6.7/10
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Halls of Montezuma (1951)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 28 April 1951 (Italy)
A company of Marines races against the clock to find a Japanese rocket base.

Director:

Lewis Milestone
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Widmark ... Lt. Anderson
Jack Palance ... Pigeon Lane (as Walter {Jack} Palance)
Reginald Gardiner ... Sgt. Johnson
Robert Wagner ... Coffman
Karl Malden ... Doc
Richard Hylton ... Conroy
Richard Boone ... Lt. Col. Gilfillan
Skip Homeier ... Pretty Boy
Don Hicks Don Hicks ... Lt. Butterfield
Jack Webb ... Correspondent Dickerman
Bert Freed ... Slattery
Neville Brand ... Sgt. Zelenko
Martin Milner ... Whitney
Philip Ahn ... Nomura
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Storyline

The Marines attack a strongly held enemy island in the Pacific. We follow them from the beach to a Japanese rocket site through enemy infested jungle as their ex-school teacher leader is transformed into a battle veteran and his squad becomes a tight fighting unit. Written by Derek Picken <dpicken@email.msn.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The everlasting story of the everlasting glory of the UNITED STATES MARINES! See more »

Genres:

Action | Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

28 April 1951 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Okinawa See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was directed by Lewis Milestone who was a veteran of the war movie by the time he made this movie. His other war films had included by that time Arch of Triumph (1948); The Purple Heart (1944); The North Star (1943) aka Armored Attack; Edge of Darkness (1943); Our Russian Front (1942) and All Quiet on the Western Front (1930). See more »

Goofs

The pockets of the ammunition belts worn by most of the Marines who carry M1 Garand rifles are obviously empty, since they are flat. No real Marine would go into combat with an empty ammo belt. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Anderson: [Carl Anderson, chemistry teacher, helping Stuart Conroy with his stuttering has him recite this line] Hope is the mother of all men.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in MASH (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Marines' Hymn
(uncredited)
Music from the "Gendarmes' Duet" from the opera "Geneviève de Brabant"
Written by Jacques Offenbach
Sung over the opening credits
Also played during the first landing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Spiking Those Rockets
31 August 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

I was surprised that Halls of Montezuma was not an adapted play since a great deal of the action takes place in a cave that serves as a battalion headquarters where Colonel Richard Boone is trying to extract information from prisoners.

That in itself wasn't easy because the Japanese were not known for surrendering. Boone gives an order to try and take prisoners on this landing on an unnamed Pacific island.

Richard Widmark's company finds a few of them and it's a rough go and several members of Widmark's command die in the mission. The Japanese are firing a lot of rockets from a hill and the bombing from planes doesn't do any good. Before the big push towards that hill can be made those rockets have to be dealt with.

A lot of promising young players from 20th Century Fox were in Widmark's platoon like Robert Wagner, Jack Palance, Richard Hylton, Skip Homeier, Martin Milner. Some make it and some don't. There are several flashback sequences showing these guys in their civilian lives and earlier in the war.

At the headquarters there's also quite an assortment, Jack Webb a war correspondent, Philip Ahn an articulate Japanese prisoner who is a baseball player in civilian life and looking decidedly out of place there is the urbane Reginald Gardiner replete with cigarette holder. He's along for the ride because he's an expert on Japanese culture and psychology and speaks the language.

Halls of Montezuma is a good, not a great war film. Three performances do stand out. Karl Malden as the veterinarian now serving as a medic and career marine Bert Freed and his sergeant Neville Brand.


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