Long before '80s 'Nam flick Hamburger Hill smashed home the link between the battlefield and the slaughterhouse, this largely forgotten monochrome picture was doing the same. Only better.
Gregory Peck leads a company of men to death without honour in the mud and guts of Korea. Sounds good? It could have been great, director Lewis Milestone matching his anti-war tub-thumper All Quiet On The Western Front as Peck's lieutenant is ordered to storm a mound of dirt in the middle of nowhere to earn the top-brass brownie points. What stops it from achieving classic status is the studio's fiddling with the final reel, the bigwigs forcing Peck into a droning valedictory voiceover across the closing carnage. Milestone wanted raw, red meat; Hollywood suits gave him boneless tenderloin.