Fixed Bayonets [DVD]
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Samuel Fuller writes and directs this unsentimental portrait of life for a platoon of weary soldiers in the Korean War. With an American division of 15,000 men trapped and ammunition running low, a plan is hatched to fool the enemy into believing they are still in place while they make a hasty retreat. To do this, a small party is ordered to stand guard while the main troops leave, with a reluctant Corporal Denno (Richard Basehart) soon forced to assume command, as one by one his superior officers are killed.
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Top Customer Reviews
This was the fourth film turned by Samuel Fuller but only his second war film, after the famous ground breaking "Steel Helmet" he made earlier the same year. Both films action is situated during the Korean War - in both we can also see Gene Evans, who after playing the main character in "Steel Helmet" comes back here in a supporting (albeit important) role of Sergeant Rock.
The action of the film is situated during the hardest moments for allied forces engaged in Korea, immediately after the Chinese Army intervened into war. A surprise massive Chinese offensive broke through allied lines and forced Mac Arthur to order a general retreat to fall back positions further south on the peninsula.
One of the retreating divisions needs some extra time to withdraw orderly behind the river through the only bridge left, so the general in charge selects a platoon to fight a delaying action, at a narrow passage through the hills. They must hold the position until night and then they can withdraw and make a run for it, to reach the river - if the enemy doesn't exterminate or surround them before that...
Amongst the 48 riflemen from this platoon is also Corporal Denno (Richard Basehart), an experienced soldier who certainly can take an order, but simply can't give one... But the butcher bill keeps mounting, ranks keep thinning and before the day is over he may be forced to give some orders after all - and very difficult ones with that...
The strength of this film resides in two things. The first is a very realistic portraying of war as seen by the simple riflemen of a small infantry unit.Read more ›
The soldiers are an assorted bunch held together by the likes of archetypal tough veteran Sergeant Rock played by Gene Evans. A very apt name! We then have smart ass Skip Homeier who knows all the answers but who turns out to be a good Joe, a corporal played by Richard Basehart who worries himself sick about inheriting responsibility. Guess what, he inherits plenty! The film was made on one elaborate icy looking interior where Gene Evans shows a commendable fleetness of foot and none of the actors have frosty breath despite the supposed sub zero temperatures. A strange assignment for the wonderful cameraman Lucien Ballard whose greatest work was done outside. But the films strength lies in its savvy dialogue full of dogface lingo. Fuller shows his experience so often.Read more ›
Arrived quickly, well wrapped and in good order.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very kind seller for a dvd very good, one of the masterpieces of Sam Fuller's war filmsPublished on 15 Aug. 2014 by spectator