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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. When an order comes down from their superiors to kill the prisoner, the sergeant in charge, Briscoe, orders his men, Dennison and Hackett, to carry out the execution. But first one and then the other refuse to follow the order. A tense stand-off ensues between the seemingly heartless sergeant and his conscience-stricken men. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
It's 1953 in the wee small hours of the Korean War winding down. While the peace talks proceed slowly at Panmunjom, the UN forces are evacuating their positions as the truce lines come into being. But the fighting still goes on. Another Korean War film, Pork Chop Hill, also dealt with this time of the war which President Truman called a police action.
A Korean pilot in a MIG Jet attacks some US soldiers who are loading supplies on a freighter and only three of them survive, Kirk Douglas, Robert Walker, Jr., and Nick Adams. Later on the pilot of the MIG is shot down and he's picked up by the freighter that the three soldiers are on with the supplies which includes a lot of barrels of oil.
Radioing for instructions, Kirk Douglas is told by a South Korean major to kill the North Korean pilot. He's certainly up for it, he's a veteran from this war and World War II. Walker doesn't want to and Adams is kind of on the fence because he's personally loyal to Douglas who got him out of a jam once.
The majority of The Hook is spent on the conflict between the three GIs. It's a rather unreal story because these three would be up for war crimes charges, Walker realizes this best. But two wars against oriental people have given Douglas some pronounced views on the subject. The holes in the script are covered up by the performances of the cast.
Nehemiah Persoff turns in a fine performance as the ship's captain who on his ship is the one in charge. But the best acting is done by Filipino player Enrique Magalona as the confused and frightened North Korean prisoner.
Pork Chop Hill is a better film, but The Hook is not a bad one. The ending is ironic to say the least.
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