Pork Chop Hill (1959)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Pork Chop Hill was based on the eyewitness essays of ex-soldier S. L. A. Marshall. The film is set during the Korean "police action." While diplomats argue pointlessly over the shape of the negotiation tables at Panmunjon, United Nations troops bleed and die. Lieutenant Gregory Peck leads a 135-man unit on the attack of the Chinese-held Pork Chop Hill. When reinforcements finally arrive, only 25 of Peck's men survive (and they aren't the usual survivors we've come to expect from earlier, cliché-ridden war films). Among the American troops are such dependable performers as Harry Guardino, Woody Strode, Rip Torn, Barry Atwater, George Peppard, Robert Blake and Martin Landau. Former cowboy-star Bob Steele also shows up briefly as an American general. According to director Lewis Milestone, Pork Chop Hill was cut by nearly twenty minutes because the wife of star Gregory Peck felt that her husband made his first entrance too late into the picture. True or not, the film does show signs of post-production tampering, with flashes of several excised scenes showing up under the main title credits.
Action & Adventure , Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
MGM Home Entertainment


Gregory Peck
as Lt. Joe Clemons
George Peppard
as Cpl. Chuck Fedderson
Harry Guardino
as Pvt. Forstman
Rip Torn
as Lt. Walter Russel
James Edwards
as Cpl. Jurgens
Bob Steele
as Kern
Woody Strode
as Franklin
George Shibata
as Lt. O'Hashi
Norman Fell
as Sgt. Coleman
Biff Elliot
as Bowen
Michael Garth
as S-2 Officer
Ken Lynch
as Gen. Trudeau
Paul Comi
as Sgt. Kreucheberg
Abel Fernandez
as McKinley
Lew Gallo
as PI Officer
Cliff Ketchum
as Cpl. Payne
Martin Landau
as Marshall
Bert Remsen
as Lt. Cummings
Kevin Hagen
as Cpl. Kissell
Harry Dean Stanton
as MacFarland
Leonard Graves
as Lt. Cook
Syl Lamont
as Sgt. Kuzmick
John Alderman
as Lt. Waldorf
John McKee
as Olds
Charles Aidman
as Harrold
Chuck Hayward
as Chalmers
Buzz Martin
as Radio Operator
Robert B. Williams
as Soldier Runner
Viraj Amonsin
as Chinese Broadcaster
Barry McGuire
as Lt. Attridge
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Critic Reviews for Pork Chop Hill

All Critics (4)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 24, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Told in a hard-nosed style.

Full Review… | July 18, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Gritty war, actually anti-war, movie directed by Lewis Milestone of "All Quiet on the Western Front" fame.

February 20, 2007
Dispatch-Tribune Newspapers

In many ways the first modern war film.

Full Review… | October 11, 2006
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 21, 2004

Audience Reviews for Pork Chop Hill

Welcome to the meat grinder. While the United States and Korean diplomats are working on negotiating an end to the Korean War, the troops for both countries remain at war on the ground. The American troops are given an impossible mission to take Pork Chop Hill for no other reason than moral victory. That doesn't feel like a good reason to the US troops who know the war could end any minute now; and even if they take the hill, once at top they can be easily surrounded and attacked. The troops reluctantly pursue the hill. "They're behind us. Every Where. Millions of them..." Lewis Milestone, director of All Quiet on the Western Front, Mutiny on the Bounty (1962), Ocean's 11, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, Les Miserables (1952), and A Walk in the Sun, delivers Pork Chop Hill. The storyline for this is very compelling and has some interesting characters and scenarios. The acting is solid and the cast includes Gregory Peck, Rip Torn, Robert Blake, Harry Guardino, George Peppard, and Bob Steele. "When I get home I'm going to live in an elevator going up and down." I was excited to discover this was recently coming on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and had to DVR it. This was a very solid war movie. It isn't my favorite war genre film, but Peck is excellent in his role. This delivers a unique perspective of the Korean War that makes it a must see but isn't good enough to be a must own for your DVD collection. "You're no good up here with one arm." Grade: B

Kevin Robbins
Kevin Robbins

A company of American soldiers stationed in Korea suffer terrible losses when ordered to take a strategically unimportant hill from Chinese forces. Pork Chop Hill was directed by Lewis Milestone who was no stranger to the genre having directed the classic All Quiet On The Western Front and here he pretty much invented the modern war movie. Influencing everything from Zulu to Black Hawk Down, its power is in its gritty realism and unrelenting depiction of terrifying and seemingly meaningless violence. It was based upon real accounts and written by a veteran soldier which gives it a real authenticity and is very unsentimental in its representation of the soldier on the ground, avoiding the usual soap opera back stories of the central characters. Instead it jumps straight into the action and virtually the entire film is set in the blood soaked trenches. Woody Strode's sole dissenter adds a mild socio-political element which was expanded on the great effect in the Vietnam-based remake Hamburger Hill and solid performances all round make for a quality war film that won't change the mind of anyone who dislikes the genre but will be a potential favourite of those who do.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

For the few films that focus on the Korean War, this film shows the best reflection of what times were like. The actors perform well, and the set is accurately grimy which is all due to Milestone's direction. For my full review of Pork Chop Hill (1959), check it out on this IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053183/reviews-35

Nick Salvemini
Nick Salvemini

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