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:

Action with the Battling Leathernecks! 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

Sy Bartlett and Harry Kleiner "wrote an 'original treatment'-based on 'nothing' in which to utilize actual combat film-which the Marines offered us-of the invasion of certain Islands", according to the UCLA Legal Department's 20th Century Fox Records Collection. See more »

Goofs

As his platoon is approaching an enemy-held cave, Lt Anderson checks his watch and tells his men that the time is 0530 (5:30 a.m.). However, rather than being filmed near dawn and in semi-darkness, this scene and the ones immediately following are in bright daylight. See more »

Quotes

Sgt. Randolph Johnson: [giving tobacco to a Japanese prisoner who's begging for some] Always treat a human being like a human being. You'll be surprised what happens.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Canadian Bacon (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

America
(uncredited)
aka "My Country 'tis of Thee"
Music from "God Save the King"
Played when Dickerman reads to the troops
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Strangely intimate war movie
2 April 2001 | by telegonusSee all my reviews

Halls Of Montezuma is a busy, Technicolored war film circa 1950, and was a big hit in its day. The story-line, such as it is, is convoluted and not really worth going into. Basically the film is about the psychology of war and its effect on human relations, especially those created by the war itself. A good deal of the film, as I recall, takes place in caves, ditches and deserted buildings. Unlike most war films this one emphasizes the fact the most soldiers, even Marines, are made, not born; they all come from someplace and would like to return there, preferably in one piece. Lewis Milestone directed the picture, and while it is a far cry from his classic All Quiet On the Western Front, this film is no shabby piece of work. Richard Widmark heads a cast of future stars, and they all perform well, if a bit too strenuously at times. The actors tend to be grouped together a good deal, maybe to ensure that no one can outshine anyone else, and this, plus the emphasis on isolated settings, succeeds in making the film strangely intimate. The color is bright and often glaring, and the Pacific island setting well-rendered. It's worth mentioning as a footnote that the studio that made the picture, 20th Century-Fox, would soon be switching over to making almost exclusively CinemaScope films, and would also soon be dropping Technicolor for the cheaper De Luxe color. Their post CinemaScope product is for the most part vastly inferior than what they previously had been doing, and Halls Of Montezuma, while not a great film, shows, even today, just how beautiful Technicolor could be. This, plus the use of the square, tidy space movies were limited to in those pre-wide screen days, makes for a depth in perspective that is at times almost seductive, even in so grim a film as this.


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