A commando formed by British all star cast is surrounded at a Buddhist temple by Chinese hordes
Tense, and brooding warlike movie, well set in Korea though filmed in Shepperton Studios, Shepperton, Surrey, England, UK .This Korean war(1951-1953) drama is the fare of a British commando in Korea and stands as one of the best British warlike film of the 50s. A band of Chinese troops follows a group of soldiers group posing as a regiment and waiting an Allied contra-attack . Then, they take refuge into a Buddhist temple using it as stronghold but the group is besieged by Chinese Army. They simply do their best to survive a terrifying situation. But the soldiers are murdered one by one and the lieutenant takes command with rigid orders.
The film is dedicated to the queen of battles, the British Infantry. The producers obtained help for the Department of the British Army and give thanks for its encouragement , advice and active cooperation in the preparation and production of this picture. The film is based on true events, a Chinese communist offensive formed by 350.000 soldiers who vanquished UN forces, including Brit infantry and US 8º Army and withdraw across southern. Posteriorly, American Army and UN multi-national troops undergo a contra-offensive and retrieve lost territory until 38 parallel. The story bears remarkable resemblance to ¨Fixed Bayonets¡¨(1951,Samuel Fuller)also with a bunch of soldiers who are besieged by Chinese hordes and sheltered in a cave, while in ¨A hill in Korea¨ take refuge at a temple.
This is a conventional story with brief studio character and bolstered considerably by director Julian Amyes's flair for warlike drama and action. Dark and thoughtful and hurriedly made, the movie gains strength as it goes on, and shows a tremendous grasp of the tale as an unit. Excellent performance by all male actors, boasting and most restrained acting by George Baker -later Tiberius in 'I Claudius'- as the lieutenant taking the command responsibility along with the sergeant well performed by Harry Andrews . Top-notch Stanley Baker as brave Corporal and excellent secondaries playing Privates as the coward Ronald Lewis, Percy Herbert, Stephen Boyd, Robert Shaw and appearance an uncredited Michael Caine. Appropriate musical score by Malcolm Arnold- The bridge on the River Kwai- and conducted by usual Muir Matheson. Atmospheric cinematography in black and white by notorious cameraman and also director Freddie Francis. Adequate film edition by Peter H Hunt, habitual editor of James Bond movies and director of 'On her Majesty's secret service'. Amyes's most fluid and strongest film-making lies in this war picture, his only movie because he solely directed television movies . The picture is tremendously exciting and stirring for that reason its rating is 6'5 points, better than average and well worth seeing.
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