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The Mountain Road (1960)

| Drama, War | June 1960 (USA)
A US Army Major stationed in East China in 1944 is ordered to blow up military installations in order to slow down the advancing Japanese Army.

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Cast

Cast overview:
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...
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Sgt. 'Mike' Michaelson (as Henry 'Harry' Morgan)
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Niergaard
Rudy Bond ...
Sgt. Miller
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Prince
...
Sgt. Ballo
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Major Lewis
...
Gen. Loomis
Leo Chen ...
Col. Li
...
Col. Magnusson
Peter Chong ...
Chinese Colonel
P.C. Lee ...
Chinese General
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Storyline

In 1944, in eastern part of China, U.S. Army Major Baldwin and his volunteer team of demolition engineers are left behind the retreating Chinese forces. Their task is to slow down the Japanese advance into eastern China by blowing up bridges, roads, airfields and munitions dumps. They start by blowing up an American airfield and ammo dump. They receive the order to destroy a vital bridge over a mountain pass. The team uses a few army trucks to move around. At the bridge, they encounter a Nationalist Chinese Army unit in charge of guarding the bridge. Thanks to an American soldier who speaks some Chinese, Major Baldwin requests the permission, from the Chinese commander, to blow up the bridge. The Chinese colonel agrees but asks the American Major to do him a favor by also destroying a munitions dump located at some distance away. He also requests that Madame Sue-Mei Hung, the widow of a Chinese colonel, be transported by the American demolition team to the nearest major town. Major ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE REAL EPIC OF THE SCORCHED EARTH...when hate and heroism, danger and disaster blocked escape on...THE MOUNTAIN ROAD See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

June 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sendero de furia  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although made with the cooperation of the Pentagon, the film is often labeled anti-war. See more »

Goofs

The plane shown on the ground, and making its take off roll is a B-25 with it's twin tail. But the plane shown in the air as it flies away is a B-26 with its single tail. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Madame Sue-Mei Hung: To the end of the road, peace and safety.
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User Reviews

 
A not so poignant anti-war film
27 September 2008 | by See all my reviews

Major Baldwin (Stewart) has his first command in East China when he is put in charge of a demolition squad with orders to evacuate once a base has been destroyed to prevent its capture by the advancing Japanese. Along the way he discovers the power associated with command and the abuse temptation offers along with such power. He also encounters some unexpected romance when the widow of a Chinese general in need of evacuation joins his squad.

Unfortunately, as the group never comes into contact with the Japanese and is never in serious danger, we don't feel a lot of tension. Whatever threat there is comes from the Chinese themselves, from mobs of starving peasants to bands of wayward deserting marauders.

The most interesting feature of the film deals with the difference of customs. The pomp and ceremony important to Chinese is alien to the Americans just wanting to get down to the business at hand. Looking from different points of view, each side views the other as somewhat barbarous and inhumane and as a result never quite reach the level of friendship each would have.

Although Jerome Morass provides a spirited music score, it doesn't quite fit in with the action, or rather the lack of it. With an exception or two, the events on the screen just never generate much pathos, resulting in a not so poignant anti-war film.

Stewart, as always, is worth watching, Lisa Lu has charm, and Harry Morgan gives a preview of what would become his Colonel Potter M*A*S*H* character.


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