War on the ground has rarely been done much better than this.
David Denby, The New Yorker
Mann’s Korean War film depicts in stark close-up the tension and exhaustion—both physical and moral—of battle. Robert Ryan plays a lieutenant, out of communication with headquarters, trying with his platoon to rejoin their division on a distant hill. He is forced into an uncomfortable alliance with Aldo Ray, a volatile sergeant shepherding a shell-shocked colonel. Their dwindling group creeps painstakingly through a landscape whose late-summer textures camouflage a constant enemy presence. Stopping to smell the flowers is fatal. For the resigned Ryan, “battalion doesn’t exist, regiment doesn’t exist, the USA doesn’t exist”—just these men and this nameless hill.
- UCLA Film & Television Archive
- Preservation funded by the Packard Humanities Institute
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Mann's world: Anthony Mann on the big screen (program note), Pacific Film Archive, Judy Bloch, 2004
Men in war (review), Variety, Brog., 1957
Men in war (review), Green Sheet, 1957
New talent (review), Saturday Review, 1957
Honesty, suspense mark 'Man in war' (review), Los Angeles Times, Philip K. Scheuer, 1957
Movies-drama: Acting, script, score great! (review), Beverly Hills Citizen, Hazel Flynn, 1957
The tin star (program note), National Film Theatre (London, England)
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