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Saturday, May 27, 2017

On Memorial Day Weekend, Turner Classic Movies Recalls Our Fighting Men with Classic War Pictures, with a Focus on "The Forgotten War," Korea

By David in TN
Friday, May 26, 2017 at 7:08:00 P.M. EDT

On Memorial Day Weekend, TCM always shows several days of war movies. This Saturday, May 27, "The Forgotten War," Korea, is featured with seven films.

Target Zero (1955) with Richard Conte and Charles Bronson. Peggie Castle appears to give the audience a female character.

The Hook (1963) stars Kirk Douglas. A group of American soldiers has to decide whether to kill a POW.

One Minute to Zero (1952) stars Robert Mitchum as a colonel who finds "romance and danger."

The Rack (1956) is one of Paul Newman's first big roles. He plays an American officer who supposedly "turned traitor" in the Communist prison camps. This was a big theme in the 1950's.

Men in War (1957) has Robert Ryan and Aldo Ray, who portrayed the tough NCO so well. Ryan plays a platoon commander trying to keep his men alive, a more sympathetic character than Ryan usually played. Ray's character isn't likable, but his combat instincts save the outfit again and again. Vic Morrow plays a weak soldier, the opposite of his characterization in the later Combat TV show.

The Steel Helmet (1951) was directed by WW II combat veteran Sam Fuller. It has the themes Fuller always liked, better than The Big Red One in my opinion. Gene Evans is excellent as a cynical WW II veteran NCO.

Battle Hymn (1957) is an exercise in Douglas Sirk sentimentality with Sirk's favorite star, Rock Hudson.

The Rack, Men in War, and The Steel Helmet are the best of the group. The last one is considered one of the best war films of all time, but I think Fuller's Fixed Bayonets (another Korean War film) is as good or better. Evans played the sergeant again with Richard Basehart as the lead.


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"War Hunt" very good too. John Saxon as the crazed GI and Robert Redford in his first role with some substance.

David In TN said...

TCM's Memorial Weekend Film Noir is Journey Into Fear (1942), at 10 am ET on Sunday. May 28.

Joseph Cotten plays an American ballistics expert leaving Turkey for the USA along with his wife (Ruth Warrick). A Turkish police chief (Orson Welles) places Cotten on a steamship without him saying goodbye to his wife. Naturally there are plenty of Nazi spies and others on the ship.

Orson Welles and Cotten wrote the screenplay. And Welles supposedly "co-directed" with Norman Foster.

countenance said...

I haven't forgotten Korea.

Tomorrow, I'll be visiting the final resting places of a blood uncle, an uncle by marriage, and a great uncle. All Korean vets, the uncle by marriage is technically a casualty, he died in 1988 from injuries he sustained while in Korea.