Dean Hess, who entered the ministry to atone for bombing a German orphanage, decides he's a failure at preaching. Rejoined to train pilots early in the Korean War, he finds Korean orphans raiding the airbase garbage. With a pretty Korean teacher, he sets up an orphanage for them and others. But he finds that to protect his charges, he has to kill. —Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
BATTLE HYMN (Douglas Sirk, 1957) **1/2
This is hardly one of its director's more notable efforts which is perhaps why it took me this long to catch up with it in the first place; a miscast Rock Hudson is defeated by his impossible role of a real-life U.S.A.F. pilot whose accidental bombing of a Japanese orphanage during WWII drove him to take up priesthood; ironically, just as the protagonist struggles with his conflicting vocations (he considers it his duty to re-apply for service when the Korean War comes along), the film can't make up its mind whether it wants to be a biopic, a war epic or a particularly sticky Hollywood blending of religiosity and child interest! In itself, a harmless and typically glossy product of its era with the aerial sequences themselves certainly well done; sleek noir villain Dan Duryea is wasted, however, as a soldier who is particularly beloved by the Korean orphans Hudson and his men stumble upon. Ultimately, the film is perhaps most notable as being one of only four films featuring Anna Kashfi Welsh despite her exotic name and looks and best-known for her brief marriage (1957-59) to Marlon Brando.
- Feb 28, 2007
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