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Fixed Bayonets! (1951)

Not Rated | | Action, Drama, War | 6 December 1951 (USA)
The story of a platoon during the Korean War. One by one Corporal Denno's superiors are killed until it comes to the point where he must try to take command responsibility.


Samuel Fuller


Samuel Fuller (screenplay), John Brophy (suggested by a novel by)




Complete credited cast:
Richard Basehart ... Cpl. Denno
Gene Evans ... Sgt. Rock
Michael O'Shea ... Sgt. Lonergan
Richard Hylton ... Medic John Wheeler
Craig Hill ... Lt. Gibbs
Skip Homeier ... Whitey


The story of a platoon during the Korean War. One by one Corporal Denno's superiors are killed until it comes to the point where he must try to take command responsibility.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Drama | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


According to media reports, a number of movie companies were interested in using this film's working title, 'Old Soldiers Never Die'. See more »


Most of the movie appears to be filmed on a large stage, with murals of mountains in the background for effect. This is apparent by the movie's closed-in acoustic sounds, inconsistent shadows, no moving clouds, and no movement of bushes or tree leaves, even when wind can be heard. See more »


[Denno tries to dig a bullet out of Rock's gut]
Cpl. Denno: We'll get it out, Rock. Maybe it was spent by the time it hits ya. Maybe it's not in too deep.
Sgt. Rock: Don't get your tail in a roar, Denno, I ain't dead yet.
Ramirez: Every Red out there is out of action. We make sure this time, Rock.
Sgt. Rock: Tell Denno. He's in charge, now.
Cpl. Denno: You're in command as long as you're alive.
Sgt. Rock: Denno, you got the command now, whether you want it or not. It's all yours.
Cpl. Denno: You're gonna live, Rock.
Sgt. Rock: I'm dead.
Cpl. Denno: Listen, Rock... I'm no good without you.
See more »


Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »


Music by James F. Hanley
Lyrics by Ballard MacDonald
Sung by a chorus when the troops are first pulling out
Played occasionally in the score
See more »

User Reviews

Fuller; neglected at home, Loved overseas.
10 August 2007 | by frequency-2See all my reviews

I have only recently seen some of Fuller's films after hearing about him for years. I have been surprised and pleased by each one. "Fixed Bayonets!" Is a great example of how Fuller made the Hollywood system of the time work for him simply because he got films done on time and on budget, (I think). What would have been either a "GungHo" movie or a trite rehash of "Red Badge of Courage" becomes an involving and action packed story of a man becoming a soldier and leader, something Fuller had first hand experience of in WWII.

If you have heard the expression "dogface" applied to a soldier and wondered what it meant this picture will provide your answer. Fuller uses the closeup in just the right amount and just the right time here, and the closeups put the finishing touch on each of the characters, all of whom are distinct and varied. Instead of seeing soldiers similar to others films, these men come across somebody you might know as a regular guy.

Anyone interested in putting stories on the screen should see Sam Fuller's work.

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Release Date:

6 December 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rearguard See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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