The Steel Helmet

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Reviews Counted: 13

liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 793


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 4/5

You may have noticed some of the recent changes we have made. To read more about what we’ve been working on behind the scenes, please check out our new RT Product Blog here.

Want to See

Add Rating
My Rating    

Movie Info

One of the greatest war films ever made, this film still retains considerable power when compared with today's more explicit offerings. Fuller regular Gene Evans plays a tough-as-nails sergeant who, because of his helmet, is the sole survivor of an ambush during the Korean War. He is helped through the wilderness by an orphan (William Chun as Short Round) and led to a new platoon that faces even greater dangers.

Watch it now


Gene Evans
as Sgt. Zack
Robert Hutton
as Pvt. Bronte
Steve Brodie
as Lt. Driscoll
James Edwards
as Cpl. Thompson
Richard Loo
as Sgt. `Buddhahead' Tanaka
Sid Melton
as Joe, 2nd GI
Richard Monahan
as Pvt. Baldy
William Chun
as `Short Round'
Harold Fong
as The Red
Lynn Stalmaster
as 2nd Lieutenant
View All

News & Interviews for The Steel Helmet

Critic Reviews for The Steel Helmet

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (2)

Audience Reviews for The Steel Helmet

Really great Korean War flick from Sam Fuller. Possibly the best Korean war movie ever, although I'd need to do some more research to be sure.

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

Well-made film set during the Korean Conflict by Samuel Fuller. More character study than exciting battle film, and definiltely anti-war, as most war films really are. A gruff but tired sergeant, who is the sole survivor of the ambush of his platoon by North Korean soldiers, meets up with a ragtag platoon in a similar state and a young South Korean boy. They take temporary refuge in a Buddhist temple (although the giant Buddha statue looked more like Geronimo), where they are attacked by North Koreans. A couple of slightly disturbing scenes, including one where Sgt. Zack tells the Korean boy, called "Short Round", to get a helmet and boots from one of his dead platoon mates, and a black soldier's discussion of racism in America, which he seems to accept with little comment. Odd, but I assume it's a product of the time the film was made. For some reason that I haven't put my finger on yet, I got a strong feel of Kurosawa while watching this film, especially Rashomon and Seven Samurai.

Cindy I
Cindy I

Super Reviewer

i didn't think a film like this was possible in 1950's john wayne america; an emotionally honest portrait of soldiers under fire made at the height of the korean war. i have new found respect for sam fuller. this is in the league of paths of glory and bridge on the river kwai. it's outstanding and a must-see for fans of war films. i'd never even heard of this but i'm really glad i watched it

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

A crusty, war-weary infantry sergeant teams up with a Korean orphan boy and a rag-tag, disheveled group of American soldiers enroute to an abandoned Buddhist temple in order to establish a forward observation post for artillery. Once there they capture a North Korean major who is intent on dividing them along racial lines. Shot on a shoe-string budget in 10 days at the height of the Korean war and the McCarthy era "red scare", The Steel Helmet proves beyond any doubt that director Samuel Fuller had enormous testicles. Very few, if any, Hollywood executives would have taken on the Korean conflict (and the American propaganda machine) with such candor and honesty. If all you know about America's fight with North Korea comes from watching episodes of M*A*S*H on TV then this one is a must-see. Easily one of the best American war films ever made.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

The Steel Helmet Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features