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Battle Circus (1953)

Approved | | Romance, War, Drama | 6 March 1953 (USA)
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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maj. Jed Webbe
Lt. Ruth McGara
Sgt. Orvil Statt
Lt. Col. Hilary Walters
Capt. John 'Rusty' Rustford
Perry Sheehan ...
Lt. Laurence
Lt. Rose Ashland
Adele Longmire ...
Lt. Jane Franklin
Jonathan Cott ...
Ann Morrison ...
Lt. Edith Edwards
Helen Winston ...
Lt. Graciano
Sarah Selby ...
Capt. Dobbs
Danny Chang ...
Korean Child
Philip Ahn ...
Korean Prisoner


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


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


Romance | War | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

6 March 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

MASH 66  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,201,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was Humphrey Bogart's only film for MGM. See more »


The pilot is often shown holding down the Push-to-Talk switch on the cyclic (control stick) while transmitting and receiving. With the Push-to-Talk button depressed, the pilot can transmit, but he can not receive. These radios are simplex, not duplex like a telephone. See more »


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

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User Reviews

June and Humphrey - fun to watch
3 January 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The black and white photography, camera angles and editing of Battle Circus are top rate adding verisimilitude to an unusual story about medics during the Korean War.

The dialog between Bogie and June is hard-boiled and cheesy and quite wonderful. It is entertaining to see a big-hearted 1950's female character (Allyson) deflecting an in-your-face, unapologetic wolf (Bogart) without need of feminist presumption, sexual harassment law and political correctness cops.

With their distinct, defining and appealing faces and voices, both leads make the film's romance seem some what logical within the logic of 1950's Hollywood. It sure is fun watching them.

And so too is a terrific Keenan Wynn and the mechanics and team work required to set up MASH units in a war zone. In the film, the tented hospitals were set up, taken down and hauled off and set up again by men and women who were clearly experienced in the service.

The surgery tents and medical sequences in Battle Circus are sanitized compared to what one sees on television these days and what was depicted in the TV series M.A.S.H! Back then, the entertainment world respected the privacy of someone's innards particularly when their guts were spilling out of a body ripped by shrapnel.

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