Men in War (1957)

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Movie Info

Anthony Mann, best known for his intelligent Westerns and hard-boiled crime films, directed this unflinching look at the realities of war set against the backdrop of the Korean conflict. Lt. Mark Benson (Robert Ryan) is the leader of a platoon that has just been given orders to advance to Hill 465, where they are to join awaiting troops and advance on the territory. While Benson and his men are weary, they have little choice but to comply. Needing a transport for their weapons, Benson and his men commandeer a truck, only to discover that it's not empty -- Sgt. "Montana" Williamette (Aldo Ray) has been ordered to escort a colonel (Robert Keith) suffering from extreme battle fatigue to a field hospital for examination and treatment. While Benson's loyalty is to his troops and his mission, Montana refuses to turn over the truck; the colonel is one of the only men he's been able to rely on during his stretch in the Army, and he is determined to stand by him in his time of need. Either way, the men find themselves frequently confronted by danger, and their numbers are decimated when they're ambushed by enemy troops. The supporting cast includes L.Q. Jones, Nehemiah Persoff, and Vic Morrow, who five years later would confront the dark side of war on a weekly basis as star of the TV series Combat. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast

Robert Ryan
as Lt. Mark Benson
Aldo Ray
as Sgt. Joseph (Montana) Williamette
Robert Keith
as Colonel
Vic Morrow
as Zwickley
Phillip Pine
as Riordan
L.Q. Jones
as Sam Davis
Scott Marlowe
as Meredith
Walter Kelley
as Ackerman
Robert Normand
as Christensen
Anthony Ray
as Penelli
Victor Sen Yung
as Korean Sniper
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Critic Reviews for Men in War

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (4)

Time has proved its unassuming, unadorned craftsmanship - and Ryan's understanding of men pushed to the edge, never asking for an audience's sympathy, only our awareness.

Jul 2, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

War on the ground has rarely been done much better than this.

Oct 28, 2008 | Full Review…
New Yorker
Top Critic

One of the best of the lost patrol movies, set in Korea in 1950, bleakly anti-heroic and prefiguring Milestone's Pork Chop Hill in the bitter irony of its climactic assault on a hill.

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

The screen play by Philip Yordan and the direction of Anthony Mann are made up largely of previous war-film indications of human behavior that mean little when repeated so many times.

Mar 25, 2006 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

A razor-sharp use of environment. Though the territory is wild and unknown, Mann still emphasizes clarity of action over chaos.

Oct 29, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Grim, harsh, stunningly shot, Mann's Korean War drama is one of the best samplers of its genre.

Aug 25, 2012 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Men in War

½

A tough, dogged look at the psychological beating combat troops endure. Film has special meaning for me because my mother named me Aldo Ray after seeing this movie in the summer of 1958. I was born two months later on September 6th --- coincidently, the events in the film all took place on the same date.

Aldo Gandia
Aldo Gandia

Super Reviewer

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