Pork Chop Hill Reviews
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."
also stars Harry Guardino, Rip Torn, George Peppard, James Edwards, George Shibata, Woody Strode, Bob Steele and Norman Fell.
directed by Lewis Milestone.
(1959) Pork Chop Hill
Based on fact written from S.L.A. Marshall's personal book similar to "Hamburger Hill" centering on taking charge of a pointless hill. In this case it's against the Chinese taking the hill from the Koreans and the US soldiers duty to take it back from them. Another anti-war film with a message already seen way before the movie is even over still important since it's part of history. Starring Gregory Peck as the Sergent and George Peppard, Rip Torn and Robert Blake playing some of the soldiers.
3 out of 4
also stars George Peppard, Harry Guardino, Rip Torn, George Shibata, James Edwards, Woody Strode, Bob Steele and Norman Fell.
directed by Lewis Milestone.
Gregory Peck shines as the hardnosed commander who must take Pork Chop Hill and motivate his troops, regardless of the war ending soon. He must take on the enemy as well as the slack of his own troops.
There are quite a few good scenes, especially with the demoralizing enemy speaker. He tries to discourage and persuade the American to surrender at every turn, but never to excess.
Gregory Peck was the only reason I watched this film. He hands a nice tough leader type role and performs well. The rest of the cast is too sporadic and similar to give any credit.
A grim and bleak war film, but with very little substance or style to make it stand apart from other war films.
There a some familiar faces from the 80s, it's kind of cool to see them so long ago in their youth.
I am going to simplify my reviews of these two classic war movies into one topic ... values.
By value I am not writing about monetary values. You have probably heard the phrase: "He knows the price of everything and the value of nothing". I know people like this too. Value in the movies being reviewed in not the intrinsic 'value' of the thing being fought over or for, but the sacrifice individuals are willing to make for the effort. Pork Chop Hill was a forgotten battle in a forgotten war and soldiers died to prove that they valued with their sacrifice a thing on no military value.
Das Boot was based on a mission of failure for a lost cause, but of value to those men who died also to show that by their sacrifice they valued the effort and each other, not the mission.