Sgt. Thorne Ryan, who once fought bravely in Korea, now serves as a hard-nosed drill instructor to new Army recruits at Fort Bliss, Texas. But is he really the man he is often described as?... See full summary »
Sgt. Thorne Ryan, who once fought bravely in Korea, now serves as a hard-nosed drill instructor to new Army recruits at Fort Bliss, Texas. But is he really the man he is often described as? His fellow instructor, and friend helps him to face the ghosts of his past experiences in Korea. One night in a bar across the border in Juarez, Mexico, Sgt. Ryan meets a lady who begins to turn his life around. Will this be enough to help him deal with the past? Or will he continue to be so hard on his troops? This movie was filmed mostly on location at Fort Bliss, Texas in El Paso. Written by
Vincent Merlaud <email@example.com>
Ryan, Holt, and the soldiers and recruits at Ft. Bliss wear the shoulder patch of the 4th Army - a white four-leaf clover on a red diamond. The 4th Army was activated in 1932 as the U.S. Western Defense Command. During World War II, the 4th Army operated the Louisiana maneuver area, and was credited with training about half the combat units that went overseas. See more »
When Ryan and Holt have the troops on a training exercise in the field, Ryan tells Holt to "get back to base." The Army doesn't refer to its facilities as bases. An actual solider would have said "get back to the post." See more »
An interesting Korean-War era film, starring Richard Widmark and Karl Malden, Take the High Ground depicts sixteen weeks of basic training at Fort Bliss. The film revolves around the differing personalities of two drill sergeants (Widmark and Malden) as they shape hopeless recruits into combat-ready soldiers. Widmark's character, Sgt. First Class Thorne Ryan is a battle-hardened veteran, who believes that toughness is the best way to prepare recruits for combat. Staff Sgt. Laverne Holt (Malden), however, relies on compassion to help his men adjust to army life. These differences present a few interesting conflicts, but overall, their static characters add little. Like most basic training films, this movie offers a few predictable laughs and trivial subplots, but fails to develop a deep plot. Elaine Stewart's adulterous character, in particular, is unnecessary and only adds confusion. Overall, however, Take the High Ground is watchable, if not memorable.
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