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The Reluctant Heroes (1971)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama | War  -  23 November 1971 (USA)
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During the Korean War, a newly commissioned lieutenant find that they are trapped when the enemy surrounds their position. He uses ancient tactics he remembers from his history books to try... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Lt. Parnell Murphy
Cpl. Bill Lukens
Trini López ...
Pvt. Sam Rivera
Don Marshall ...
Pvt. Carver LeMoyne
Capt. Luke Danvers
Sgt. Marion Bryce
Cpl. Leroy Sprague
Richard Young ...
Pvt. Golden
Michael St. George ...
Cpl. Bates
Korean Officer


During the Korean War, a newly commissioned lieutenant find that they are trapped when the enemy surrounds their position. He uses ancient tactics he remembers from his history books to try to get them out of it. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

23 November 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Egghead on Hill 656  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Excellent For its content
18 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I remember seeing this movie just before I enlisted in 1972. The story is about leadership and the traditions of the military that make it great. Whether the technical aspects of the movie are correct, as with the weapons carried etc., is not important to the central theme.........the military is made up of strangers thrown together by circumstance who are required to do very simple things under the most extreme of conditions. Technology is merely a tool the essence of the job has not changed in hundreds, if not thousands of years.

This story follows a small group of American soldiers who are cut off from friendly lines during an attack by hostile forces while in Korea.

The viewer learns that the military, on the "boots on the ground" level, is made up of Non Commissioned Officers who have all the practical knowledge and junior officers who know the "book." Many times a junior leader finds himself assigned to a group that have worked together for a significant period of time under the NCO and the officer is the outsider with a set of rules that don't seem to comply with the teaching of the practical NCO leadership.

This is the essence of the story, when the "book" meets the "practical knowledge" magic is made. In the case of the story, the magic is the soldiers safe return to friendly lines after a harrowing move through enemy territory. The young LT with "book knowledge" is the designated leader, the "crusty" NCO distrustful at first applies his knowledge to the plan and magic. Then in what can only be classified as a shot across the bow of any who would scoff at what the military does............Ken Berry sums up in a short entry for the unit history the soldiers' ordeal that the viewer has seen for the last hour.

The sum and substance of the entry is "unit broke contact with the enemy, conducted a move at night through enemy lines, and rejoin friendly forces." Fiction yes, but anyone who has done some sort of time in the military will recognize the dynamic.

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