Saturday, June 17, 2023

Lewis Milestone: Three Wars, Three Decades, Three Movies

His name was   Лейб Мильштейн (Leib Milstein), and he was born in Chisnau (Kishinev) the capital city of Bessarbia, Governate, the Russian Empire, now Moldova, on September 30, 1895. We know him as director LEWIS MILESTONE. Over his career, 1918-1964, Lewis Milestone directed 48-motion pictures, and seven-television programs. This article is about three of Lewis Milestone's feature films.

















Above, Lewis Milestone reading the German language novel he turned into the first of the three movies this article is about.

His name was William Tecumseh Sherman, and he was the Northern Civil War General known for the quote:

War is Hell!














A lesser-known quote from General Sherman is

It is only those who have never heard a shot, never heard the shriek and groans of the wounded and lacerated … that cry aloud for more blood, more vengeance, more desolation.

Lewis Milestone did not direct a motion picture, or television show about the "American Civil War", but he brought both quotes by General William Tecumseh Sherman's to life in three motion pictures in front of Milestone's audiences.


ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT premiered in Los Angeles, California, on April 21, 1930




The Novel:

As the tag line states:

At last - the motion picture!
In November and December of 1928, in the liberal German newspaper "Vossische Zeitung (Voss's Newspaper)", a novel by ex-First World War German soldier Erich Maria Remarque, "Im Westen nichts Neues (Nothing New in the West)", was first being read. On January 29, 1929, the novel appeared in Germany in book form. Adolph Hitler would ban the book after becoming the German Chancellor, even though the book had been in circulation for the previous three-years as a worldwide best-seller.



























The first English language translation of the novel was by Arthur Wesley Wheen, in 1929, as "All Quiet on the Western Front".

Returning to the above motion picture poster, as with all of the "Universal Pictures" films at the time. They were "Presented" by the co-founder, back in 1915 of the studio, Carl Laemmle, Sr. Laemmle was also the illustrator of the 1929 English translation, and of course, had a special interest in obtaining the novel's rights for his studio.















According to "Publishers Weekly", the novel became the bestselling work of fiction in the United States under the title, "All Quiet on the Western Front". Below, the cover of the first English language edition.




The Producer:

Carl Laemmle, Jr. was the producer of the motion picture. "Junior" as he was known around the studio, was the writer of 31 short-subjects between 1926 and 1929. He had produced his first three movies in 1923, took a break until 1926, and became a serious producer from that year forward. From 1928 until the collapse of the Laemmle family's control of "Universal Studios" in 1936, "Junior" was the head of production for the studio. He talked his father into letting him make two movies in 1931, that "Senior" considered a waste of money. The two motion pictures were "Dracula", starring the unknown Bela Lugosi, and "Frankenstein", with the unknown Boris Karloff, and the rest is history.

Carl Laemmle, Jr. would win the 1930, "Academy Award for Outstanding Production", later called, "Best Picture", for "All Quiet in the Western Front".











The Director:

Leib Milstein's primary education was at Jewish schools and included learning several languages fluently. His liberal leaning parents, sent their son to Mittweida, in the German State of Saxony, to study engineering in one of the finest schools in Germany. However, his desire was toward the theater and he would skip his classes to see stage productions and finally failed them. Against his parent's wishes, 18-years-old Leib purchased a one-way transatlantic ticket to the United States and arrived in Hoboken, New Jersey, on November 14, 1913. The young Milstein struggled to find work, but in 1917, just after the United States entered the First World War, he enlisted in the Army Signal Corps. Two of his fellow Signal Corps members were future motion picture directors, Joseph von Sternberg, the original German 1930, "Blue Angel", starring the unknown Marlene Dietrich, and Victor Fleming, both 1939's "The Wizard of Oz" and "Gone with the Wind". 

While in the Army Signal Corps, Leib Milstein had directed four-training-films,

In February 1919, three events took place. First, Leib was discharged from the army, second, he obtained his United States citizenship, and changed his name to Lewis Milestone. Third, another friend from the Signal Corps, Hollywood Producer Jesse Hampton, was able to get Milestone an apprenticeship as a film-editor.

Milestone's first fully recognized Hollywood position was as an "Assistant Director" on "The Foolish Age", released October 16, 1921. He also acted in films and was used as a second unit director.

His first Hollywood motion picture credit as a "Director", was "Seven Sinners", released November 7, 1925, and starring British actor Clive Brook. He had co-written the film with a young writer named Daryl F. Zanuck.

Just prior to "All Quiet on the Western Front", Milestone directed the "ALL TALKING Picture", 1929's, "New York Nights", a crime musical, starring Norma Talmadge, and Gilbert Roland. He would follow this feature with the 1931 version of writers Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur's, Broadway play, "The Front Page", starring Adolphe Menjou and Pat O'Brien.

For "All Quiet on the Western Front", Lewis Milestone would win the "Academy Award for Best Director". 
























The Writing Credits:

Erich Maria Remarque
received credit for writing the novel, "Im Westen nichts Neues (Nothing New in the West)".

Maxwell Anderson received the credit for the adaptation of the novel and writing some of the additional dialogue. Anderson was an American playwright, author, poet, journalist, and even a lyricist.

His Broadway plays which he assisted in turning into movie screenplays include 1924's, "What Price Glory", 1930's, "Elizabeth the Queen", 1933's, "Mary of Scotland", 1939's, "Key Largo", 1948's, "Anne of a Thousand Days", and 1954's, "The Bad Seed".

His straight screenplay work besides this feature film include 1934's, "Death Takes a Holiday", 1935's, "Lives of a Bengal Lancer", Alfred Hitchcock's, 1956, "The Wrong Man", and his uncredited work of director William Wyler's, 1959, "Ben Hur".

Maxwell Anderson was also the lyricist for the popular "September Song", from his Broadway play, 1944's, "Knickerbocker Holiday".


Del Andrews also helped Maxwell Anderson with adapting the novel for a screenplay. Andrews was a silent "B" cowboy screenplay writer, but was mainly a silent cowboy movie director for Hoot Gibson, the forgotten Fred Thompson, and Bob Custer.


George Abbott wrote the actual main screenplay. Abbott was also a multi-talented member of the motion picture industry for eight-decades. Besides being a screenplay writer, he was also a playwright, and both a legitimate theatre and motion picture producer. 

Among his work was producing and directing on stage 1940's, "Pal Joey", introducing Gene Kelly, directing the 1940 play, "The Unconquered", written by Ayn Rand, and being the writer, and director of the both the stage and filmed musicals, 1954's, "The Pajama Game", and 1955's, "Damn Yankees".

The Maxwell Anderson, Del Andrews, and George Abbott screenplay would be nominated for the "Academy Award for Best Screenplay".


C. Gardner Sullivan was the on-set "Supervising Story Chief", who was in charge of making sure the continuity of the screenplay was continued from scene to scene. As such, he is credited to the  screenplay, but not as a writer. 

Sullivan's screenplay work between 1912 to 1942, and included Lon Chaney's, 1925, "The Monster", John Barrymore's, 1928, "Tempest", John, Ethel, and Lionel Barrymore's, 1932, "Rasputin and the Empress" and director/producer Cecil B. DeMille's, 1938, "The Buccaneer", and 1939's, "Union Pacific".


The Silent Screen Version:

There was an actual "Silent Film" version, because as late as 1930, "Universal Pictures" still had many studio owned movie theaters in the United that had yet to convert to sound. Additionally, many European countries also had yet to convert to sound technology, or it was not compatible to the United States sound at the time.

Walter Anthony created the title cards to be used in the silent version as dialogue. That dialogue was by the uncredited Lewis Milestone, based on the sound screenplay.

Milton Carruth was the film-editor of the silent version. He was actually one of the newly created  sound film-editors since 1929, with only four such films before this assignment. 

From "Universal Pictures" music department, department head, David Broekman, chose Sam Perry and Heinz Roemheld, to create the music score for the silent film version.

The running time of the silent version was 133-minutes, or 19-minutes shorter than the original sound release.


The Main Cast of Characters:

Lew Ayres,
billed as Lewis Ayres, portrayed "Paul Baumer". This was twenty-years-old Ayres fourth on-screen appearance, his first two were uncredited small roles, but his third was fifth-billed in Greta Garbo's, 1929, "The Kiss", and it was Ayres who gave Garbo the title "kiss". 

In 1937, Joel McCrea appeared as "Medical Interne James Kildare" in "Doctors Can't Take Money". The following year, on October 14, 1938, the first of a nine-movie series from "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer", "Young Dr. Kildare", premiered. A role Lew Ayres would always be associated with.

Portraying "Paul Baumer" in "All Quiet on the Western Front", affected Lew Ayres and he became a conscientious objector during the Second World War. Until that point in his life, Ayres was considered a Hollywood major film co-star and a full-star in "B" feature films. Between 1942 and 1946, Lew Ayres was shunned by the studios, and served as a medic in the army.

His status with independent movie makers changed with the end of the war, when he co-starred with Olivia de Havilland in the independent film-noir, 1946's, "The Dark Mirror". Followed by co-starring with Ann Sheridan, and Zachery Scott, in the independent, 1947, murder mystery, "The Unfaithful".

The following year, Lew Ayres was nominated for the "Best Actor Academy Award" for portraying "Dr. Robert Richardson", opposite Jane Wyman, in 1948's, "Johnny Belinda", a "Warner Brothers" production.




























Louis Wolheim portrayed "Stanislaus 'Kat' Katczinsky". In 1914, following the advise of his two friends, the brother's Barrymore, John and Lionel, Wolheim entered motion pictures. He was "The Music Hall Proprietor", in John Barrymore's, 1920, "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", and was in both John's 1922, "Sherlock Holmes", and 1928's, "Tempest" as a Russian officer. Because of his looks, broken nose from football at "Cornell University", Louis Wolheim usually portrayed gangsters, or executioners, as he did in director D.W. Griffith's, 1921, "Orphans of the Storm", starring sisters Lillian and Dorothy Gish.  Wolheim also appeared with Lionel five-times in silent films, and speaking of sisters, Ethel Barrymore, twice in silent films.

Just prior to portraying "Kat", Louis Wolheim was in the Conrad Nagel and Kay Johnson, adventure crime drama, 1930's, "The Ship from Shanghai". Wolheim followed this feature by co-starring with Jean Arthur and Robert Armstrong, in the 1930 adventure drama, "Danger Lights".





























John Wray portrayed "Himmelstoss. This was Wray's second on-screen appearance, previously he was a Broadway actor who started out with roles in William Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" and "Hamlet". As for his on-screen roles, in 1932, he recreated the role of "Frog", originated by Lon Chaney, in the remake of "The Miracle Man". Also in 1932, Wray portrayed "Dr. Haines", in the Fay Wray and Lionel Atwill, Technicolor horror movie, "Dr. X". 























Arnold Lucy
portrayed "Professor Kantorek". Lucy was actually a British stage actor, he was born Walter George Campbell, in Tottenham, Middlesex. England. His first on-screen role was in 1916's, "The Devil's Toy", filmed in the United States. Lucy bragged that he had appeared 1,200 times on the London stage, before making his first movie.

Just prior to "All Quiet on the Western Front', Arnold Lucy appeared in the still silent, 1930's, "City Girl", starring Charles Farrell and Mary Duncan. That American movie was directed by Friedrich Wilhelm "F.W." Murnau, the German director of the classic 1922, "Nosferatu".




 

    





















William Blakewell portrayed "Albert Kropp". For fans of 1950's science fiction, Blakewell portrayed "Ted Richards", in the 1952 "Cliff-Hanger/Serial", "Radar Men From the Moon". For fans of Walt Disney, he portrayed "Major Tobias Norton", in both television episodes, 1954's, "Davy Crockett Indian Fighter", and 1955's, "Davy Crockett Goes to Congress". Starting with an episode of televisions 1950, "Dick Tracy", William Blakewell's main income was from that new medium rather than motion pictures. In all the character actor portrayed 218 different roles over his career that started in 1923.























Above left to right in the front row, Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, and William Bakewell.


The Screenplay:




The motion picture was pre-"Production Code", aka: the "Hayes Code". That although written and agreed to in 1930, was not enforced until 1934.

https://josephsmithfoundation.org/docs/the-motion-picture-production-code-of-1930-hays-code/

The screenplay opens with "Paul Baumer" living with his parents, "Herr Baumer", portrayed by Edwin Maxwell, and "Frau Baumer", portrayed by Beryl Mercer, and his sister, "Erna", portrayed by Marion Clayton, in a charming German village far away from the sounds of war.

In the school room, a group of young men including 20-years-old "Paul Baumer" are listening intently to "Professor Kantorek". The "Professor" is telling them about the glory of serving in "Kaiser Wilhem II's" army and "saving the fatherland" against the French and British. It is the first year of the First World War and patriotism and dreams of high honor to their parents, their village, and their country awaits them.




























Into "Professor Kantorek's" romanticized war, his students decide to enlist.




























"Paul's" mother is scared for him and doesn't want him to enlist. While his father is proud of his son and has the same romanticized visions of war found in a village far from it. The young friends join the army as the 2nd Company still filled with "Kantorek's" romanticized visions. 

However, the romantic vision of war and defending the fatherland starts to dissolve, as the one-time students meet the villages ex-mail man, but now as their superior, "Corporal Himmelstoss". Who is seeking revenge on the way the students teased him in the village. The sadistic "Himmelstoss" puts the new recruits through a very fast and harsh training schedule.
























The student-soldier recruits only time to themselves is in their barracks, but the pressure of the training is showing on them. As they begin to realize that "Professor Kantorek's" vision of the glory they will be a part of defending the fatherland is fantasy.










































Their training completed, the new German soldiers, find themselves on a train heading for the front lines. Off the train, they first past through cheering crowds with visions of German glory.



























A short-time later, the one-time students are just entering into the combat zone, when a shot rings out from seemingly nowhere, and one of the group falls down dead. The reality of their real, not romantic, situation shocks the still naïve student-soldiers.

They next find themselves assigned to a unit composed of older combat veterans that do not welcome the new mouths to feed. The new soldiers haven't eaten for days, something over time they will get use too. However, "Corporal 'Kat' Katzinsky" has stolen a pig from the field kitchen and slaughtered it for the unit. Trading cigarettes for a meal, they finally eat.

The new recruits, or should I say still shocked students, are sent to the front. They now experience trench warfare and the death of a member of their group,"Behn", portrayed by Walter Browne Rodgers.

Director Lewis Milestone pulls no punches as he depicts the horror and the reality of trench warfare as soldiers on both sides become casualties, or die in those trenches.
















































































































Finally, the students are sent back to the field kitchens, now harden soldiers of "Kaiser Wilhem II's" army. There they are happy to get double-rations, because of the number of German soldiers dead, there is extra food.

After hearing that they would be returning to the front lines the next day. The group now starts a semi-serious discussion of the causes of war and war in general.























One day, "Corporal Himmelstoss" arrives at the front and is spurned by his fellow villagers and others. "Himmelstoss's" reputation from training has followed him, but this doesn't go far. Because on his first day in the trenches of the real war and not the make-believe of his training sessions. He shows himself to be a coward, is forced over the top of the trench, and immediately is killed in an attack on a cemetery.




































































The German troops continue through the cemetery fighting the unseen French troops.






























In the cemetery, "Paul" gets into a knife fight with a French soldier in a shell-hole in the battlefield, and stabs him. However, "Paul" now finds himself trapped by firing from both sides and spends the night with the dying soldier wondering what brought both of them to this point?




During the long night, "Paul" has attempted to save the soldier, but to no avail. 






Morning comes and "Paul" makes it back to the German lines distraught and begging forgiveness over not saving the French soldier's life. There, he is comforted by "Kat", but later on the line, "Paul Baumer" is severely wounded and taken to a Catholic Hospital.





























"Paul" is taken to the bandaging ward, were, according to its reputation, nobody returns. However, the frightened "Paul", learns otherwise. While this was transpiring, also taken to the hospital is "Paul's" good friend and fellow student, "Albert Kropp", whose leg is amputated. When "Paul" returns to the general ward, he finds "Albert" in a state of extreme depression. 






























However, "Paul's" attempts at comforting his friend do not seem to work. The following day "Paul Baumer" is given a furlough and goes to see his family. He is shocked to find that they and those in his village are optimistic about how well the war is going for Germany.














































"Paul" goes to "Professor Kantorek's" classroom and meets a new group of students that he is filling their minds with his fantasies of heroic war. When he shares his experiences with the Professor and his class, he is called a coward. "Paul" leaves knowing that in the classroom the illusion of defending the fatherland with glory lives!

An angry "Paul Baumer" returns to the 2nd Company, only to find a group of new recruits disillusioned by the stories of glory for the fatherland. This leads to a discussion with "Kat" about how the people away from the war cannot comprehend the futility of war.

































 














A French aircraft drops a bomb near the two men and "Kat's" shin is broken. "Paul" now starts carrying "Kat" to the nearest field hospital.


















A second bomb drops, but "Paul" keeps moving toward the field hospital. When he arrives, he learns that "Kat" had been killed by that second bomb explosion. "Paul Baumer" now feels the weight of losing his mentor and everyone he was in "Professor Kantorek's" classroom with, making him the last student standing!

Back on the front line, "Paul" sees a butterfly and reaches out from the trench to touch it. A shot rings out and he is dead. It is "All Quiet on the Western Front"!






























 























The "International Sound Version" premiered in Los Angeles on April 21, 1930 with a running time of 152-minutes. This version has music and foreign title cards replacing dialogue. A complete 152-minute sound version of the motion picture premiered in New York City on April 29, 1930. A version running 147-minutes was made for the United Kingdom, but British censors cut another 2-minutes, before its London premiere on June 14, 1930 . "All Quiet on the Western Front" went into general release in the United States on August 24, 1930. The current restored motion picture runs 133-minutes.

In late 1939, after the attack on Poland by Nazi Germany, a shorten version of "All Quiet on the Western Front" was released in the United States with the following poster;
































Just into the third month after the Second World War ended, Lewis Milestone had the American movie audience spend approximately eight-hours with an army platoon who took:


A WALK IN THE SUN premiering on December 3, 1945





The Producers:

Actor Burgess Meredith, who would narrate this motion picture, persuaded his close friend producer Samuel Bronston to produce the motion picture. Initial production began, but problems developed with creditors backing the picture and Bronston was forced to shut it down. Later, he would produce among other epic films in the 1960's, "King of Kings", "El Cid" and "The Fall of the Roman Empire". My article, "SAMUEL BRONSTON Movies Featuring a Cast of Thousands", may be read at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2016/04/samuel-bronston-movies-featuring-cast.html

















Above, Samuel Bronston at the time.


"A Walk in the Sun" was taken over by independent "Superior Productions" co-owned by Lewis Milestone and they completed the production with Milestone as director.


The Director:

After directing 1931's, "The Front Page", Lewis Milestone directed the 1932 version of "Rain", starring Joan Crawford portraying prostitute "Miss Sadie Thompson", from the 1921 short story, "Miss Thompson", by W. Somerset Maugham. As a peculiarity of early sound motion pictures that was left over from the silent era, Milestone received no on-screen credit for directing the feature film. He did get credit although as the film's producer. In 1935, Milestone married Kendell Lee, and their marriage lasted until her death in 1978. In 1939, Lewis Milestone directed author John Steinbeck's, "Of Mice and Men", starring Burgess Meredith portraying "George", and an outstanding Lon Chaney, Jr. portraying "Lennie". 

When the United States entered the Second World War, among Milestone's films prior to this feature was the documentary, 1942's, "Our Russian Front". Lewis Milestone used Russian footage to tell his audience about life in our ally Russia at the time with Walter Huston narrating the documentary. The Errol Flynn, Ann Sheridan, and Walter Huston, war drama set in Norway, 1943's, "Edge of Darkness", followed and that feature was followed by 1943's, "The North Star", written by playwright Lillian Hellman, about a Ukrainian village invaded by Nazi's, and starring Ann Baxter, Dana Andrews, and Walter Huston. Next, was the pure propaganda, 1944, "The Purple Heart", starring Dana Andrews, Richard Conte, and Farley Granger, about a bomber crew shot down over Japan after an attack on Tokyo.



























Above, Lewis Milestone with Dana Andrews.


The Novel:

As with "All Quiet on the Western Front", "A Walk in the Sun" is also based upon a novel written in 1944. The writer was Harry Brown, a poet, novelist, and screenplay writer. He wrote the original story that became John Wayne's, 1949, "Sands of Iwo Jima", and the novel, "The Stars in Their Courses", which became Wayne's, 1966, "El Dorado". Brown also co-wrote with Lewis Milestone, the screenplay for 1948's, "Arch of Triumph", that Milestone directed Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer in. Harry Brown also wrote the screenplay for the Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor, 1951, "A Place in the Sun", and co-wrote the screenplay for Frank Sinatra's "Rat Pack", original, 1960, "Ocean's Eleven".


























In 1944, Harry Brown was a writer for "Yank", a weekly magazine published by the United States Army. Below, the cover of the April 13, 1945 issue.





















"A Walk in the Sun" was initially serialized in "Liberty Magazine", for October 1944. Below, are the covers for the October 7th, October 14th, and October 21, 1944 issues.

















































The Screenplay Writer:

Robert Rossen wrote the screenplay based upon Harry Brown's novel. Among writer Rossen's other work is co-writing 1939's, "The Roaring Twenties", that starred James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart. He wrote the 1941 version of author Jack London's "The Sea Wolf", co-starring Edward G. Robinson, Ida Lupino, and John Garfield. After this film Rossen's work included directing and writing the screenplay for 1949's, "All the King's Men". He was nominated in both categories for "The Academy Award" and won, as the movie's producer, the "Best Picture Oscar". In 1956, Robert Rossen produced, wrote, and directed "Alexander the Great", co-starring Richard Burton, Fredric March, and Claire Bloom.


The Nine Names on the Above Poster:

Dana Andrews portrayed "Sgt. Bill Tyne". Andrews had just seen in the 1945, crime film-noir, "Fallen Angel", directed by Otto Preminger, and co-starring Alice Faye and Linda Darnell. He would follow this feature film with director Jacques Tourneur's, 1946, western, "Canyon Passage", co-starring Brian Donlevy and Susan Hayward.
























Richard Conte portrayed "Pvt. Rivera". Conte had just seen portraying an "Italian P.O.W." in 1945's, "A Bell for Adano", starring Gene Tierney, John Hodiak, and William Bendix. The actor followed this motion picture with the mystery film-noir, 1945's, "The Spider".

George Tyne portrayed "Pvt. Jake Friedman". "A Walk in the Sun" is only the second motion picture of Tyne's first seventeen, that gave him on-screen credit. George Tyne was an uncredited "Cab Driver" in 1945's, "Brewster's Millions", just before this feature film. He followed this feature with his eighteenth motion picture as the uncredited "Cassidy", in 1945's, "Life with Blonde".



























Above left is Richard Conte with George Tyne.

John Ireland
portrayed "PFC. Windy Craven". This was John Ireland's first motion picture appearance. His fifth would be portraying "Billy Clanton" in director John Ford's, 1946, "My Darling Clementine". My article, "John Ireland: Westerns, Film-Noirs, A Little McCarthyism and a Few Affairs", is at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2020/12/john-ireland-westerns-film-noirs-little.html

























Lloyd Bridges portrayed "Staff Sgt Ward". The future "Mike Nelson" of the 1950's popular television show, "Sea Hunt", 1958-1961, had just starred in the 1945, "Cliff-Hanger/Serial", "Secret Agent X-9". He followed this feature with fifth-billing in the Randolph Scott western, 1946's, "Abilene Town". In 1950, after co-starring in the cult science fiction classic, "Rocketship X-M", Bridges returned to a familiar role as either an Nazi, or ex-Nazi in the present day mountain climbing feature, "The White Tower", starring Glenn Ford and Claude Rains.





























Sterling Holloway portrayed "Pvt. 'Mac' McWilliams". For Walter Elias Disney, Holloway would become, or had been the voices of 'Mr. Stork", in 1941's, "Dumbo", the "Adult Flower", in 1942's, "Bambi", "Professor Holloway" in 1944's, "The Three Caballeros", the "Cheshire Cat", in 1951's, "Alice and Wonderland", the "Narrator/Mr. Stork", in 1951's, "Lambert the Sheepish Lion", "Amos Mouse", in 1953's, "Ben and Me", "Winnie the Pooh", in 1966's, "Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree", "Kaa the snake", in 1967's, "The Jungle Book", "Winnie the Pooh", in 1968's, "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day", "Roquefort" in 1970's, "The Aristocats", the "Narrator" for, 1973's, "I'm No Fool with Electricity", "Nessie", in 1974's, "Man, Monsters and Mysteries", "Winnie the Pooh" in 1974's, "Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too", and "Winnie the Pooh", in 1977's, "The Many of Adventures of Winnie the Pooh". 

Not to forget his many motion picture and television comedy and serious roles between 1926 and 1986.



























Norman Lloyd portrayed "Pvt. Jack 'Arch' Archimbeau". Lloyd started acting in 1939 and from 1982 through 1988, television audiences knew Lloyd as "Dr. Daniel Auschlander", on "St. Elsewhere". Norman Lloyd also was the associate producer on 184-episodes of televisions "Alfred Hitchcock Presents", 1957 through 1962, then became the programs executive producer for another 44-episodes, 1963 through 1965. 





























Herbert Rudley portrayed "Staff Sgt. Eddie Porter". Rudley had just appeared as "Ira Gershwin" in the "Hollywood Biography" of composer "George Gershwin", 1945's, "Rhapsody in Blue". He followed this feature with the crime film-noir, 1946's, "Decoy". Starting in 1950, Herbert Rudley became a major television character actor and a regular on "Michael Shayne", 1960-1961, "Mona McCluskey", 1965-1966, and "The Mothers-In-Laws", 1967-1969.



























Richard Benedict portrayed "PFC Tranella". Writer, Director, and Actor in 136-roles, Benedict had just been seen in the 1945 comedy, his second on-screen appearance, "See My Lawyer". He would follow this feature film with a role in the crime film-noir, 1945's, "Somewhere in the Night", starring John Hodiak, Nancy Guild, and Lloyd Nolan.




























The Screenplay:

The novel and screenplay focus upon the fifty-three men of a platoon in the army's 36th Infantry Division, made up of members of the Texas National Guard, that was known as the "Texas Division" aka: the "Panther Division", aka: the "Lone Star Division", and aka: "The T-Patchers". 

The story is set in September 1943, as the platoon is on a landing craft heading toward the beach and the invasion of Italy at Salerno.

Trivia:
An actual member of the "Texas Division", who participated in the invasion of Italy at Salerno was Audie Leon Murphy! For those who may be interested in the "Most Decorated Soldier" in the Second World War. My article, "Audie Murphy: The Medal of Honor, Westerns, Song Writing, and PTSD", is found at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2023/03/audie-murphy-medal-of-honor-westerns.html  























In the dark before the sun rises, the landing craft hits the beach under heavy shelling and machine gun fire, but before the men can disembark, a shell fragment hits "Lieutenant Rand" and takes off half his face.





"Platoon Sgt. Pete 'Hal' Halverson", portrayed by Matt Wills, takes command and instructs first aide man, "Pvt. 'Mac' McWilliams", to stay with the wounded lieutenant. Next. below, he instructs "Staff Sgt. Eddie Porter", to lead the rest of the men onto the beach while he goes to find the company commander and confirm their orders.




























Above left is Herbert Rudley and on the right is Matt Willis.

While "McWilliams" remains with "Lieutenant Rand", "Staff Sgt. Porter" takes the men onto the beach and they dig in as the beach remains under heavy shelling and machine gun fire. 

Dug in, "Staff Sgt. Bill Tyne" wonders what will happen, if "Platoon Sgt. Halverson" does not return? The four remaining sergeants decide to get the men into the nearby woods to protect them as the sun starts to come up.

After the sun rises, the sergeants send the men deeper into the woods for protection from enemy aircraft. 





"Tyne" remains on the beach to await "Halverson's" return. Going to the now quiet beach, "Tyne" meets "McWilliams'' heading his way and learns that both "Lieutenant Rand" and "Platoon Sergeant Halverson" are dead. 































As the two men start to go back to the others, an enemy plane flies over, and "McWilliams" is killed. 
























































Entering the woods, "Sgt. Tyne" discovers three more members of the platoon have been hit by the plane's path to the beach. These include "Sgt. 'Hosk' Hoskins", the senior noncommissioned officer, portrayed by James Cardwell, below left.










































































With "Sgt. Hoskins" wounded and having to be left behind with the other two wounded men. This forces, "Staff Sgt. Porter", as the next in line noncommissioned officer to take command, but as "Staff Sergeant. Tyne" starts to leave. "Hoskins" quietly tells him that he fears "Porter" will crack-up under the pressure of command.

Confirming that blowing-up a bridge near an abandoned farm house six-miles-away is their objective.
"Staff Sergeant Eddie Porter" now divides the men into three squads, one under himself, the other two under "Sergeant Tyne" and "Sergeant Ward". 

The remaining men of "Lieutenant Rand's" command, now take "A Walk in the Sun"!

After a short time, "Staff Sgt. Porter" tells his men to watch out for enemy aircraft and tanks, but he is obviously starting to grow agitated knowing how dangerous six-miles of open road in enemy controlled countryside can be.





















































































As they walk the men start shooting the breeze.





Enemy aircraft appear and strafe the platoon as they run for cover. Some of the men are killed in the strafing and "Pvt. Smith", portrayed by Grant Maiben, is wounded, which all ads to increasing "Porter's" anxiety.






Later, as the tension is mounting, two Italian soldiers appear and surrender to "Staff Sergeant Eddie Porter". The unnamed Italian soldier portrayed by Gus Lombardo, confirms they are on the right road to the bridge, but adds that the area is controlled by German troops.





























Shortly after the two Italian soldiers are sent on their way, the platoon meets a small reconnaissance patrol of American soldiers. The patrol's motorcycle driver offers to go and check out the farm house and report back. The platoon keeps moving down that road, but as the minutes pass without the motorcycle driver's return. "Porter" becomes more edgy. Observing the obvious signs of stress, "Staff Sgt. Tyne" calls for a break in the platoon's march and goes to speak to "Staff Sgt. Porter". 

Machine gunner, "Pvt. Rivera" and his friend "Pvt. Friedman" start razzing each other as the others relax and listen to the two on friendly reverie. 




























Meanwhile, "Staff Sgt Porter" is starting to really breakdown under the pressure of command, and tells "Staff Sgt. Ward", he is putting "Staff Sgt. Tyne" in charge. "Porter" refers to "Ward" as "Farmer". He was an apple "Farmer" before the war.

Now in charge, "Sgt. Tyne" sends the bazooka men ahead to watch for German tanks.

A single German armored car now approaches the platoon and "Porter" has a complete break down and starts crying. 

A small firefight with the armored car take place under "Sgt. Tyne's" command and is destroyed. The bazooka men have returned as two German tanks and another armored car attack, but they take all three out. However, there is now, no more ammunition for the bazooka.

"Tyne" assigns "Pvt Johnson", portrayed by Alvin Hammer, to stay with the still crying "Sgt. Porter". Then assigns "PFC. Windy Craven", a very calm and introspective soldier, to take charge of "Porter's" squad. 


























Next, leaving "Johnson" and "Porter", "Staff Sgt. Bill Tyne" leads the platoon toward their objective as he continues their walk in the sun. As they walk on, "Pvt. Friedman" and "Pvt. Rivera" are still going at it in their friendly banter. As "Friedman" tells "Rivera" that he's a traveling salesman, selling Democracy to the natives. 

The platoon finally reaches the farmhouse and "Staff Sgt. Ward" leads a small patrol to check it out. 





























When "Ward" attempts to crawl though the grass in front of the house, the patrol is shot at by Germans and two men are killed. Reporting back to "Tyne", the two sergeants seemed baffled about the German's being in the farm house and aren't sure what to do next, but "Windy" suggests circling around it by using the river. Then out of sight of the farmhouse, blow up the bridge and then take the fortified farmhouse. 





























Considering "Windy Craven's" suggestion, "Tyne" decides to send two patrols, one each led by "Staff Sgt. Ward" and "PFC. Windy Craven" via the river to blow-up the bridge. Meanwhile, he will have "Rivera" with his machine gun, strafe the farmhouse. While "Tyne" leads a column of men to take it. Hoping this will create a diversion for those men blowing-up the bridge.

Behind a stone wall, "Staff Sgt. Tyne" and his men await nervously for "Pvt. Rivera" and "Pvt. Friedman" to open fire. As "Windy" and the others move through the river toward the bridge.































The sound of the machine gun snaps the men out of their nervousness and they move forward on the farmhouse under heavy fire and losses. The bridge is blown-up, the farmhouse taken.































It is now exactly twelve-noon, "Windy", "Ward", and the remaining men wander through the farmhouse and "Farmer" finds an apple and starts eating it. While, "Staff Sgt, Tyne" adds another notch on the beloved tommy-gun that once belonged to they now deceased "PFC Tim Rankin", portrayed by Chris Drake, below.




























In the Chicago daily newspaper, "PM", was a January 13, 1946, review of  "A Walk in the Sun", by John T. McManus:
'A Walk in the Sun' is so different—materially and intentionally—from any other film dramatization of the war that it is difficult to judge it by the usual standards of comparison. Yet it seems to be the most satisfying of the soldier films—the most convincing in its portraiture of the U.S. soldier, the least contrived in plot and characterization and the first war film to attempt successfully a style and composition of its own....Yet it is not the theme ballad, nor the sparse though mighty excitement of the film's moments of combat, that make [it] a memorable film. Rather it is most distinguished for the real and comradely relationships among men of varying origins and modes of life, for its vital and sparkling dialogue...and for its unaccented tribute to the resourcefulness of the American soldier, working out battle problems with the co-operation and efficiency of a smart football team.

The final war motion picture I want to look at, although it is called a war movie, technically the war wasn't a war, but a United Nations Police Action.


PORK CHOP HILL premiered in New York City on May 29, 1959






The Producer:

Sy Bartlett
was primarily a screenplay writer and novelist. This was only his second of six motion pictures he produced. After this feature, he would produce another Gregory Peck motion picture, the original 1962, "Cape Fear", co-starring Robert Mitchem and Polly Bergen. He also produced and co-wrote, 1969's, "Che!", starring Omar Sharif portraying "Che Guevara" and Jack Palance portraying "Fidel Castro".

The Director:

After "A Walk in the Sun", Lewis Milestone's next motion picture was the film-noir romance, 1946's, "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers", starring Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, and Lizabeth Scott. Which was followed by the previously mentioned, 1948, "Arch of Triumph", written by Harry Brown. In 1952, Lewis Milestone took on French author Victor Hugo's masterpiece, "Les Misérables". He cast two British actors in the leading roles, Michael Rennie portrayed "Jean Valjean", and Robert Newton portrayed "Inspector Etienne Javert". American actress, Debra Paget, portrayed "Cosette". Just prior to this motion picture, Milestone directed his second episode of Richard Boone's television series, "Have Gun - Will Travel", "Hey Boy's Revenge", April 12, 1958.




























Above, Lewis Milestone with Gregory Peck.


 The Non-Fiction Source:

The book is "Pork Chop Hill: The American Fighting Man in Action, Korea Spring 1953", published in 1956. 












The author S. L. A. Marshall was Army Brigadier General Samuel Lyman Atwood Marshall, who served in the First World War, and was an original member of the United States Army "Center of Military History", created in December 1941. He served in the Second World War as a military combat historian. General Marshall was recalled as a "Historian/Operations Analyst for the Eighth Army" during the Korean War.





The Screenplay Writer:

James R. Webb start writing screenplays, in 1941, for Roy Rodgers "B" westerns. He co-wrote the screenplay for 1952's, "The Iron Mistress", starring Alan Ladd portraying "Jim Bowie". Webb wrote the screenplay for the 3-D western, 1953's, "The Charge at Feather River", starring Guy Madison, and co-wrote the 3-D, 1954, "Phantom of the Rue Morgue", loosely based on the Edgar Allan Poe story. In 1954, James R. Webb co-wrote both of director Robert Aldrich's "Apache", starring Burt Lancaster, and 1954's, "Vera Cruz", starring Lancaster and Gary Cooper. Just before this feature film. Webb co-wrote with Sy Bartlett and Robert Wilder, director William Wyler's, 1958 epic western, "The Big Country", starring Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, and Carroll Baker.

The Cast:


The above poster reflects the name choices of the publicity department of the "Pork Chop Hill" distributor, "United Artists". The are using selected actor's names, a normal practice, to lure their potential audience into the movie theater. Rather than a true reflection of the size and importance of the actor's roles in the screenplay, other than Gregory Peck.

The Two Actual People:

Gregory Peck portrayed "Lieutenant Joe Clemons". Joseph Gordon Clemons, Jr. is one of only two real soldiers mentioned in the screenplay. It was his command on "Pork Chop Hill", "K Company, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry", during the Korean War, that served as S. L. A. Marshall's centerpiece for his work on the battle. Later, Clemons would serve in Vietnam and retire from the army in 1977 with the rank of Colonel, seen below. He was also the technical advisor on the motion picture.




















Prior to this motion picture, Gregory Peck portrayed "James McKay" in the previously mentioned 1958, "The Big Country". He would follow this motion picture portraying author "F. Scott Fitzgerald" in 1959's, "Beloved Infidel", co-starring Deborah Kerr. My article, "Gregory Peck: Five Westerns-Five Different Characters", that includes "The Big Country", will be found at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2022/02/gregory-peck-five-westerns-five.html


















































Rip Torn portrayed "Lieutenant Walter Russell". Walter Brown Russell, Jr. was the brother-in-law of Joe Clemons. Russell commanded "G Company, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry", and was sent to reinforce "K and L Company's" counterattack. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1966. Below is Russell's West Point graduation picture.


















Although Rip Torn has third-billing on the above poster, the role in the motion picture is small. He doesn't appear until the second half of the screenplay and exited very shortly afterwards. Torn's last motion picture appearance was in "Time Limit", another Korean War movie, released on October 23, 1957, and his next feature film wasn't until he played "Judas", in producer Samuel Bronston's, "King of Kings", released October 11, 1961. Otherwise he remained a television guest star.
























The Following is a selection of the fictional characters:

George Shibata portrayed "Lieutenant Tsugi 'Suki' Ohashi", a fictional role that is almost as major as Gregory Peck's. According to the screenplay, "Suki" is the "Executive Officer" of "K Company". He is in charge of the First Platoon. While, "Clemmons" takes charge of the 2nd Platoon.

Shibata only appeared in eight feature films and this was his first. His second was the Hollywood version of Second World War, Pacific, hero "Guy Gabaldon", 1960, "Hell to Eternity", starring Jeffrey Hunter.






























Woody Strode portrayed "Pvt. Franklin". UCLA and RAMS football star turned actor Strode, had just appeared in actor Anthony Quinn's, 1958, authorized remake of producer Cecil B. DeMille's, "The Buccaneer", starring Yul Brynner and Charlton Heston. He would have the title role in director John Ford's, 1960, "Sergeant Rutledge" and be featured in Ford's, 1962, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance". My article, "Woody Strode and Michael Pate: Western Stalwarts", can be read at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2015/03/woody-strode-and-michael-pate-one.html

James Edwards portrayed "Corporal Jurgens". His role is designed as the balance to Woody Strode's. Edwards was excellent as "Pvt. Peter Moss", in 1949's, "Home of the Brave". The character was changed from Jewish in the original stage play to African-American in the motion picture, about prejudice in the United States army. 

Again, Edwards stands out in director Sam Fuller's, Korean War classic, 1951's, "The Steel Helmet". Just before this feature, James Edwards was in the forgotten and overlooked, 1958, "Anna Lucasta", starring Eartha Kitt and featuring in a dramatic role, Sammy Davis, Jr.























Above left, James Edwards and right, Woody Strode.


James R. Webb's screenplay is filled with cameo roles that spotlight known, unknown, and up and coming actors under director Lewis Milestone's outstanding direction. 

Robert Blake portrayed "Pvt. Velie", who looses his rifle, and becomes a runner for "Clemmons". The role has almost no dialogue, but Blake makes it reverting.

Blake started out in Hal Roach's "Our Gang" comedies in 1939, in 1944, he became the sidekick, "Little Beaver", in a series of 23-movies with either "B" cowboy, "Wild Bill Elliot", or Allan Lane, portraying comic strip western hero, "Red Ryder". In 1967, Robert Blake starred in director Richard Brooks' version of author Truman Capote's, "In Cold Blood". From 1975 through 1978, he was televisions "Baretta" with that parrot.
























Viraj Amonsin portrayed "The Chinese Broadcaster". I could not locate any biographical material about Viraj Amonsin. However, his "Broadcaster" speaks and plays propaganda to the United Nations soldiers and with facial expressions showing, at times, sympathy for their predicament, catches the audiences. The scene just before the final attack by the Chinese/North Koreans in which he chooses a record to play is excellent under Milestone's direction.























Harry Guardino portrayed "Pvt. Frostman". Guardino made is first on-screen appearance in an uncredited role in 1951's, 'Up Front", followed by another in the Humphrey Bogart, 1951, "Sirocco". Prior to this motion picture, the actor appeared thirteen times in different television programs and different size supporting roles in seven motion pictures. He just had fourth-billing in 1958's, "Houseboat", starring Cary Grant and the still, to western audiences, unknown Sofia Loren. In 1961, Harry Guardino portrayed "Barabbas" in producer Samuel Bronston's. "King of Kings".

George Peppard portrayed "Corporal Chuck Fedderson". This was fourth-billed George Peppard's sixteenth on-screen appearance, fifteen of which were minor roles on television, and one film role was in the long forgotten 1957, motion picture "The Strange One" with eleventh-billing. He would follow this motion picture with third-billing behind Robert Mitchum and Eleanor Parker in director Vincente Minnelli's, 1960, "Home from the Hills". 
























Bob Steele
portrayed the very small sixth-billed role of "Colonel Kern". Bob Steele was a major "B" Cowboy actor that started in his father's produced movies in 1921. He left his birth name of Bob Bradbury, Jr. and became Bob Steele with 1927's, "The Mojave Kid", and his career as a cowboy actor began for real. That movie was still directed by his father. From 1940's, "Under Texas Skies", through 1943's, "Riders of the Rio Grande", Steele took over the role of "Tucson Smith" in the highly successful "The Three Mesquiteers" western series. From 1940's, "Billy the Kid Outlawed", through 1941's, "Billy the Kid in Santa Fe", Bob Steele was also portraying the "Good" Billy the Kid in another series of films. Back in 1939, he portrayed "Curley Jackson" in director Lewis Milestone's version of author John Steinbeck's, "Of Mice and Men". The actor followed this motion picture with the role of "CPO 'Grif' Griffin" in the 1959, cult science fiction movie, "The Atomic Submarine".




























Above, Bob Steele is on the phone.


Historical background:


The hill was shaped like a "Pork Chop",  and stood 980 feet high, and according to the Americans, had no strategic value. It was first taken in October 1951, by the 8th Cavalry Regiment. It would be lost to the Chinese/North Koreans and retaken in May 1952, and lost again on March 23, 1953.

Which brings me to what the Americans referred to as the "Battle of Pork Chop Hill", and the Chinese/North Koreans referred to as the "Battle of Seokhyeon-dong Northern Hill".

To be historically accurate, there were actually two battles fought. The first won by the Americans was from April 16th through April 18, 1953, the second won by the Chinese/North Koreans was from July 6th through July 11, 1953. 

Back on July 10, 1951, in the city of Panmunjom (Panmunjeon), if you were from South Korea, the city was located at Paju, Gyeonggi Province, but if you were from North Korea, it was located at Panmun-guyok, Kaesong. This was because the site was a village just north of the de facto border between North and South Korea, talks began on an armistice agreement. That agreement would not be signed until two-years-and-seventeen-days later, on July 27, 1953.

The book, "Pork Chop Hill: The American Fighting Man in Action, Korea Spring 1953", was only about the "First Battle" of Pork Chop Hill.


The Screenplay:

The movie opens at the peace talks in Panmunjom with a Chinese negotiator smoking a cigarette and flatly ignoring the American and British negotiators. Word is received that "Pork Chop Hill" has been taken by the Chinese/North Korean's and an entire American infantry company has been killed. A decision is made to retake the hill, even though it is known to have no strategic value, except that the Chinese/North Koreans want it, if for no other reason than to be able to kill more Americans.

"K-Company" commander, "Lt. Clemons" and executive officer, "Lt. Ohashi" meet with Battalion Commander, "Lt. Col. Davis", portrayed by Barry Atwater, and are ordered to retake "Pork Chop".































"Atwater" assures "Clemons" and "Ohashi" that their flank will be covered by "L- Company". Knowing that "Pork Chop" has no strategic value, "Clemons" tells "Ohashi" this is nothing more than to put pressure on the Chinese/North Koreans at the peace talks with a show of American strength. The two men now leave to get organized to go up the hill.

"Lt. Clemons" divides "K-Company" into three platoons, "Lt. Ohashi" will lead the "First Platoon", he will lead the "Second Platoon", and the "Third Platoon", commanded by "Lieutenant Waldorf", portrayed by John Alderman, will be held in reserve.




































































At the foot of "Pork Chop" "K-Company" disembarks from their transport and starts up the hill. 































As "Lt. Clemons's" two platoons ascend the hill, American artillery is bombarding the crest to keep the Chinese/North Koreans away. However, what is most concerning is hearing a Chinese broadcaster informing them of the losses already suffered by the Americans attempting to hold "Pork Chop". Also, half-way up, "Lt. Clemons" finds "Pvt. Franklin" attempting to hide, pretending he's injured as a means of going back down to safety. "Clemons" assigns "Cpl. Jurgens" to watch him and "Jurgens" is concerned about how "Franklin" is reflecting on their shared race. This is the only clearly racial moment in the screenplay and very understated, but with a strong message.
























Unknown to "Clemons", back at headquarters, "Davis" learns that "L-Company" misunderstood his orders. Their commander is very apologetic over the phone, but his apology doesn't prevent "L-Company" from being delayed getting into position on "K-Company's" flank, leaving it open to attack.



 


























Meanwhile, on "Pork Chop", the American shelling stops, the enemy starts a barrage, and suddenly spot lights from the American side, light "K-Company" up for the Chinese/North Korean artillery to pick specific targets as their soldiers start to pour over the hill towards the Americans. Together, all three stop "K-Company" moving up the hill to a series of trenches and a bunker house at the crest.







 
























Just as suddenly as the lights went on, they go off, and "K-Company" repels the attack. This is followed by "Lt. Clemons's" radio man informing him of an apology from the officer responsible for the lights, he got the hill wrong.

It becomes dawn and they have yet to reach the crest of the hill. The radio man has been unsuccessful making contact with the "First Platoon" and "Lt. Ohashi". Spotting "Pvt. Velie" looking around for either the rifle he lost, or a replacement rifle. "Lt. Clemons" turns him into a runner and points "Velie" in the direction of the "First Platoon" and gives him a verbal message for "Lt. Ohashi".


































Another attack takes place and is repelled, "Clemons" finally gets through to "Ohashi", and learns that the other has lost about a quarter of his men and cannot hold his position near the crest of "Pork Chop", if he divides his remaining men. Dismayed over the lack of support on his left flank by "L-Company", "Lt. Clemons" orders a small squad with machine guns to cover that flank. 

"Pvt. Velie" has been working his way back to "Lt. Clemons" with "Lt. Ohashi" original verbal response, but had come across a Chinese/North Korean machine gun nest. He tosses hand grenades into it, one doesn't go in and bounces at "Velie" going off and badly injuring his arm.
























The runner completes his assignment and reports back to "Lt. Clemons", who instructs him to go downhill to the medical unit.



 



















"Lt. Ohashi" appears and reports to "Clemons" that he has lost half of his men and requests that the "Third Platoon" be activated at once. "Clemons" refuses the request, saying that the "Third Platoon" has to be held in reserve as long as possible. "Ohashi" reluctantly agrees and leaves. Later, what's left of the squad sent to protect the left flank reports to "Clemons", who contacts "Davis" at headquarters to complain about the lack of support from "L-Company". Instead, he is ordered to take the crest of "Pork Chop" as soon as possible. Again, "Lt. Clemons" attempts to explain he doesn't have the men to do it with. 

From his left flank, "Lt. Clemons" observes twelve-soldiers running up the hill toward his position. Upon questioning them, he is stunned to learn that they are what is left of "L-Company", because of the delay the Chinese/North Koreans were able to set-up a trap for the company. He now has his radio man report to "Lt. Col. Davis" that "L-Company" has arrived and is joining the fight.























The remaining members of "Lt. Joe Clemons's" own platoon and the twelve survivors of "L-Company" now rush forward and make the main trench and the bunker. There he is amazed to find that "Lt. Suki Ohashi" has taken it and can now see the crest of "Pork Chop" from it. As the two officers talk, suddenly they are shelled, but the shells are coming from the American side. The shelling just as suddenly stops and the men complain that their own soldiers fired those shells. "Clemons" thinking fast, lies, to keep the American mistake from further demoralizing his men. He tells everyone that the shelling came from a nearby hill held by the Chinese/North Korean's.

























"Lt. Clemons" now makes the decision to bring-up the third platoon and with "Lt. Ohashi" makes the decision that the executive officer would lead a bayonet charge with the remains of his platoon and the third, because "Lt. Waldorf" is inexperienced. "Clemons" promises his friend", Ohashi", a diversion action and support, because the crest of the hill must be taken.


































The attack and diversion are successful and the crest is taken for the moment. He goes back to the bunker and contacts "Davis" at headquarters. 





'However, headquarters is under heavy shelling and all Battalion Commander, "Lt. Col. Davis" hears clearly was that the crest was taken. He does not hear the status of the troops there, or the plea for both ammunition and food. Meanwhile, back in Panmunjom, the Chinese negotiator still smokes his cigarettes and ignores what the American and British are telling him.























"K-Company's" last radio is destroyed in a firefight and they are now cut-off from headquarters except by sending runners. When all seems lost to "Lt. Joe Clemons", his brother-in-law "Lt. Walter Russell", arrives with "G-Company". A reunion takes place, but then "Russell" is informed that all "Clemons" has left of "K" and "L-Companies" are thirty-five men. The problem facing the brothers-in-laws is that "Lt. Russell" was told the hill was secure and he would be a part of the mopping-up operation and once completed, return to headquarters with his company




















































Just then a publicity officer and his cameraman arrive from headquarters to take photos of the heroes of the battle for "Pork Chop Hill". He is set straight about the situation and after apologizing for looking like a fool, volunteers to stay and fight. He leaves, taking with him a message from both "Clemons" and "Russell" about the situation. Just then is the arrival of a runner from headquarters ordering "G-Company" back down the hill now, because as "Pork Chop" is secured, it was decided that "G-Company" is needed elsewhere. "Lt. Russell" takes his brother-in-law's wounded, leaves every bit of ammunition he can, along with his company's rations and a working radio and departs. 

Lt. Joe Clemons" and "Lt. Suki Oshashi" now have only twenty-five combat troops left with them.

Using the radio left by his brother-in-law, "Lt. Joe Clemons" contacts "Lt. Col. Davis" and informs him that unless they have reinforcements, they must redraw. Instead of reinforcements "Clemons" is told that "Davis" has not received any further orders and he is to hold his position.

The twenty-five-soldiers and two-officers, now prepare the bunker and the trench for the inevitable Chinese/North Korean attack and their deaths. As the Americans await the coming attack, in another place, the Chinese radio broadcaster, decides on a record to play after telling them to surrender.






















The music ends and the sounds of trumpets blowing replace it and the cry's of Chinese/North Korean troops is heard. "Lt. Clemons" calls everyone out of the trench and into the bunker, sandbags are piled at the door and windows for protection, as the heat from flame throwers are felt and fire fills the trench. Suddenly the flame throwers stop, as the men within the bunker await what they perceive is their deaths, when next they hear American voices.































Then the realization that American soldiers are outside fighting the Chinese/North Koreans, the sandbags come down and those inside the bunker join the fight.

Apparently, the American negotiators finally realized that the Chinese/North Korean's are pouring men into the battle for no other reason than to test the resolve of the Americans. So, major reinforcements had been ordered up the hill.

The movie ends with "Lt. Clemons", "Lt. Ohashi", and the survivors of "K" and "L-Companies" walking down the hill called "Pork Chop".































The Director:

Lewis Milestone's next motion picture was the Frank Sinatra and his "Rat Pack's", original, 1960, "Ocean's Eleven".

Then, Lewis Milestone directed an epic version of authors Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall's, "Bounty Trilogy", using the title of their 1932, novel "Mutiny on the Bounty". The problems for him were three, first he replaced the original director Carol Reed, 1949's "The Third Man", 1956's "Trapeze", who in several months shot one seven-minute scene. 

The second problem was that the producer, Aaron Rosenberg had made ridiculous promises to Marlon Brando to get him  to play the role of "Fletcher Christian". Which the actor portrayed as he wanted, an English Dandy, rather that the strong character that led the real mutiny as in the novels.

The third problem was a screenplay written by three writers, each taking one of the novels and not coordinating with the other two. A third writer attempted to make them work together, but the end result made "Captain Bligh" almost a minor character. After another two writers contributed to the screenplay.

The three-hour-and-five-minute motion picture was a flop and lost an estimated four to six million dollars based upon the estimated budget upon release. This was Lewis Milestone's last feature film.

In 1964, Lewis Milestone ended his career by directing one episode, each, of televisions "The Richard Boone Show", and a forgotten drama, entitled "Arrest and Trial".

Lewis Milestone's wife, Kendall Lee Milestone passed away in 1978, he passed away on September 25, 1980 at the age of 84.


 

John Steinbeck Motion Picture Screenplay Writer

Mention John Steinbeck  and his 1939  novel, "The Grapes of Wrath" ,  usually comes to a persons mind. In fact, I wrote an article...