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Jump Into Hell (1955)

G | | Drama, War | April 1955 (USA)
Four young French Army officers volunteer to join the Foreign Legion to fight in Dien Bien Phu (Vietnam) in 1954.

Director:

David Butler

Writer:

Irving Wallace
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jacques Sernas ... Capt. Guy Bertrand (as Jack Sernas)
Kurt Kasznar ... Capt. Jean Callaux
Arnold Moss ... Gen. Christian De Castries
Peter van Eyck ... Lt. Heinrich Heldman
Marcel Dalio ... Sgt. Taite
Norman Dupont Norman Dupont ... Lt. André Maupin
Lawrence Dobkin ... Maj. Maurice Bonet
Patricia Blair ... Gisele Bonet (as Pat Blake)
Lisa Montell ... Jacqueline (as Irene Montwill)
Alberto Morin ... Maj. Riviere
Maurice Marsac ... Capt. LeRoy
Louis Mercier Louis Mercier ... Capt. Darbley
Peter Bourne Peter Bourne ... Lt. Robert
Roger Valmy Roger Valmy ... Maj. Lamoreaux
Leon Lontoc ... Lt. Pham
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Storyline

In 1954, during the French Indo-China War, the French military outpost at Dien Bien Phu is surrounded by massive Communist Viet Minh forces. A French division of 13,000 men is encircled by four enemy divisions. During the intensive enemy artillery bombardment, the only French landing strip becomes unusable. This means the French garrison at Dien Bien Phu can only be supplied by parachute drops. The French garrison is desperately short of men, ammunition, food, fuel and medicine. To make matters worse, a Chinese officer has infiltrated the base and was sending vital military information to the enemy until he was captured by French army intelligence. The enemy knows the exact number of French troops at Dien Bien Phu, as well as their weapons, morale and supplies. The enemy also knows the rough location of the smaller French fire-bases in the valley. Short of officers, the commander of French forces at Dien Bien Phu, General Christian De Castries, radios Paris for reinforcements and ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The 'sealed-orders' guys who ripped out of the skies to tear their way into history !

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

April 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cehenneme Atlayis See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Patricia Blair. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting subject matter, presented in a very one-sided manner.
28 June 2005 | by guancheSee all my reviews

This is one of the very few films dealing with the the "French" phase of the Vietnam War. It's a medium budget (even though the guns aren't fully authentic) American film with many European actors. It was made at the height of the Cold War, and before the American public became jaded and cynical over our own involvement. Many brave men on both sides sacrificed their lives at Dienbienphu, and most believed deeply in their respective causes. A fair number of rear echelon French troops---including Vietnamese and Foreign Legionnaires (some of them with ugly past lives in the SS) parachuted into the slaughterhouse, even after the situation had become hopeless. Amazingly, some of them had never jumped before! But, despite this truly monumental display of courage, the overly worshipful portrayal of the French is more than a bit over the top.

The idea of turning Dienbienphu---surrounded by densely forested mountains----into a super firebase in an area with only one all weather road and an airstrip right under the concealed guns of an unsubdued enemy, was a military blunder of the first rank.

Unmentioned in the film is the fact that the French really expected massive U.S. intervention if they got into serious trouble. But, they didn't even get the airstrikes they begged for. The ending is a bit deceptive since it is implied that the French went down fighting to the last man. Although they sustained heavy battle casualties, in actuality they surrendered after running out of ammunition, and thousands of French soldiers and legionnaires went into captivity. Many died of disease and malnutrition.

The movie does contain a fair amount of action and the battle scenes are well staged. Strangely enough, some of the best parts deal with the "soap opera" flashbacks of the main characters about their prewar lives. I loved this movie when I was a kid. Although my subsequently acquired knowledge has cooled my enthusiasm in many respects, it is still an interesting historical period piece, and a worthwhile story about bravery and sacrifice.

Another one of a rather surprising number of quality films that have never made it to commercial video.


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