This movie is based on a true story as written in A.P. Scotland's autobiography "The London Cage". The plot has greatly exaggerated the actual events of A.P. Scotland's experiences, including the addition of a fictional love interest.
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In 1951, during the Korean War general retreat of United Nations Forces, a small British re-con platoon finds itself cut-off from the main British force.The platoon is led by Lieutenant Butler and Sergeant Payne. Corporals Ryker and Hodge are in charge of the men. After executing a search and destroy mission in an abandoned and booby-trapped South Korean village, the platoon heads toward rice fields, but finds itself surrounded by Chinese enemy troops. When sending for help becomes no option, Lieutenant Butler decides to closer investigate the isolated South Korean temple perched atop a steep hill. The temple seems to be a good defensible position for the platoon, but it's located at the top of the steep hill with only a sheer cliff to its rear.Written by
A Hill in Korea is a typical British war film, shot in crisp black and white and with Portugal doing a rather good job of standing in for the Korean countryside. The plot sees a British platoon cut off by Chinese forces and forced to take refuge on a hill which they must defend to the last man in the face of overwhelming attacks.
You know these sorts of films by now: half of the conflict comes from the besieging enemy, the other half from divisions within the group, as various characters crack or show their true heroic nature. And the low budget seems to work hand in hand with the plot of these films, helping to make them feel tense and claustrophobic. A Hill in Korea has a lot of casual racism in it, which was a bit of a surprise, but the all-star cast makes it worthwhile.
George Baker (TREAD SOFTLY STRANGER) is a dependable presence as the lieutenant leading the platoon, and Harry Andrews is once again the gruff sergeant - a role he seemed destined to play throughout his career. Ronald Lewis makes an impact as the guy going out of his mind, and others like Percy Herbert, Michael Medwin, and Stephen Boyd flesh out the rank and file troops. Best of all is the chance to see Robert Shaw and Michael Caine, both uncredited early on in their careers.
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