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Pork Chop Hill

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War, Drama, Action

S.L.A. Marshall

United States

Pork Chop Hill movie poster

Release date
May 29, 1959 (1959-05-29) (USA)

Based on
Pork Chop Hill: The American Fighting Man in Action by S. L. A. Marshall

S.L.A. Marshall (book), James R. Webb (screenplay)

(Lt. Joe Clemons), (Pvt. Forstman), (Lt. Walter Russel), (Cpl. Chuck Fedderson), (Cpl. Jurgens), (Col. Kern)

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Bold! Blunt! Blistering! The battle picture without equal!

Pork chop hill

Pork Chop Hill is a 1959 American Korean War film starring Gregory Peck, Rip Torn and George Peppard. The film, which was the final war film directed by Lewis Milestone, is based upon the book by U.S. military historian Brigadier General S. L. A. Marshall. It depicts the first fierce Battle of Pork Chop Hill between the U.S. Army's 7th Infantry Division, and Chinese and North Korean forces in April 1953.


Pork Chop Hill movie scenes

The film features numerous actors who would go on to become movie and television stars in the 1960s and the 1970s such as Woody Strode, Harry Guardino, Robert Blake, Norman Fell, Abel Fernandez, Gavin MacLeod, Harry Dean Stanton, and Clarence Williams III. It is also the screen debut of Martin Landau and George Shibata, who was a West Point classmate of Lieutenant Joe Clemons, who also acted as technical adviser on the film.

Pork Chop Hill movie scenes

Pork chop hill trailer 1959


Pork Chop Hill wwwgstaticcomtvthumbmovieposters1859p1859p

In April 1953, during the Korean War, a company of American infantry, led by Lieutenant Joe Clemons (Gregory Peck) are to recapture Pork Chop Hill from a larger Communist Chinese army force; they recapture the hill, but are depleted, only 25 of a 135-man unit are left. They prepare for a large-scale Chinese counter-attack which they know will overwhelm and kill them in vicious fire fights and hand-to-hand fighting while the Panmunjeom cease-fire negotiations continue.

Pork Chop Hill The War Movie Buff 39 PORK CHOP HILL

Higher command is shown as being unwilling to either abandon or reinforce the hill. They will not reinforce the hill because the value of the hill is not worth further losses. They will not abandon the hill because it is a point of negotiation in the cease-fire talks.

Pork Chop Hill Pork Chop Hill Bluray DVD Talk Review of the Bluray

The American negotiators come to the conclusion that the Chinese are pouring soldiers into the battle for a militarily insignificant hill to test the resolve of the Americans in the negotiations. The decision is then made at the last minute to reinforce the hill.


Pork Chop Hill Pork Chop Hill Bluray

S.L.A. Marshall reportedly disliked the fact that he had sold the movie rights to his book for next-to-nothing, and vowed not to make the same mistake again.

Strode and Edwards' portrayal of African American soldiers is based on the 24th Infantry Regiment, which was still racially segregated in Korea. Like its cinematic portrayal, the real regiment was poorly trained, poorly equipped and poorly led. More than once when this all-black unit was placed on the front lines, a unit in reserve was positioned directly behind because they were expected to break. The regiment was finally considered so unreliable it was disbanded. Its personnel were reassigned to other combat units just as in the film, which portrays Edwards' character - with good leadership - becoming an effective soldier.


Some of the location shooting was conducted in California near Westlake Village and in San Fernando Valley. Peck, although not credited, directed a few scenes despite protests by Milestone.


Before the film's premier in May 1959, United Artists cut the film by nearly 20 minutes. Director Lewis Milestone claimed changes were made because Veronique Peck, the wife of star Gregory Peck, felt her husband made his first entrance too late into the picture. While that claim stands as unconfirmed, the film does show signs of post-production editing, with segments of several excised scenes showing up under the main title credits.

Critical response

The New York Times applauded the film's "grim and rugged" style, the way it captured the "resentment" of the American GIs, and how it "tacitly points the obsoleteness of ground warfare".


Pork Chop Hill Wikipedia
Pork Chop Hill IMDbPork Chop Hill

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