Story [suggested by a novel by John Brophy] revolves around a platoon left behind temporarily to fight a rearguard action for a retreating regiment in Korea.

Story [suggested by a novel by John Brophy] revolves around a platoon left behind temporarily to fight a rearguard action for a retreating regiment in Korea.

The detail is supposed to be a hand-picked group of veterans. Yet among them is a corporal (Richard Basehart) who cannot bring himself to shoot an enemy soldier. How he shakes off this fixation and ultimately assumes command of the decimated platoon is an underlying theme that pervades the whole yarn.

Writer-director Samuel Fuller’s platoon is a typical band of GIs. There’s the sergeant (Gene Evans), a bearded vet of the last war who takes to his chores with a skill born of long experience. Sergeant Michael O’Shea is another hard-bitten ’20-year man’. Privates include men of Italian, Polish and American Indian extraction, among others.

There’s a wealth of suspense in the screenplay, for until the closing minutes filmgoers are unaware whether the platoon will succeed in its mission and rejoin the regiment.

Fixed Bayonets!

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director Samuel Fuller; Producer Jules Buck; Screenplay Samuel Fuller; Camera Lucien Ballard; Editor Nick De Maggio; Music Roy Webb; Art Director Lyle Wheeler, George Patrick

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1951. Running time: 92 MIN.

With

Richard Basehart Gene Evans Michael O'Shea Richard Hylton Craig Hill Skip Homeier
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