Directed by Lewis Milestone
Screenplay by James R. Webb
Director Of Photography: Sam Leavitt
Film Editor: George Boemler
Music by Leonard Rosenman
Cast: Gregory Peck, Harry Guardino, Rip Torn, George Peppard, Carl Benton Reid, James Edwards, Bob Steele, Woody Strode, Robert Blake, Martin Landau, Harry Dean Stanton
There aren’t many Korean War movies. But Pork Chop Hill (1959) makes sure it’s well-represented on the cinematic battlefield. It’s terrific — Lewis Milestone’s staging of the battle scenes is absolutely incredible — and it’s coming to Blu-ray in January from Olive Films.
Milestone’s original cut took us back and forth between the peace talks and the needless combat on the hill (the idea was to show Korea that we would continue fighting if peace wasn’t reached). But Gregory Peck, as co-producer and star, had the film trimmed by about 20 minutes, eliminating much of the peace talk stuff and making it a more traditional war movie. You can see evidence of that cutting if you look for it, but it’s still a solid, hard-hitting war picture. Recommended.