Near the end of the French phase of the Vietnam War, a group of mercenaries are recruited to travel through enemy territory to the Chinese border, to blow up an arms depot. A Eurasian ... See full summary »
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Charles Marquis Warren
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Near the end of the French phase of the Vietnam War, a group of mercenaries are recruited to travel through enemy territory to the Chinese border, to blow up an arms depot. A Eurasian smuggler, Lucky Legs, agrees to use her connections to help them, in return getting her son into America. The racist father of the boy, Sergeant Brock, is also part of the multinational group. Lucky Legs must use the love of a Eurasian guerilla leader, Major Cham, to get access to the base. Will they destroy the base, and will Brock overcome his racism before Lucky Legs makes The Ultimate Sacrifice? Written by
Victor Young had begun composing the film score when he died on November 10, 1956 at age 57. His friend Max Steiner, borrowed from Warner Bros., then shaped Mr. Young's notations and completed the score. The screen credit reads: "Music by Victor Young, extended by his old friend Max Steiner". The title song, written by Victor Young and lyricist Harold Adamson, was sung twice in the picture by Nat 'King' Cole, whose commercial recording with Nelson Riddle and His Orchestra became the B-side of a Capitol single. On the A-side was the clever novelty, "When Rock and Roll Come to Trinidad" (music by Marvin Fisher, lyrics by Roy Alfred). See more »
Film flopped when Lucky Legs and Sgt. Brock go into the tree house. The sniper has a left handed rifle, Sgt. Brock's knife is on the wrong side, and his watch has moved to his right wrist. See more »
Music by Victor Young Extended by his old friend Max Steiner See more »
On this evidence, Fuller is a strident and uncompromising anti-Communist anti-racist. You heard me. This is a late-50s movie about 'Indochina' - a little ahead of the curve there! - which takes the USA to task for not leaping right in there with their French pals; the enemy has Stalin all over the wall of their lookout posts. So it's more than a little silly, to put it nicely. But given this, the racial issues it confronts are above and beyond the call of duty - the espionage tour our heroes embark on is really an opportunity for dynamite expert Gene Barry to smarten up after abandoning his distinctly Asian-featured kid from his liaison with half-white Lucky Legs (Angie Dickinson). Along the way there are exciting scenes, surprisingly well-modulated performances, and a budget-conscious stylistic trick I've never seen before: shot almost entirely in wide master shot, Fuller constantly pans-and-scans the black-and-white Scope image to approximate camera movement. Here's a guy who's smart enough to know that grainy (not to mention silly) won't matter if the damn thing MOVES.
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