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Battle Circus (1953)

Approved  |   |  Romance, War, Drama  |  6 March 1953 (USA)
5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 860 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 7 critic

Set in Korea and made during the war, this is the love story of a hard-bitten Army surgeon, and a new nurse ready to save the world.

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Title: Battle Circus (1953)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Maj. Jed Webbe
...
Lt. Ruth McGara
...
Sgt. Orvil Statt
Robert Keith ...
Lt. Col. Hilary Walters
...
Capt. John 'Rusty' Rustford
Perry Sheehan ...
Lt. Laurence
...
Lt. Rose Ashland
Adele Longmire ...
Lt. Jane Franklin
Jonathan Cott ...
Adjutant
Ann Morrison ...
Lt. Edith Edwards
Helen Winston ...
Lt. Graciano
Sarah Selby ...
Capt. Dobbs
Danny Chang ...
Korean Child
Philip Ahn ...
Korean Prisoner
...
Sergeant
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Storyline

Nurse Lt. Ruth McGara is assigned to a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) unit near the front lines of the Korean War. There she meets and is roughly romanced by Major Jed Webbe, one of the unit's surgeons. Webbe is pushy and seems to care only for momentary pleasures, but McGara falls for him just the same. Their romance blossoms in the midst of overwhelming numbers of casualties, threats from the enemy and from the weather, and emergency evacuations that test the mettle of even a unit whose very name suggests quick mobility. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

korean war | See All (1) »

Taglines:

M-G-M's great drama of desire under fire!

Genres:

Romance | War | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 March 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

MASH 66  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Humphrey Bogart accidentally set his left thumb afire with lighter fluid while filming the scene in which his character burns some documents. The accident is visible in the film. See more »

Goofs

Helicopters of this era required constant attention to the collective/throttle as well as the cyclic. The pilot is shown numerous times reaching up and holding his helmet mounted microphone to speak for extended periods of time. This lack of attention to the controls would render the helicopter unflyable. See more »

Connections

Featured in Great Performances: Bacall on Bogart (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Third rate Bogart and Brooks would be fifth rate with anyone else
25 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's hard to believe that Richard Brooks (he of "In Cold Blood" and "The Professionals") directed this. Having coincidentally seen another Korean War film, "One Minute to Zero," immediately before this one, I can vouch for the fact that "Battle Circus" is a major improvement. However, that in itself is no great recommendation. Humphrey Bogart is his usual excellent self, professional and expert in his handling of the role of a MASH unit doctor. And June Allyson is endearing and fine in her role as the nurse who loves him. But despite the fact that plenty of screen romances have survived a greater age difference between couples than the 18 years that separates Bogart and Allyson, Bogart just comes off as uncomfortably old to be pulling the kind of shenanigans he tries with Allyson here. Never mind that in real life Bogart's fairy-tale romance with Lauren Bacall was between two people 25 years apart in age -- this is the movies, and at 53, Bogart seems slightly creepy, forcing his attentions on a young nurse and getting somewhat pissy when she dares to ask if he has a wife. Nonetheless the performances are good and occasionally overcome a difficult script (difficult not in complexity but in mediocrity). Robert Keith, who seems to have managed a long Hollywood career without ever varying his performances one whit, does what he always does as Bogart's commanding officer. Keenan Wynn is substantial and believable as the tough sergeant who keeps things running. But outside of a couple of intense moments (such as the one where a terrified North Korean soldier -- Philip Ahn -- threatens to blow up the operating room), the movie hovers like a helicopter over the no-man's land between drama and soap opera, unable quite to make up its mind where to set down.


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