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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Did this film come out in 1963? I would guess the year is wrong. Bill
Bendix looked just like he did in his films of the late 1940s and
1950s. True that Rory Calhoun looked somewhat older, but something is
terribly amiss here, and I'm not even talking about the film just yet.
Whoever thought that a war film with such a cast could be that dull? It dealt with 3 American soldiers fleeing from a North Korean prisoner camp. They meet up with a little boy who joins forces with them after his parents are killed.
Bendix plays his usual role as a tough guy with a heart of gold. Richard Jaeckel's role as a collaborator just didn't make much sense, but neither did this movie. It's 84 minutes of tedious boredom.
O Rory, allowing a kid age 7 to puff away on cigarette was nauseating. Your line that it wouldn't hurt him must have had the American Cancer Society up in arms. No wonder you succumbed to kidney failure, emphysema and diabetes years later. Bendix is also smoking away in this 1963 film, but by 1964 he was dead of stomach cancer. Suspicious of the year of this miserable film.
A.C. Lyles who is primarily known as a producer of B westerns utilizing
players past their prime years decided to go in for B Korean War film
which combines escaping GI POWS with a good old fashioned boy and his
dog story in The Young And The Brave. The results are less than
The trio of escaping GIs are Rory Calhoun, William Bendix and Robert Ivers. Bendix is really looking way too old to be a convincing combat soldier and in fact he was in his middle Fifties. A friendly Korean farmer and wife help them out which causes their deaths, but their son played by Manuel Padilla and his adopted German Shepherd dog escape with the soldiers. The kid and the dog prove most useful like Rusty and Rin Tin Tin.
The location for the film looks a whole lot like many a western was shot there and I suspect A.C. Lyles went to familiar turf to shoot this film. All the players look like they've really got no conviction in this project.
Maybe A.C. should have stuck to westerns.
Actually, I didn't find this movie as terrible as you might think. Yes, it has numerous flaws, and moves slow (even for an 84-minute movie). It doesn't compare favorably to other war / action movies of the time. Still, it's one of a comparatively few movies made about the Korean War, and the plot contains several twists to keep it interesting and keep you wondering about the final outcome. I would only suggest that THE YOUNG AND THE BRAVE is more appropriate for children (7-14 years old), who will enjoy and understand the relatively simple and understandable plot, not be confused by too many characters, and possibly identify with the young Han. Adults, on the other hand, will be easily distracted by the movie's flaws and find its "sanitized" story perhaps less enjoyable. Overall, through, it's not a bad movie on the scale of some supposed "classics." A good family movie for a cold Friday night around the VCR. Then put the kids to bed and watch SAVING PRIVATE RYAN.
Movie isn't anything fantastic but it does contain many many scenes of
Rory Calhoun standing and walking as if his life depends on it--and
given that he's being chased by North Koreans who are ready and eager
to kill him at the drop of a hat--it certainly does.
I can't really fault anything that happens in the film--its literally something that came on TCM when i wasn't really paying attention, looked up the synopsis of the film and who was in it and ended up watching it mainly because it looked like it was Rory Calhoun Standing and Walking The Motion Picture--which it kind of was.
Would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to see Rory Calhoun in all his standing and walking glory. (but to be honest with you i'm positive he's stood and walked in better films then this before..he must have right?)
What can you say about a movie that has a Mexican playing a Korean kid, that looks as if it were shot on somebody's farm somewhere, and that dredges up every cliche out of every mediocre war movie ever made. Amazingly, this cheap junk has a pretty good cast (Rory Calhoun, William Bendix, Richard Jaekal, Richard Arlen and John Agar). However, a movie that has Calhoun yelling, "Our planes are coming in," and diving to the ground, without ever LOOKING at the sky, is pretty bad, by just about anybody's standards.
I didn't think this movie was that bad. The Korean War is largely forgotten so the proud vets of that war can have pride in watching this. The set and some of the script is a bit tired and worn looking but it adds to the almost camp like atmosphere, which makes this almost a late night B movie classic. Is it a sanitized version of war? Well yea but what wasn't back then? War is awful and senseless, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't pay homage to the brave men who fought for us, even in a war as unpopular as this one, or was this a "police action"? Either way 54,000 men, mostly from the US, gave their lives, knowing that and realizing this was made in a simpler time when Presidents had their sexual dalliances covered up, baseball players hit 61 homers, cleanly, and we were all glued to watching a single Astronaut go into space 15 minutes and thought that was incredible ( and it was in 1961)well then that makes this a good ole B rated memory flick to watch.
20 years after Guadalcanal Diary, Bendix and Jaeckel are reunited for one of
the most tired and cliched war movie scripts I've ever been unfortunate
enough to have to sit through, The pacing is glacial. The cliches are
ridiculous and the three main footsoldiers range between about 42 and 55
years in age -- in Korea! Why even make a Korean War movie in 1963 if you
have nothing new to say? If this film had anything to say, it would be hard
to find it amidst all the cliches. Manuel Padilla Jr. does a decent enough
job keeping Han from being too syrupy. And, Bendix, Calhoun, and Jaeckel
are all certainly earnest enough. The production values are shoddy, and
Jaeckel looks embarrasses in every scene in which he appears.
I nominate this hideous fiasco for the IMDB bottom 100.
There are two dogs in this film, the enemy kills both of them with the adults showing zero concern. The canines are the only points of interest. Better to have dropped the war and kept the doggies. Rates a 2/10 unless you`re a devotee of animal films then a 6/10.
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