May 30th, 2011: Pork Chop Hill

Cast and Crew:  Lewis Milestone (Director); S.L.A. Martin (Book); James R. Webb (Screenplay); Rip Torn, George Peppard, Bob Steele, Woody Strode, Norman Fell, Robert Blake, Martin Landau, Gavin MacLeod, Bert Remsen, Harry Dean Stanton, Clarence Williams III

What It’s About: While negotiations to end the war continue, Lt. Joe Clemens (Gregory Peck) is ordered to lead his men to re-capture Pork Chop Hill, a barren hilltop whose only value is in showing U.S. resolve during the negotiations.  Clemens faces not only the fierce Chinese and North Korean defenders and usual Army mistakes and lack of support, but also the low morale of his men.  Can Clemens convince his men (and himself) that the sacrifice is worth it, and can they retake Pork Chop Hill?

Why Watch it Today?: Memorial Day, began as Decoration Day, a day to decorate the graves of Civil War soldiers with flowers, but now honors all of America’s war dead.  Pork Chop Hill is an excellent war film, with Peck giving a classic performance as Clemens, an excellent supporting cast, and a real sense of suspense as to whether the men will be able to accomplish their mission.

Where to Get ItPublic libraries, iTunes, Netflix (Rental only) or Amazon

The trailer is a bit bombastic, but they’re not kidding, it really is that good:

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