Grim story of one of the major battles of the Korean War. While negotiators are at work in Panmunjom trying to bring the conflict to a negotiated end, Lt. Joe Clemons is ordered to launch an attack and retake Pork Cop Hill. It's tough on the soldiers who know that the negotiations are under way and no one wants to die when they think it will all soon be over. The hill is of no particular strategic military value but all part of showing resolve during the negotiations. Under the impression that the battle has been won, battalion headquarters orders some of the men withdrawn when in fact they are in dire need of reinforcements and supplies. As the Chinese prepare to counterattack and broadcast propaganda over loudspeakers, the men prepare for what may be their last battle. Written by
Opening credits prologue: This is a true story, based on the book by Brig. Gen. S.L.A. Marshall USAR. In most cases not even the names of the people have been changed. We are deeply grateful for the cooperation of the United States Army. See more »
King company had a number of Republic of Korea (ROK) soldiers mixed in with its American soldiers. For example in S.L.A Marshall's book, "Pork Chop Hill" on page 150 he states, "The other two ades] fell about 25 yards behind Kuzmick, wounding three of his three Koreans." Korean soldiers are mentioned many other places in the book, which is the source for the movie.
This is one of the greatest movies about a single battle. It stands alongside "Zulu" and "Hamburger Hill" as the best, in my opinion. An all-star cast of both established actors and future stars under the able direction of Lewis Milestone brings this desperate battle to life. Crisp black and white cinematography is used to great effect. Gregory Peck is outstanding as Lt Clemons, the supporting cast featuring Woody Strode,Harry Guardino, George Peppard, Martin Landau and Robert Blake is top notch. An added bonus is George Shibata, the first Japanese-American graduate of West Point, who plays Lt Ohashi. This film is well paced, building to the assault on Pork Chop hill by introducing the men and establishing their positions in the company. The movie also shows the tedious and frustrating talks to end the war. The men are presented as individuals, but not clichés. Gregory Peck's performance is Oscar worthy, he projects command presence and competence. Lewis Milestone is known for his great "All Quiet On The Western Front" and "A Walk In The Sun". This picture is easily on a level with both of them. The battle scenes are realistic, the emotions; fear, hope, frustration and determination are portrayed brilliantly. This is a must-see for war movie fans A 10 star movie!
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