6.1/10
788
20 user 5 critic

Take the High Ground! (1953)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | 30 October 1953 (USA)
In 1953, at Fort Bliss, Texas, two former Korean War combat veterans work as drill sergeants and fall in-love with the same woman.

Director:

Richard Brooks

Writers:

Millard Kaufman (story), Millard Kaufman (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Widmark ... Sgt. Thorne Ryan
Karl Malden ... Sgt. Laverne Holt
Elaine Stewart ... Julie Mollison
Carleton Carpenter ... Merton 'Tex' Tolliver
Russ Tamblyn ... Paul Jamison
Jerome Courtland ... Elvin C. Carey
Steve Forrest ... Lobo Naglaski
Robert Arthur ... Donald Quentin Dover IV
Chris Warfield Chris Warfield ... Soldier
William Hairston William Hairston ... Daniel Hazard
Maurice Jara Maurice Jara ... Franklin D. No Bear
Bert Freed ... Sgt. Vince Opperman
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Iris Adrian ... Mrs. Butterfly (scenes deleted)
James MacArthur
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Storyline

Sgt. Thorne Ryan, who once fought bravely in Korea, now serves as a hard-nosed drill instructor to new Army recruits at Fort Bliss, Texas. But is he really the man he is often described as? His fellow instructor, and friend helps him to face the ghosts of his past experiences in Korea. One night in a bar across the border in Juarez, Mexico, Sgt. Ryan meets a lady who begins to turn his life around. Will this be enough to help him deal with the past? Or will he continue to be so hard on his troops? This movie was filmed mostly on location at Fort Bliss, Texas in El Paso. Written by Vincent Merlaud <merlaud@studi.mathematik.hu-berlin.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Gripes ! Gags ! Girls ! Guts ! Guys !

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 October 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Making of a Marine See more »

Filming Locations:

El Paso, Texas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,166,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (remix for video release)| Stereo (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Anscocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the graduation day formation a captured V2 (yellow and red) can be seen in the background. See more »

Goofs

When Ryan and Holt have the troops on a training exercise in the field, Ryan tells Holt to "get back to base." The Army doesn't refer to its facilities as bases. An actual solider would have said "get back to the post." See more »

Quotes

Sgt. Thorne Ryan: This is your rifle, and not your gun; it's made for shooting, and not for fun!
See more »

Soundtracks

Soy de Jalisco
(uncredited)
Music by Ramon Duran
See more »

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User Reviews

Authentic Real Time Period Piece
24 November 1999 | by elcutachSee all my reviews

While this may not be the movie that made me want to join the Army in 1956, it may have helped. The plot is a formulaic coming of age in basic training story, turning boys into men. The personal interactions and love affairs of Widmark and Malden, the veterans of Korea who are now leading a trainng platoon at Fort Bliss, Texas, next to El Paso are also formulaic.

The real value of this picture is as a time capsule. Nothing herein is BS, dreamed up, or recreated such as are Platoon, or Full Metal Jacket or Apocalypse Now, to mention some more modern highly praised but highly fictionalized films. Nor is it an anachronistic mish mash such or a low budget BW cheapie such as many of that period were.

Everything shown here is as it was at the time of filming and the background extras and other military individuals were actually going through infantry training with the real possibility of going to combat in Korea when it was being made. (An amusing aspect is that the opening scene of the newly arrived trainees and the disciplined troops entraining for their new assignments were filmed on the same day with the same Southern Pacific locomotive and equipment. Yet supposedly took place three months apart.)

Other time capsule films of the time are Bombers B-57, and Strategic Air Command, which prove that officially approved films can be entertaining and informative both.


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