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Recruits head to the front lines towards the close of the Korean War. The interaction between two of the soldiers...an idealistic newcomer and a psychotic who goes on one-man patrols slitting enemy throats under cover of night...and the orphan boy who comes between them is examined. The Cease-Fire brings the three to a final resolution. Written by
Martin H. Booda <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Pvt. Roy Loomis:
Once you get out of training, you're funneled into what's called the pipeline, and you become a number while you're traveling in it, until you get spewed out somewhere at the other end. After you land, you look for signs of war. A bullet scar in a wall, a bombed out building. You don't have to look very hard. You see a lot of poverty, kids starving. When you get out of the trucks after the ship and the train, you know the pipeline is carrying you further toward the front. You're ...
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**SPOILERS** With the war in Korea winding down everyone in this front-line combat platoon are looking forward to go home alive and in one piece before the final shot is fired. Everyone with the exception of Pvt. Raymond Endore, John Saxon.
Endore is of the type of material that soldiers are made of. Tough ruthless and totally unfeeling, to himself or the enemy, when he's out on patrol knifing and strangling Communist Chinese and North Koreas soldiers on guard duty or in their sleep. Endore is now in danger of becoming an endangered species with the war, that he loves so much, about to end and him becoming obsolete.
The movie "War Hunt" shows how those who participate in combat, Like Pvt. Endore, become so dehumanized by it to the point where they can never go back to society again. Endore had befriended this Korean, North Korean to be exact, orphan Charlie (Tommy Matsud) who not only looks up to him as a father figure but as a God. It's when Pvt. Loomis, Robert Redford, is assigned to Endore's squad that he starts to really lose it. Loomis wants little Charlie to grow up in an orphanage with little boys and girls like himself as friends to play and get along with instead of becoming an unfeeling killer like his hero Pvt. Endore.
Despite it's shoe string budget "War Hunt" has a number of very convincing and terrifying battle scenes in it that you would have expected in a first run major Hollywood studio release. There's an nail biting Communist Chinese human wave night attack on the US, or UN, lines that has Pvt. Loomis freeze in his tracks almost ending up run through, with a bayonet, by one of the onrushing Red Chinese troopers. Endore uses Loomis', what he thinks, cowardice under fire to turn Charlie against him. Loomis in his first taste of hand to hand combat did in fact freeze up but later courageously made it back to his battered platoon after killing, in a brutal hand to hand confrontation, a Red Chinese soldier who tried to cut his throat.
With the cease fire that was to end the Korean War just hours away Pvt. Endore desperate to keep the war from stopping goes out on his own, taking Charlie along with him, to somehow relight the fuse. Crossing into no-mans land Endore tries restart the fighting by creating an incident in killing a Communist Chinese or North Korean soldier after the cease fire went into effect. It's then when Pvt. Endore buddies, who liked him so much when the war was going on, turned against him.
Obscure little war drama despite it's, in years to come, well known cast of Robert Redford Tom Skerritt and of course John Saxon "War Hunt" ranks right up there as one of the best, as well as least known, anti-war films ever to come out of Hollywood. The movie doesn't at all glorify war it in fact shows how it can turn normal men into blood-thirsty and mindless killers. Pvt. Endore got to like war, and the killing that goes along with it, so much that he even tried to get little Charlie addicted to it.
In the end getting shot and killed, by his own men, may have well been the best thing that happened to Pvt. Endore. I can just imagine what he would have done when he came back to the states. With the only thing, and pleasure, to look forward to being him going out at night and kill like he did in the many "war hunts" that he participated in back in Korea Endore more then likely would have resumed his murderous obsession. This time not against enemy soldiers but innocent, and unsuspecting, civilian non-combatants.
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