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Mission Over Korea (1953)

 -  Drama | War  -  August 1953 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 91 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 2 critic

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Title: Mission Over Korea (1953)

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Cast

Cast overview:
John Hodiak ...
Capt. George P. Slocum
...
Lt. Pete Barker
Audrey Totter ...
Kate, nurse-lieutenant
...
Nancy Slocum
...
Sgt. Maxie Steiner
...
Pvt. Swenson
William Chun ...
Kilamson Lee aka Clancy
Rex Reason ...
Maj. Jim Hacker
Richard Bowers ...
Singing Soldier
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Storyline

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Taglines:

NO GUNS...JUST GUTS! (print ad - all caps)

Genres:

Drama | War

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Details

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Release Date:

August 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Apostoli stin Korea  »

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Connections

Edited into The Giant Claw (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

Not a great war film but slightly unusual
19 May 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This may have been the last Korean War picture filmed while the conflict was still going on, because it premiered just days after the war ended. But it's actually set at the very beginning of the war, which is sort of unusual. All the action takes place in the summer of 1950, a particularly desperate time for South Korea and for American forces.

History buffs and military enthusiasts should find this interesting, because it looks at what U.S. troops were up against at that critical moment. The "mission" in the title is survival, and the tone of the movie is often grim. The characters are not winning big battles but mostly just holding off the enemy, helping trapped units retreat and working to form a secure perimeter.

To add a bit of realism, there's footage of South Korean soldiers in combat, and there are scenes of black soldiers fighting alongside whites. (The Korean War was the first modern U.S. conflict without racial segregation in the ranks.) Such things were often ignored in Korean War films of the '50s.

John Hodiak and John Derek play U.S. pilots caught in the thick of things. Hodiak's character is a by-the-book captain, while Derek's is a brash young lieutenant, reckless and often insubordinate. The difficult relationship between them as they're tried in combat is the backbone of the story. It's not a great story, and to tell the truth, most of the characters are war movie stereotypes. Besides the two feuding officers, these walking clichés include a Korean orphan boy, a beautiful Army nurse (played by Audrey Totter) and two wisecracking but brave enlisted men.

This was one of Hodiak's last movies and his next-to-last war film. Like Van Johnson, he was unable to serve in World War II due to medical issues but looked so natural in uniform that he got typecast in movies of that period as a military man. But Hodiak, unlike Johnson, succumbed to his health problems at a young age and was not around long enough to get beyond the typecasting. It's too bad we never got to see his full range.


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