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The Hook (1963)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | 24 July 1963 (France)
In the final days of the Korean War, an enemy airman is captured by three American soldiers who cannot bring themselves to follow the order to execute their prisoner.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Sgt. P.J. Briscoe
...
Pvt. O.A. Dennison (as Robert Walker)
...
Pvt. V.R. Hackett
Pancho Magalona ...
Kim aka 'The Gook' (as Enrique Magalona)
...
Capt. Van Ryn
John Bleifer ...
Steward
...
Lt. D.D. Troy
John Alderson ...
Crewman Svenson
Anders Andelius ...
Crewman Andelius
...
Crewman Kaskevitch
...
Schmidt
Barnaby Hale ...
Crewman
John Gilgreen ...
Crewman
Ralph Ahn ...
Major Chun
Dallas Mitchell ...
Radio Sergeant
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Storyline

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 <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This is a story of men in war not men at war.

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 July 1963 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A csapda  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Korean War started on June 25th, 1950 and ended in armistice on 27th of July, 1953. See more »

Goofs

The enemy aircraft that strafes the truck and later the ship is a North American B-25, an American light bomber, not Communist. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Pvt. O.A. Dennison: Nice day.
Sgt. P.J. Briscoe: Kid, any day a war ends is a nice day.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Claustrophobic and intense psychological drama
8 July 2004 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

For fans of the taut and psychologically grueling and philosophically provocative filmed one-act play, The Hook is right in the class of Lifeboat, The Petrified Forest, Obsession, The Desperate Hours, 12 Angry Men, and Time Limit -- all among my personal favorite movies. The movie hinges on one dilemma: What does a military man do when given a direct order from a Commanding Officer to kill an unarmed POW in cold blood? The questions of right and wrong are further blurred by the fact they are informed that all the other soldiers in the unit have all been wiped out by a brutal North Korean attack. Aboard a friendly vessel en route to reconnoiter with another fighting division, a Sergeant (Kirk Douglas), Corporal (Nick Adams), and Private (Robert Walker Jr.) have two days to dispose of the prisoner or disobey a direct order. For his part, the prisoner shows every sign of singlemindedly waiting for an opening to escape. He speaks no English and only one of the three speaks even a few words of Korean. The Sergeant orders each subordinate, in turn, to execute the prisoner, but they are both quite conflicted also.

Kirk Douglas is perfectly cast as the tough-as-nails-on-the-outside-Sergeant Briscoe. But, Nick Adams truly steals the movie as the Corporal who nearly relinquishes his humanity trying desperately to support his Sergeant. Walker gives a solid if unremarkable performance as the Private that Briscoe relentlessly tries to bully into executing his dirty work.

That's all of it. So, if you are looking for a war movie with lots of action and visual effects, look elsewhere. But, if you wish to look into the souls of three enlisted men faced with Hobson's choices within an unrelenting pressure cooker, this fast-moving and well-acted psychological study will haunt you for the rest of your film-going life. I give it 10/10 for its genre.


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