Pork Chop Hill

  • Film
  • Drama
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A film that might have been an only slightly lesser echo of Milestone's marvellous A Walk in the Sun in its concern for the individual soldier and the collective pointlessness of war (Korea in this case). It details (quite brilliantly) the bloody assault on a hill of no particular strategic value (no sooner taken than it's abandoned) except that winning it will mean that the general staff will be speaking from strength at the truce talks already under way. Compromise is evident in the way Peck plays the lead as a gung-ho John Wayne (in the real action on which the story is based, the lieutenant commanding the assault was apparently untried and more than fallible); but pre-release tampering also introduced a note of jingoism into Peck's final voice-off after the carnage ('Millions live in freedom today because of what they did') which was contrary to Milestone's intentions and contrary to the tone of the film itself. Impressive, nevertheless, and with fine performances.

Release details

Duration: 97 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Lewis Milestone
Screenwriter: James R Webb
Cast: Gregory Peck
Harry Guardino
George Shibata
Woody Strode
Rip Torn
James Edwards
George Peppard
Robert Blake
Harry Dean Stanton
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