A characteristically hard-hitting war movie from Fuller, charting the fortunes of Gene Evans' Sergeant Zack, sole survivor of a PoW massacre in Korea. Saved by a Korean orphan and joining up with other GIs cut off from their units, Evans' cynical veteran embodies the writer-director's abiding thesis that, to survive the madness of war, a ruthless individualism is necessary. Fuller glamorises neither his loner protagonist nor the war itself: if he clearly supports the US presence in Korea, battle is still a chaotic, deadly affair, and nobody has much idea of why they fight. The action scenes are terrific, belying the movie's very low budget.
The Steel Helmet
Cast and crew