7.6/10
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The Steel Helmet (1951)

Approved | | Action, Drama, War | 2 February 1951 (USA)
A ragtag group of American stragglers battles against superior Communist troops in an abandoned Buddhist temple during the Korean War.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
...
James Edwards ...
...
...
Joe
Richard Monahan ...
Pvt. Baldy
William Chun ...
Harold Fong ...
Neyle Morrow ...
...
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Storyline

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 <cassiel@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's the REAL Korean Story! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

2 February 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

38ste breedtegraad  »

Box Office

Budget:

$103,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The budget was so low on this picture that the Chinese "tank" that attacks the patrol is actually made of plywood. See more »

Goofs

The stock footage used in the artillery barrage of the North Korean attack includes WWII-era footage of German artillery on the Atlantic Wall. See more »

Quotes

Sergeant Zack: What's that paper on your back for?
Short Round: Prayer to Buddha asking him to heal me if I am wounded.
Sergeant Zack: Oh, yeah? I thought you forgot to take off the pricetag.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in (500) Days of Summer (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Gritty To Say the Least
2 April 2001 | by (brighton, ma) – See all my reviews

I grew up with this movie, which was shown regularly on local television stations at a time when post-1949 films were scarce as hen's teeth on the tube. The film that put writer-director Samuel Fuller on the map, to the extent that he was ever there, it looks less impressive now, but I have a soft spot for it. It is the story of a group of infantrymen, many of them social misfits, during the Korean War, and their heroic efforts in defense of a Buddhist temple during a Communist-led attack. The major character in the film is Sgt. Zack, played to the hilt by a cigar-chewing Gene Evans, who never became a star but whose performance here is powerful and charismatic, flawless in every detail. I've never seen him in anything else where he's half as good as he is here. Evans carries the film like a super-star, and in Steel Helmet, for a short time, he is one. The others are good, too. Steve Brodie is less of a jerk than usual; James Edwards is very sharp, more assertive than in the previous year's Home Of the Brave, which he made with Brodie. As to the film itself, its qualities come from being a sort of tabloid journalist's work of art. It is weakest when preachy about race relations, strongest when men are arguing, shouting and competing with one another as if they had just stepped out of the pages one of those 'adult' comic books they used to have in barbershops. The movie's cheapness gives it a documentary look, and for once GI's in a film look dirty and unshaven. The scenes with the giant Buddha that dominates he temple's interior have an otherworldliness about them that seems serendipitous, not planned, and give the quieter scenes a background of serenity without which the picture might be intolerably violent and bitter.


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