29 user 9 critic

Battle Circus (1953)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, War | 6 March 1953 (USA)
Set in Korea and made during the war, this is the love story of a hard-bitten Army surgeon, and a new nurse ready to save the world.


Richard Brooks


Allen Rivkin (story), Laura Kerr (story) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Humphrey Bogart ... Maj. Jed Webbe
June Allyson ... Lt. Ruth McGara
Keenan Wynn ... Sgt. Orvil Statt
Robert Keith ... Lt. Col. Hilary Walters
William Campbell ... Capt. John 'Rusty' Rustford
Perry Sheehan Perry Sheehan ... Lt. Laurence
Patricia Tiernan ... Lt. Rose Ashland
Adele Longmire ... Lt. Jane Franklin
Jonathan Cott ... Adjutant
Ann Morrison Ann Morrison ... Lt. Edith Edwards
Helen Winston Helen Winston ... Lt. Graciano
Sarah Selby ... Capt. Dobbs
Danny Chang Danny Chang ... Korean Child
Philip Ahn ... Korean Prisoner
Steve Forrest ... Sergeant


Nurse Lt. Ruth McGara is assigned to a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) unit near the front lines of the Korean War. There she meets and is roughly romanced by Major Jed Webbe, one of the unit's surgeons. Webbe is pushy and seems to care only for momentary pleasures, but McGara falls for him just the same. Their romance blossoms in the midst of overwhelming numbers of casualties, threats from the enemy and from the weather, and emergency evacuations that test the mettle of even a unit whose very name suggests quick mobility. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


M-G-M's great drama of desire under fire!


Drama | Romance | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


After June Allyson tells Lt. Col. Wallace about the Korean boy, Bogart uncharacteristically wipes something off of June Allyson's nose while she is talking to him. She is genuinely surprised by his action but continues on with the scene. See more »


The pilot is often shown holding down the Push-to-Talk switch on the cyclic (control stick) while transmitting and receiving. With the Push-to-Talk button depressed, the pilot can transmit, but he cannot receive. These radios are simplex, not duplex like a telephone. See more »


Lt. Col. Hilary Walters: Nobody in this man's army can get himself in so much trouble as you in so short a time.
See more »

User Reviews

Interesting take on MASH with annoying romantic plot
19 February 2013 | by basilisksamukSee all my reviews

I always hated MASH - it is a film full of unpleasant people and a very nasty line in misogyny. It was interesting then to see this much earlier film featuring a MASH unit during the Korean war. The soldiers depicted here are much more believable, at least in terms of having a command structure and enough discipline to function in a theatre of war.

Unfortunately, over fifty per cent of the movie concentrates on the romance between Humphrey Bogart and June Allyson. I'm sure it reflects the time it was made but Bogart's character would be on a charge for sexual harassment in the modern age and he comes over as rather creepy in this role though this clearly wasn't intended.

There are a couple of set pieces that are first rate and stand comparison with much better-known war movies but the ongoing romance just undermines the drama of the piece.

Definitely worth a look for the MASH elements though clearly somewhat sanitised for audiences of the day.

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Release Date:

6 March 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

MASH 66 See more »

Filming Locations:

Calabasas, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$1,201,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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