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As a WWII veteran Fuller knows what war is and what really happens in front line small units.
The present film IMHO, represents a new approach to war movies, stark reality is shown, not as realistic as in "Saving Private Ryan" (1998) or "Band of Brothers" (2001), but definitely more lifelike than "Guadalcanal Diary" or "Gung Ho" both from 1943.
The story is about a Company left to fight an almost suicidal rearguard action during Korea War. Being the main character a Corporal reluctant to assume leadership notwithstanding his personal courage and sense of duty.
Playacting is really good with Richard Basehart as Cpl. Denno and Gene Evans as Sgt. Rock (performing Sergeants is a trademark for him) as the acting high points.
If you are a movie fan try to discover Jimmy Dean in his first film appearance as an uncredited GI.
B&W photography enhances the film by accentuating the desolate winter landscape and martial music follows an old tradition for war movies.
It is a very commendable movie for all those interested in war films.
Reviewed by Max Yofre.
In 1991 I found myself leading a team of American soldiers advising an army in a very deadly war against a communist insurgency. Leadership in combat is the ultimate challenge and when my tour ended, I felt no different then how Richard Basehart's character did at the end of this movie.
Though a bit dated, this movie is my all time favorite and definitely a keeper.
Based on some critics I read previously, I was expecting a typical American war movie where the Americans are depicted as flawless heroes while the enemy is shown as stupid, malevolent sub-humans. Not so. This is a plain story where soldiers are, well, just soldiers. At least as far as I can perceive, there is no political agenda or in your face heroism discourses. Though not much background is provided for each of the soldiers, I felt empathy for each of them. Stereotypes? Maybe, but depicted in a very natural, convincing way. Particularly likeable are the two main protagonists: Gene Evans as the wise sergeant-mentor Rock and Richard Basehart (who even looks quite handsome!) as the conflicted corporal Denno. Anyone who has been in an unexpected position of leadership where you have to make important decision concerning other people will be moved by his conflict. There are several scenes full of a dramatic tension that are hard to match: watch for the mine rescue field; just awesome. In a sentence, totally recommended. I'll get also "Steel Helmets" to continue my exploration of Sam Fueller's films.
"Fixed Bayonets!" follows the story of a platoon of men left behind to hold back a Commie counterattack during the Korean War. All the men are a colorful, memorable lot and the film focuses strongly on the Corporal as portrayed by Richard Basehart. While a courageuous man, he has difficulty in firing his weapon. He also is afriad of being in charge and his suspense mounts as one by one the chain of command are knocked off.
This is a very succesful War movie but not quite as fast paced as Fuller's previous classic. Instead Fuller builds suspense and clausterphobia among the ranks as the ebemy closes in on the small number of men. Action is there and is typically quick and unexpected, with a particularly exciting final few minutes.
Fuller injects his usual amount of humor into the picture along with minute details on the plight of the soldier. One of the most memorable moments is that bizarre sequence where all the men keep there feet warm in a cave by massaging them together in a small puddle of water. Or passing the time by creating a replica of Bowling with a snowball and spent shells.
The cast is excellent led by Basehart who brings a toughness and realism that is largely missing from other War movies. Most films in this genre would portray him as a one dimensional coward, but Fuller chooses to depict him in a more well rounded light. Case in point: Look at the Upham character from "Saving Private Ryan" for proof of Hollywood's "easy way out" writing style to gain a simplistic audience response. Luckily, this film does not go that low.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The director, Sam Fuller, was a combat infantry man in World War II. Fuller's experiences lend a realism to this movie that many other war films lack. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Red Bank Bill
good Korean war movie, the forgotten war, please America, praise your Korean war vets, do not forget.Published 1 month ago by jose correia
One of the few Korean War films out there. The special effects were good for the time period. The cast was good. The story line was fairly simple. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Michael Anthony Duggan
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