtegraad  »

Box Office


$103,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although director Samuel Fuller is well-known for using the character name "Lemchek" in many of his films, he actually uses the character name "Griff" more often. See more »


Short Round sings the South Korean National Anthem to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne" while Pvt. Bronte plays on his organ. However, the music to South Korea's national anthem was changed from Auld Lang Syne to the Finale of Korea Fantasiaat at a ceremony celebrating the founding of South Korea on August 15th, 1948, exactly three years after liberation from Japanese rule, and three years before The Steel Helmet was made. See more »


Lt. Driscoll: Well, Sergeant, I told you it was a waste of time.
Sgt. Zack: If I was right all the time I'd be an officer, Lieutenant.
See more »

Crazy Credits

and introducing Gene Evans as Zack See more »


Referenced in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

Great early view of Korean War
11 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One of the earliest films to deal with the Korean War, Steel Helmet has good action (on a limited budget, which shows in the largest battle scene), well-drawn characters, and visits more than one contemporaneous issue, including racism and manipulation of that issue by the Soviets and their satellites during the Cold War.

I saw the film originally in its year of release and was riveted to the screen. For me, the best element of the film is Gene Evans' portrayal of Sgt. Zack, a hard boiled, but not cast-iron career soldier. I've not seen anything of Gene's to rival this portrayal.

Viewed as a document both for, and yet a little ahead of its time, Steel Helmet is a great lower budget contribution to the film literature of the Korean War.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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