Eight Iron Men (1952)

 |  Drama, War  |  December 1952 (USA)
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During WW2 in Italy, Sergeant Joe Mooney is leading his small squad on the front-lines but is ordered to avoid rescuing a soldier trapped in no man's land.



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Cast overview:
Bonar Colleano ...
Pvt. Collucci
Arthur Franz ...
Sgt. Joe Mooney
Pvt. Coke
Nick Dennis ...
Pvt. Sapiros
Pvt. Ferguson
Pvt. Muller (as Dick Moore)
George Cooper ...
Pvt. Small
Captain Trelawny
Robert Nichols ...
Richard Grayson ...
Lieutenant Crane
Douglas Henderson ...
Mary Castle ...


Stanley Kramer's WW-II character study has Lee Marvin as the Sergeant of a small squad laid over during fighting in Italy. During the otherwise boring time between battles, tensions arise as they are ordered not to rescue a squad mate pinned down by the enemy, for fear of risking more lives. Based on the stage play "A Sound of Hunting", by Harry Brown. Written by CineTiger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They've got a single dream ... and she's terrific !


Drama | War





Release Date:

December 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

8 farliga män  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The German machine gun used to keep the soldier pinned in the shell hole kept malfunctioning. The prop men could not correct the problem. Tired of the delays, Lee Marvin, a WWII vet, stepped in and fixed the gun. See more »


About half-way through the movie (43:59), Sergeant Mooney decides to go and see his commanding officer, Captain Trelawny, while outside is heavily raining. However, when Sergeant Mooney exits the bombed-out house and walks into the street, the weather is bright and sunny.A few minutes later,Sargeant Mooney returns to his squad in the bombed out house and he is soaking wet while outside is raining (46:14). See more »


Pvt. Collucci: Tonight I'll be whistling at every dame in the country. You can't keep a healthy guy like me stuck away like this for too long - I go crazy - I get hair on the palms of my hands - the beast rises in me.
See more »


Referenced in Hollywood Remembers Lee Marvin (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

Trigger Happy
21 August 2006 | by (Las Cruces, New Mexico) – See all my reviews

This is a tense little war drama from Columbia. The production values aren't much, but they really don't have to be. Released in 1952 and directed by Edward Dmytryck, it deals more with the personal than the patriotic. It is a WW2 drama that tried to find an audience during the Korean War. That couldn't have been easy.

It deals with the inter-personal relations between eight war weary GI's stuck up on the line in war torn European town. The lead is an ex-pat New Yorker named Bonar Colleano. He isn't well known in the states, but he was a big star in England during the war. Always playing the wise cracking Yank. His co-lead is Lee Marvin. He plays the squad leader and the glue that keeps these dogfaces together. The cast is rounded out by Arthur Franz, Dick(ie) Moore, and Richar Kiley. None of them big names in 1952, but all of them up to the job.

We find this beat up group jammed in a cellar while one of them is pinned down in a foxhole by a German machine gun. The squad is told they will be pulled off the line and they have to decide if or how they are going to rescue their buddy. Each squad member faces his own moment of truth. Some show bravery, some cowardice, some indecision, and one is just trigger happy and about ready to go over the edge.

I like this movie, but it does have a couple of problems. I mentioned the production values. It's a little set bound - almost like a stage play. Most of the action takes place in the cellar, and the exteriors are stock WW2 war torn European street. The dialogue does get a little corny in spots. But the main problem I have with this movie is the basic premise. I can understand an isolated group of guys, faced with the prospect of being pulled out of combat having mixed emotions about putting themselves back in harm's way to rescue a comrade, but that's the dilemma. How could they, in good conscience, leave him behind? Besides, this is an experienced infantry squad loaded with weapons. How could they not figure out a way to successfully assault a single machine gun nest. Despite these criticisms, the movie holds up well. The characters are human - not cartoons.

It's hard to find, but if you're a war movie buff, keep looking.

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

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