The Steel Helmet (1951)

Approved  |   |  Action, Drama, War  |  2 February 1951 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 2,455 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?


When an inexperienced Gene Evans auditioned for Fuller, he was asked about his WWII experience. Fuller had an M-1 on his desk and threw it at Evans, asking him to cock it. After he "interview" vans got the part. See more »


(at around 1 min) Sgt. Zack shoots a door in the temple but no holes appear in the door. In a subsequent scene he does the same thing to another door but this time there are holes in the door, See more »


Sergeant Zack: Did you hear the Colonel? Hear what he said?
Lt. Driscoll: Yeah. Yeah I heard what he said.
Sergeant Zack: Well, what are we waitin' for? Get off the Beach. Get those Krauts. Gotta get off the beach.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Instead of the traditional "The End", the closing title reads, "There is no end to this story". See more »


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

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User Reviews

"He's a corpse now, no one cares who he is"
11 August 2008 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

What could have been a flimsy, disposable b-movie in the hands of other, less competent directors, becomes an evocative war tale of grit, fear, loss and redemption in the hands of Sam Fuller. There's no abstract sophistication or sentimental pap though: this is raw and true film-making, unpretentious and stripped of all fat. Director Sam Fuller is a unique beast in the American underground: having worked both as a crime report for NYC newspapers before he enlisted as a soldier in WWII, it comes natural then that the Steel Helmet has the urgency and power of both of his pre-directorial careers. A reporter's sense of story and characters above all and the firsthand experience of a war veteran. True to itself, simple but never simplistic, with respect to the subject matter and without any flag waving, The Steel Helmet is better than it had any right to be. It is still a low-profile (in terms of stars and publicity or lack thereof) b-movie but shot with a conviction and passion few a-list movies can muster.

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