Pork Chop Hill - well done movie
Mrpapaw | 07/12/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had seen 'Pork Chop Hill' many years ago, and had thought it was a good depiction of that war. Recently, I had the pleasure of eating some German food with the title character and his wife, Joe and Cecille Clemons, in Asheville NC. Unbeknownst to me, they are neighbors of some fellow church members here in town, who were also in our dining group. Upon learning that Joe's part had been played by Gregory Peck, one of Hollywood's finest actors, I couldn't wait to find and purchase the film to watch again. It acurately portrays the horrors of war, and the fact that it was filmed in black & white only adds to that portrayal. I would recommend this movie for any student of history."
Peck's Pork Chop Satisfies
William Perez | Honolulu Hawaii | 06/17/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the few great movies about the Korean War. It is based on the last battle of the conflict before the cease fire was signed. Peck's film company produced it after he read S.L.A. Marshall's book on the subject. Peck stars as Lt Joe Clemons, the company commander tasked with the most difficult job of any commander in war: getting his men to fight and perhaps die in the waning hours of an unpopular war, against a numerous Chinese enemy that doesnt care about casualties. He is told his company must sieze Pork Chop Hill, a seemingly insignificant piece of land with no value other than what the generals and politicians place on it. One scene shows the General's quandries and frustrations about reinforcing the understrength companies fighting on Pork Chop (a line from the film is "These aren't ordinary men, they're COMMUNISTS!"). This briefly highlights the sometimes ludicrous nature and reasoning behind the fighting in Korea, and the absurdity of war in general. This anti-war message is a subtle one, but beyond this Peck and Director Lewis Milestone (All's quiet on the Western Front) highlight the human drama of war: the incredible bravery and resolve in the face of sometimes hopeless odds that the American fighting man displayed. Big action and small roles for Robert Blake, Rip Torn, Woody Strode, Norman Fell (of Three's Company fame), Harry Guardino (of Dirty Harry fame), and George Peppard, and even a cameo by Harry Dean Stanton (of Paris Texas fame). Of note, it shows what no other film about Korea really did: the integration of all races fighting as one in the previously segregated US Army. Peck and crew 'heat up Pork Chop' with enough taught action and tense dramatic moments to make this film worth viewing and owning in any DVD library."
Good, Solid Close to the Ground Tale of Men in Combat
Mcgivern Owen L | NY, NY USA | 07/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Pork Chop Hill" is set late in the Korean War as the negotiations drone at the "Peace Talks". An infantry company is given the mission to recapture a "strategically meaningless" hill. It's not meaningless if the Army sends you there! PCH is based on a book by BG S.L.A. Marshall, a prominent military historian. Right from the outset, there is a brooding, moody element to the film, especially early on. The b&w photography is just right. Gregory Peck is front as center as company commander, aided by a strong supporting cast, many of whom later became prominent actors. These include Rip Torn, Woody Strode, Martin Landau and George Peppard. George Shibata is excellent as a Japanese-American looey. Peck exudes the same quiet strength he demonstrated in "The Gunfighter" and "Twelve O'Clock High". Does anyone remember the lesser known release, "The Night People"? Vets will quickly identify with a string of Army "snafus". It doesn't matter which war it is! Viewers may be disturbed at the randomness of who survives the meat grinder of combat. PCH is noteworthy for the complete respect it shows for the enlisted man and lack of same for "rear echelon types". (There is an acronym for those guys, but amazon would never permit its use in a review). Some may state that PCH is anti-military. This reviewer doesn't believe that but Mike Mayo's "War Movies" quotes Director Lewis Milestone as stating that studio interference altered the original concept of the story. The bottom-line is that PCH is a solid no nonsense story of men in combat with no sentimentality and fluff added. In fact, PCH has no scene that qualifies remotely as filler. Interesting points: No major character is over the rank of 1Lt, no medals or commendations are awarded and despite the close combat, no medics or doctors appear. This reviewer believes that PCH and the grim "Bridges at Toko-Ri" are the principal must-see Korean War movies.