Battle Circus (1953)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In his only MGM film, Humphrey Bogart plays the commanding officer of a M*A*S*H unit during the Korean War. Bogart runs his operation by the book, though he can take time out now and again for compassion. When nurse June Allyson shows up, Bogie is irritated by her foolhardiness and misplaced idealism. Need we tell you that the two "opposites" eventually fall in love? Keenan Wynn steals the show as the camp's wheeler-dealer, a sort of ancestor for such future insouciant M*A*S*H characters as Hawkeye, Trapper John and B.J. Hunnicutt. According to Hollywood scuttlebutt, Humphrey Bogart liked writer/director Richard Brooks because he could walk all over him. Brooks doesn't appear too servile in his disciplined handling of the film, though one can detect a slight lack of enthusiasm on his part.
Drama , Romance
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Humphrey Bogart
as Maj. Jed Webbe
June Allyson
as Lt. Ruth McGara
Keenan Wynn
as Sgt. Orvil Statt
Robert Keith
as Lt. Col. Hilary Walters
William Campbell
as Capt. John Rustford
Perry Sheehan
as Lt. Lawrence
Patricia Tiernan
as Lt. Rose Ashland
Adele Longmire
as Lt. Jane Franklin
Jonathan Cott
as Adjutant
Ann Morrison
as Lt. Edith Edwards
Helene Winston
as Lt. Graciano
Helen Winston
as Lt. Graciano
Sarah Selby
as Capt. Dobbs
Danny Chang
as Korean Child
Philip Ahn
as Korean Prisoner
Steve Forrest
as Sergeant
Jeff Richards
as Lieutenant
Richard Simmons
as Capt. Norson
Dick Simmons
as Capt. Norson
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Critic Reviews for Battle Circus

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (1)

An absorbing, often tingling background of a mobile Army surgical hospital at the Korean front. Unfortunately for the general pace and impact, considerable time is allotted to a dawdling and familiar personal drama.

Full Review… | April 8, 2008
New York Times
Top Critic

Though not one of Bogart's strongest, this serviceable feature is one of few war (Korea) films in which he wears uniform, and his only MGM picture, co-starring with that studio's reliable performer, June Allyson.

Full Review… | October 19, 2012

Singularly undistinguished except for Bogart's presence.

Full Review… | April 8, 2008
TV Guide

Quote not available.

October 19, 2012

Audience Reviews for Battle Circus

Nothing is for always. A new nurse joins the military and is sent to Korea during a time of high casualties. She is paired with a surgeon that quickly wants to get in her pants. She falls in love with him but decides to reluctantly date him to a point and draws a line in the sand when he won't open up to her and only appears to be about for sex. Is there a chance to fall in love or will she eventually give into his charm? "Maybe whiskey is as part of our life as war." Richard Brooks, director of Fever Pitch, Bite the Bullet, The Professionals, Deadline - USA, and The Catered Affair, delivers Battle Circus. The storyline for this picture was just okay but the character development was fairly solid and the acting was better than average. The cast includes Humphrey Bogart, June Allyson, Keenan Wynn, William Campbell, and Patricia Tiernan. "You're about to wreck something beautiful." I generally enjoy Humphrey Bogart pictures and decided to DVR this picture when I found it on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). This film is nothing special overall but does contains some great lines and interactions between characters. This isn't a bad film to watch if you're a fan of Bogart but you're not missing much if you skip it either. "What are you thinking about?" "You." "That's good. At least you're not wasting your time." Grade: C+/B-

Kevin Robbins
Kevin Robbins

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