Pork Chop Hill (1959)

“[to his commanders via radio] I have about 25 men, they are completely spent. I expect a heavy attack at dark, that’ll be about a half an hour from now, unless we can be reinforced, I recommend we withdraw. Over.” – Joe Clemons

Number of Times Seen – 1 (7 Mar 2019)

Brief Synopsis – As the grunts on the ground try o take an inconsequential yet difficult hill during the Korean War, the politicians try to work out a peace deal 70 miles away.

My Take on it – For as long as people have been making movies, they have been making great (anti-) war films that show the struggle of the “grunts” on the ground as they must follow orders from above that they might not fully understand, but still must carry out.

This film shows both the bloody conflict and the politics being played at the bargaining table during negotiations for a cease fire.

Gregory Peck is superbly chosen in the lead role (despite his age) and he and hs costars hep give off such a patriotic feeling when watching them portray these men who feel as if they are trapped in a doomed situation.

This film says so much about the politics of war from various levels which helps make it even more poignant.

This movie shows how even in a war like this, an insignificant little hill could matter so much on a strategic level that can be deated over and over by the various levels of soldiers dealing with fighting the battle and the politicians making the decision from far away.

This film does a wodnerful job showing on various levels how bloody war can be while obviously using the adage of War is Hell.

This helps make this story feel even more timeless because it doesn’t matter when or where, war is fought like this.

This film shhas some great supporting rles by Jack Klugman, Rip Torn, Harry Guardino and George Peppard.

Bottom Line – Great (anti-) war film that shows the bloody battle on the ground yet also looks at how the politicians look at the situation from their desks. Peck is superb in the lead role and it’s easy to feel quite patriotic while watching this film that says so much about the politics of war on numerous levels. They do an excellent job showing how even an insignificant little hill in an overall war could matter so much without having real strategic value.  They do an amazing job showing the various levels of War is Hell and that helps make so much of what happens here quite timeless since these same events can occur in any war throughout time because the situation is so common. Some great supporting roles by Klugman, Torn, Guardino and Peppard. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Gregory Peck, as Lt. Joe Clemons, is never seen firing his weapons (an M2 .30 carbine and a 1911A1 .45 pistol) at any time during the film. Peck was a lifelong pacifist and a major supporter of gun control. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)


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2 thoughts on “Pork Chop Hill (1959)

  1. When I’m not doing silly comparisons between sports and movies, I fancy myself a bit of an amateur military historian. The Korean War is an interesting topic for a host of reason I won’t bore you with here. What matters is this period produces some of the best examples of the “gritty/brutally real” war films. This is one of my favorite examples of that.

    Not to mention, this movie has an amazing cast.


  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1959 | MovieRob

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