7.1/10
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Pork Chop Hill (1959)

Approved | | Action, Drama, War | 14 June 1959 (UK)
During the Korean War peace talks, U.S. troops fight to retake a hill from the Communist Chinese forces.

Director:

Lewis Milestone

Writers:

S.L.A. Marshall (book) (as Brig. Gen. S.L.A. Marshall USAR), James R. Webb (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gregory Peck ... Lt. Joe Clemons
Harry Guardino ... Pvt. Forstman
Rip Torn ... Lt. Walter Russel
George Peppard ... Cpl. Chuck Fedderson
Carl Benton Reid ... American Admiral at Peace Conference
James Edwards ... Cpl. Jurgens
Bob Steele ... Col. Kern
Woody Strode ... Pvt. Franklin
George Shibata George Shibata ... Lt. Suki Ohashi
Norman Fell ... Sgt. Coleman
Lew Gallo ... Lieutenant, Division Public Relations
Robert Blake ... Pvt. Velie
Cliff Ketchum Cliff Ketchum ... Cpl. Payne (radio operator)
Biff Elliot ... Pvt. Boven
Charles Aidman ... Lt. Harrold
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Storyline

Grim story of one of the major battles of the Korean War. While negotiators are at work in Panmunjom trying to bring the conflict to a negotiated end, Lt. Joe Clemons is ordered to launch an attack and retake Pork Cop Hill. It's tough on the soldiers who know that the negotiations are under way and no one wants to die when they think it will all soon be over. The hill is of no particular strategic military value but all part of showing resolve during the negotiations. Under the impression that the battle has been won, battalion headquarters orders some of the men withdrawn when in fact they are in dire need of reinforcements and supplies. As the Chinese prepare to counterattack and broadcast propaganda over loudspeakers, the men prepare for what may be their last battle. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Bold! Blunt! Blistering! The battle picture without equal! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 June 1959 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Pork Chop Hill See more »

Filming Locations:

Patagonia, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$4,024,066
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Melville Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The French premiere was received with criticism on grounds of racism, as the character played by Woody Strode was shown to be a coward during the initial attack on the Chinese position. See more »

Goofs

Just before the American attack on the hill, the commanding officer is pointing out positions on a 3D clay model of the hill with his M4 bayonet. He lays his bayonet on the table and covers it with a paper map, then steps over to the radio man in conversation. He then steps back to the map table and the paper map has disappeared. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Col. Davis (battalion commander): Pork Chops Been Lost! Get Your Company Ready to Counter-Attack!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Following the opening credits and opening scenes: A RESERVE POSITION NEAR PORK CHOP HILL--70 MILES FROM THE PEACE CONFERENCE AT PUNMUNJOM-KOREA-1953 See more »

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User Reviews

 
"It's Value Is, It Has No Value"
24 June 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Take a look at the jagged line that represents the boundary truce line between North and South Korea on a map. You'll then have some idea of what Pork Chop Hill is all about.

While the armistice talks are going on in Panmunjom, both sides are jockeying for position on both sides. The truce line will be on a prescribed latitude parallel, but owing to various hills and valleys, adjustments are in order. Those adjustments are costing lives though.

While the talks are in their final stages the Communists prove intransigent about a particular piece of real estate called Pork Chop Hill that really has no significant value. But as Carl Benton Reid at the talks says it's value is it has no value. The Communists are just using it as a test of wills, filed for future reference.

Gregory Peck as Lieutenant Joe Clemons gets the dirty task of leading his men into battle for no real discernible reason. How he keeps his men going is the real story here.

Joe Clemons was a real army lieutenant who wrote a book on his real experiences on literally the last day of the Korean War. Peck is an inspirational Clemons and I'm sure the real Clemons must have liked it.

Scattered in the cast are such future movie and television names as George Peppard, Harry Guardino, Gavin McLeod, Robert Blake, and Norman Fell. But the best performance in the film without a doubt belongs to Woody Strode. He's fully conscious of the racism he's feeling at home just before the civil rights revolution and can't really come up with a reason to die for Korea or do time in the army stockade for desertion. His scenes with Peck and with fellow black GI James Edwards just crackle with heat and talent. I'm surprised no one considered Strode for Best Supporting Actor.

Lewis Milestone who directed THE anti-war film, All Quiet On the Western Front is at the top of his game in Pork Chop Hill. A really good film about a sadly forgotten conflict.


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