During an evacuation in the waning days of the Korean War, three American soldiers retrieve an enemy airman and take him prisoner aboard the civilian ship returning them to their lines. ... See full summary »
Robert Walker Jr.,
In 1940's Moose Hill, Saskatchewan, outdoorsman Pierre is attracted to saloon-owner Daisy. Hearing of her impending marriage to 'Jap' Durkin, a law officer and rival, Pierre arranges things... See full summary »
Willie Harrington is a wimpy small-town bookkeeper at a bank who unwittingly gets involved with the country's toughest gangster and his gang, and he gets suspected of being the leader of ... See full summary »
During the early days of the Korean War, U.S. Army colonel Steve Janowski is one of the military advisers training the South Korean army and he's tasked with evacuating American civilians from the war zone.
Laura is a nurse at the Front in World War I. She meets and falls for a young flyer named Geoffrey. On his first mission, Geoffrey is shot down and taken to the hospital where Laura works. ... See full summary »
True life story of Guy Gabaldon, a Los Angeles Hispanic boy raised in the 1930s by a Japanese-American foster family. Later, during the war, as his foster parents are interned at a camp for Japanese Americans, Gabaldon's ability to speak Japanese helps him become a lone-operating Marine hero. During the bloody capture of the island of Saipan, he convinces 800 Japanese to surrender after their general commits suicide. Written by
A true World War II story of tremendous emotional impact
World War II hero Guy Gabaldon's story could hardly have been entrusted to a more suitable director than Phil Karlson. Karlson brings a tough masculine style, as well as an emotional impact that would have eluded many a director of action films. Operating as usual on a less-than-A budget, Karlson nonetheless makes the most out of every scene and elicits excellent performances from his cast.
Hell to Eternity is by far the most violent war film made up to that time. But Karlson's outbursts of violence are always tied to a strong emotional response, making the violence anything but gratuitous.
The film is also notable for a surprisingly provocative striptease by Patricia Owens and and an equally provocative kiss between her and Jeffrey Hunter. In terms of its violence and sexual content, Hell to Eternity probably went as far as the censors would allow in 1960.
As Gabaldon, Jeffrey Hunter gives a performance of great sympathy, but also one of considerable edge in his battle scenes. It's a difficult role, because he has to express the moral dilemma of a man raised by a Japanese-American family who is tasked with fighting the Japanese during WW2. The fact that Hunter made King of Kings only one year after this film and also offered diverse characterizations in Key Witness and Sergeant Rutledge the same year as Hell to Eternity is a testament to his versatility as an actor.
Leith Stevens provides an outstanding dramatic score, which unfortunately was poorly represented by the soundtrack album, which contained mainly his jazz-oriented incidental music.
The lower-than-A budget for this film more than likely accounts for it not being better known. But make no mistake about it - it's one of the most powerful war films ever made.
28 of 30 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?