7.4/10
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44 user 43 critic

The Steel Helmet (1951)

Approved | | Action, Drama, War | 2 February 1951 (USA)
A ragtag group of American stragglers battles against superior Communist troops in an abandoned Buddhist temple during the Korean War.

Director:

Samuel Fuller

Writer:

Samuel Fuller
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gene Evans ... Sgt. Zack
Robert Hutton ... Pvt. Bronte
Steve Brodie ... Lt. Driscoll
James Edwards ... Cpl. Thompson
Richard Loo ... Sgt. Tanaka
Sid Melton ... Joe
Richard Monahan ... Pvt. Baldy
William Chun William Chun ... Short Round
Harold Fong Harold Fong ... The Red
Neyle Morrow ... First GI
Lynn Stalmaster ... Second Lieutenant
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Storyline

During the Korean War, strong but worn and cantankerous Sergeant Zack is aided by a young, orphaned Korean boy. Together they encounter and join a small group of American soldiers. The group stumbles upon a Buddhist temple where they decide to hold up, believing it to be empty... Written by Karl Engel <cassiel@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Hits Hard at Your Heart! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Right after this film finished shooting, Samuel Fuller was flush with money. During a Christmas party at his house, invited guest Gene Evans was certain he'd get something valuable. He was initially disappointed that all he was given was the steel helmet with a bullet hole in it from the movie. Decades later Arthur Knight staged a retrospective of Fuller's work at USC. Evans was invited to attend as a surprise guest, unknown to Fuller. The two old friends had not seen each other for ten or 15 years at that point. When Evans returned the helmet to Fuller, the director was very touched.and so moved that he couldn't even talk. See more »

Goofs

Toward the end of the film as the N. Koreans are attacking the temple, several views show water-cooled machine guns (identified by the large jackets around their barrels) aimed and firing at the attackers, presumably by the American soldiers in the temple. However, the interior views in the temple show that the Americans are only firing air cooled machine guns at the attackers, and these guns lack the large jacket seen around the barrels of the water-cooled guns shown in the exterior views. See more »

Quotes

The Red: I just don't understand you. You can't eat with them unless there's a war. Even then, it's difficult. Isn't that so?
Cpl. Thompson: That's right.
The Red: You pay for a ticket, but you even have to sit in the back of a public bus. Isn't that so?
Cpl. Thompson: That's right. A hundred years ago, I couldn't even ride a bus. At least now I can sit in the back. Maybe in fifty years, sit in the middle. Someday even up front. There's some things you just can't rush.
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Crazy Credits

Instead of the traditional "The End", the closing title reads, "There is no end to this story". See more »

Connections

Featured in The Typewriter, the Rifle & the Movie Camera (1996) See more »

User Reviews

 
Simple, Scathing and Extremely Realistic
4 June 2011 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

In the Korean War, the prisoner of war Sergeant Zack (Gene Evans) and only survivor of his company is released by the South-Korean boy Short Round (William Chun). The walk together trying to reach the American lines, and they stumble with other survivors, forming a ragtag platoon.

When they reach a Buddhist temple, they learn that it is abandoned and they camp there, transforming it in an observation outpost. When they realize that they are under siege of the communist army, they have to battle to survive.

"The Steel Helmet" is a simple, scathing and extremely realistic film by Samuel Fuller. The behavior of the soldiers and the battle scenes battle scenes are extremely realistic. But the stronger part is the sharp critic to the racism in America, through the dialog of the North Korean POW and the Afro-American soldier first and the Asian descendant soldier later. As an effect of the McCarthyism, Samuel Fuller had problems with the FBI because of these scenes. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Capacete de Aço" ("Steel Helmet")


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Korean

Release Date:

2 February 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Steel Helmet See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$103,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Deputy See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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