Hell Is for Heroes (1962)

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Movie Info

Dismissed as just another war flick at the time of its release, Hell is For Heroes has gained stature over the years by virtue of the "cult" status of director Don Siegel. Troublesome sergeant Steve McQueen has been busted to private and assigned to his old squadron on the Siegfried Line. Squad leader Harry Guardino has been ordered to take a huge, seemingly impenetrable German pillbox. Guardino is competent, but it is McQueen who comes up with the crucial bit of strategy: to convince the … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Robert Pirosh, Richard Carr
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 22, 2001
Runtime:
Paramount Pictures

Cast


as Pvt. Corby

as Sgt. Pike

as Pvt. Driscoll

as Sgt. Larkin

as Cpl. Henshaw

as Pvt. Kolinsky

as Capt. Loomis

as Pvt. Cumberly

as Sgt. Frazer

as Monique

as Capt. Mace

as Homer
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Hell Is for Heroes

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (2)

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

A fairly-routine WW11 action-packed film.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

July 5, 2005
EmanuelLevy.Com

June 1, 2005
International Press Academy

August 22, 2003
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Audience Reviews for Hell Is for Heroes

A squad of six US soldiers are ordered to hold a section of The Siegfried Line alone during WWII and so come up with ever more creative ways to disguise their numbers. Hell Is For Heroes was directed by Don Siegel who went on to become one of the best directors of hard-boiled action thrillers around (Dirty Harry being the most famous example) and he shows his skill for economy and gritty violence in this unpretentious and authentic depiction of combat. Steve McQueen shows his star quality as an embittered and possibly shell-shocked ex-sergeant who takes matters into his own hands when they are discovered and his performance is fantastic. In fact the entire cast are great (especially James Coburn who would co-star with McQueen again in The Magnificent Seven), the banter and comedy of the earlier scenes really nicely balanced with some brutal battle scenes later in the film. It concentrates more on the soldier on the ground than trying to sketch out the big picture, showing that there is a thin line between heroism and mental illness and although the climax is a little lacking in closure, it's a powerful and realistic war film ranking amongst the best.

garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

This tense, gritty World War II drama is heaven for action fans and a riveting performance by Steven McQueen. Director Don Siegel was at his riveting best, drawing the viewer into the claustrophobic, nightmarish atmosphere.
Filmed in stark black & white, Siegel's film succinctly captures the fatal brutality of war, in terms perhaps not as graphic, but every bit as effectively as Steven Spielberg would do some thirty-six years later with his monumental film Saving Private Ryan. There is good dialogue with the GI's - Bob Newhart is real funny.

deano
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

This is a good World War II movie. It's set in 1944 France on the Siegfried Line. They did a good job of recreating the tank traps and pill boxes the Germans had built. In the story an infantry company is sent up to the line to break through after being told they were going home after a short period of Rest and Recreation. Their top Sergeant is played by Fess Parker. This was before the Daniel Boone TV show but after the Davy Crocket Disney shows. He plays a tough sergeant but with a little of Davy Crocket's charm. The star of the movie is Steve McQueen. This was right about the time he was becoming a big star. He plays a combat veteran who is suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome and had been demoted from Sergeant Major to private. It's implied that Fess Parker's character is an old friend who has pulled strings to get him assigned to his unit instead of being sent to prison. When this movie was made Viet Nam was not yet in the news and World War II vets were about the same age as the veterans of the First Iraq War are now. Many of the actors in this movie are too old to be playing World War II soldiers. The one exception is Bob Newhart who plays a comic role as a rear area office worker who gets lost and winds up on the front lines. This was his first movie and he's very young when this movie was made. In the movie when a small squad of soldiers wakes up in the morning they find that the rest of their company has moved to a different section of the front and they have been left behind. Fess Parker shows up and tells them that they were left to defend the gap in the line and reinforcements would arrive the next day. They can't let the Germans know that they are outnumbered. The rest of the movie is the story of the strategies they used to fool the Germans for the next 24 hours. The movie is a good tribute to the World War II Vets without the rah-rah for our side dialog from war movies from the 1940's and early 1950's. I first saw this movie on TV when I was a teenager. At the time I was a big Daniel Boone and Fess Parker fan.

Hell Is for Heroes Quotes

– Submitted by Ben C (14 months ago)

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