War Films : What War Films Have You Seen? 2016 Edition.

Re: Hellé (1972)

Thanks, on the list it goes. Tick has been sent.

Re: Hellé (1972)

Another rare one, yay, and another deserved tick on the way.


The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

War TV: .THE SILENT SERVICE "The Gar Story" 1957


THE SILENT SERVICE "The Gar Story" 1957

This is the 28th episode of the U.S. war series, "The Silent Service". The series was about the exploits of the U.S. Navy's submarine fleet. Each episode is a stand-alone tale of the actions of a particular submarine. Most of the stories are about actions against the Japanese Navy and merchant fleet in the Pacific. There is also the odd tale from the Korean conflict. The series ran for 78 episodes during 1957 and 1958. The stories were all based on actual events. Some pretty good attention to detail here with the U.S Navy allowing filming on several WW 2 era Gato class subs.

Each episode started and ended with retired Real Admiral Thomas M. Dykers giving a breakdown of the action. Dykers became a writer, producer and technical adviser after leaving the service. He worked on films such as, TORPEDO ALLEY, FLAT TOP, THE FROGMEN, HELL AND HIGH WATER and SUBMARINE COMMAND.

This episode is about the U.S.S. "Gar". The "Gar"was commissioned in 1941 and saw a total of 15 wartime patrols sinking at least 10 Japanese ships. She was kept in service as a training vessel until decommissioned and sold for scrap in 1959. This episode is about the 14th patrol of the submarine.

It is Oct 1944 and the "Gar" has been assigned to deliver men and supplies to an underground group on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. The Navy is not sure if the group has been infiltrated by the Japanese as the previous submarine sent out, the "Seawolf" had disappeared.

The "Gar" makes contact with the guerrillas and finds that the unit is commanded by several American officers left behind in 1942. One of the men, Russell Johnson was a classmate of the "Gar" commander, De Forrest Kelly. The submarine is offloaded and the guerrilla types return to the jungle to continue the fight against the Japanese.

Also in the cast is Bing Russell, the father of actor Kurt Russell.

There is nothing special here at all as this one is a real slow mover with no action involved.

Re: War TV: .THE SILENT SERVICE "The Gar Story" 1957

The Silent Service (1957) - The Gar Story (1957)

At least it gave you the chance to write Ho Hum!

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

FOXHOLE IN CAIRO 1960: J. Robertson Justice and early M. Caine



This mid budget UK production is based on an actual event from World War Two. It is 1942 and Rommel's Afrika Korp is on the verge of capturing the British fortress of Tobruk. Rommel decides that it will then be on to Cairo and the Suez Canal. Rommel has famous Hungarian desert explorer, Laszlo Almasy, (Peter van Eyck) travel deep into the Sahara to deliver a pair of spies behind the British lines. The men are to gather intelligence on British troop movements and the like.

The two men, Adrian Holden and Neil McCullum are finally dropped off and make their way to Cairo. Holden is an Egyptian-German who was known around town before the war as a playboy type. McCullum is to pass as an American oilman type, as well as being in charge of the portable radio.

Holden fits right in again as if he had never been away for two years. He is soon hitting all the right clubs where the off duty headquarters staff tip a few. The German Intelligence Service (Abwehr) has supplied Holden with plenty of folding money. This he spreads around buying drinks etc.

Holden calls on a girl from his past, belly dancer Gloria Mestre, who works at a club popular with Allied officer types. The two take up again. As it so happens, Miss Mestre has a British officer, Robert Urquhart hot to trot for her. The man works at headquarters as a courier between there and the front-line commanders. Holden wants Miss Mestre to "pump" the man for any info she can.

While this is going on, British counter-intelligence officer, James Robertson Justice, is busy looking for possible spies. They have intercepted coded messages from Holden and McCullum but are unable to break the code. The signal is rather weak so the British figure the Germans must have a repeater station somewhere near the front lines. And right they are. The Germans have a hidden radio truck maned by two men, Michael Caine and Lee Montague. They forward the radio messages from Holden to Rommel's headquarters.

The British, led by Robertson Justice try several times to put the grab on the German spies. They triangulate their radio signals but the oily Germans always manage to slip away. Justice enlists the help of Niall MacGinnis and Fenella Fielding. The two are part of a Jewish group working undercover to help set up Israel after the war. They only work with the British because it is better than the other choice, the Germans. Justice wants them to look out for anything strange etc.

As luck would have it, Miss Fielding stumbles onto Holden's set up which is now on a house boat on the Nile. She lets Justice in on the location. Justice asks her to do something a tad dangerous, and board the houseboat for a look. Justice will be nearby with a squad of Military Police.

At the same time, the belly dancer, Mestre, has lured courier Urquhart for a visit. The man has been sent to the front with vital dispatches but stopped off for a "talk" before going. While Miss Mestre is entertaining Urquhart, Holden is pinching the papers from his briefcase to copy. He passes the copies to McCullum to radio to Rommel.

Now Miss Fielding is discovered and violence erupts. The idiot British officer is killed as is Miss Mestre. Justice and the MP's rush the place and soon have Holden and McCullum in cuffs. The British have also sent a Commando squad to raid and destroy the German radio truck in the desert. Rommel though has received the info from Urquhart's briefcase. Rommel now plans his upcoming offensive on Cairo.

The deal here is that the British had been giving the courier, Urquhart, false info. They had suspected that the man might be a tad too fond of the ladies. They wanted Rommel to get the fake info and launch his assault at the wrong place.

This is a not bad little war film that was directed by John Llewellyn Moxey. Moxey, a b-film and television man in the UK in the19 50's and 60's later moved to the US. He became a popular director of television films with over 30 of the genre to his credit.

The story would be better told in 1985's television mini-series, THE KEY TO REBECCA. The mini-series, as well as Ken Follet's novel were based on the actual event told in this film.

It is always interesting to see Michael Caine in an early role.

Re: FOXHOLE IN CAIRO 1960: J. Robertson Justice and early M. Caine

Rommel has famous Hungarian desert explorer, Laszlo Almasy, (Peter van Eyck) travel deep into the Sahara to deliver a pair of spies behind the British lines. The men are to gather intelligence on British troop movements and the like.

I the biography on this guy...it is him that 'the English Patient" book and movie are based on, although major changes to the factual story were made..

Also it is not clear he was a German/Italian spy clear cut, he was always accused by both sides of being an agent for the other.

also far from being shot-down whilst on his way back to rescue his sick girlfriend from a cave, Almasy is strongly believed to have had affairs with Luftwaffe officers.
Ie, male ones.

I don't think anyone can go into that desert and running with those Arabs without turning...it happened to Lawrence of Arabia too, of course..

Re: FOXHOLE IN CAIRO 1960: J. Robertson Justice and early M. Caine

Read about Laszlo Almasy a few years back when THE ENGLISH PATIENT director, Anthony Minghella died. Seems like a most interesting fellow.

Re: FOXHOLE IN CAIRO 1960: J. Robertson Justice and early M. Caine

Foxhole in Cairo (1960)

A very noticable cast list to a Brit like me. Interesting.

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

War Tv: THE SILENT SERVICE "The Story of the U.S.S. Flier" 1957


THE SILENT SERVICE "The Story of the U.S.S. Flier" 1957

This is the 29th episode of the U.S. war series, "The Silent Service". The series was about the exploits of the U.S. Navy's submarine fleet. Each episode is a stand-alone tale of the actions of a particular submarine. Most of the stories are about actions against the Japanese Navy and merchant fleet in the Pacific. There is also the odd tale from the Korean conflict. The series ran for 78 episodes during 1957 and 1958. The stories were all based on actual events. Some pretty good attention to detail here with the U.S Navy allowing filming on several WW 2 era Gato class subs.

Each episode started and ended with retired Real Admiral Thomas M. Dykers giving a breakdown of the action. Dykers became a writer, producer and technical adviser after leaving the service. He worked on films such as, TORPEDO ALLEY, FLAT TOP, THE FROGMEN, HELL AND HIGH WATER and SUBMARINE COMMAND.

This episode is about the U.S.S. "Flier". The "Flier" was a late war commission and only went out on her first patrol May 1944. Her area of patrol was off the Island of Luzon. The ship managed to ravage a large Japanese convoy sinking at least 4 ships and damaging several more. It was then a quick trip to Australia for more fuel and torpedoes.

The "Flier" was sent out on her second patrol to an area off Indochina. While making passage through the Balabac Strait, the "Flier" hit a Japanese naval mine. The mine ripped a hole in the side causing the submarine to rapidly sink. Only 14 men survived the sinking including the Captain, John Archer and the XO, Chuck Connors.

The men spent 17 hours in the water before they reached land. Only 8 out of the 14 men made the island. The island turned out to be barren of food and fresh water. The men fashioned a raft out of driftwood etc and headed for the next island.

They lucked out and ran into several members of a Filipino underground group. They were then taken by boat to a radio the Filipinos had on another island. Contact is soon made with headquarters and a rescue sub is sent to retrieve the men. The pick-up is a success, and the men are soon back at base.

In Feb 2009 the wreck of the "Flier" was found at 300 feet in the Balabac Strait.

This one is an interesting take on who men can survive the elements.

Re: War Tv: THE SILENT SERVICE "The Story of the U.S.S. Flier" 1957

The Silent Service (1957) - The Story of the U.S.S. Flier (1957)

Always good to find that the wreckages of these subs finally get located.

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

OKINAWA 1952: P O'Brien, C. Mitchell vs Kamikazes



This lower end budget war film was put out by the B unit at Columbia Pictures. The film is about a gun crew on a U.S. Navy Destroyer Escort at the Battle of Okinawa in April 1945. The invasion was the first of the Japanese home islands. Needless to say the Japanese were not going to go softly. They launched masses of Kamikaze suicide aircraft at the invasion fleet.

The film follows the crew of one of the 5inch gun turrets on the U.S.S. Blake. The men are, Cameron Mitchell, Richard Benedict, James Dobson and Rhys Williams. The officers in charge of the ship are played by, Pat O'Brien as the Captain and Richard Denning as the XO.

The ship starts as part of the fleet bombarding the shore as the landing takes place. Then they are transferred out to be part of the radar picket line. The picket line is to give early warning of any Japanese aircraft. The carriers can then direct fighters to intercept the enemy before they reach the transports etc.

The Japanese however do not always play according to plan. They sometimes decide to take out the radar pickets. The ships are alone without the fire support of other ships. (36 ships including 12 destroyers were lost with 120 ships damaged) The kamikazes piled on and the action became heated.

The gun crews become exhausted with barely any time off alert. Gunner Mitchell is the gambler of the group, and has been spending his time winning everyone's beer ration. Also in the crew is Benedict the ladies man, Dobson the smart one and the old man of the group, Rhys Willaims. Any free time is spent sleeping or taking about what to do after the war.

The Japanese keep coming and the ship is damaged after a hit by a kamikaze. The ship is lucky that the aircraft's bomb did not explode. The Captain, O'Brien manhandles the unwanted gift to the side and pushes it over into the drink. The list of dead and injured grows as the ship fights off repeated attacks. Gunner Dobson badly burns his hands during one of the raids and is replaced by galley hand, Rudy Robles. The attacks finally end but not before Rhys Williams is killed.

There is a running gag through the film about what gunner Mitchell plans to do with all the beer rations he has won. Unfortunately for him the entire lot is destroyed during one of the kamikaze attacks.

Taken as the low budget film that it is, it makes for a decent time-waster. The film uses quite a lot of stock battle footage which for the most part is edited into the narrative rather well. (The British pom-poms shown being a minor glitch) The film has a runtime of only 67 minutes and fills the time at a nice pace.

The director here was long time B-Film helmsman, Leigh Jason.

Re: OKINAWA 1952: P O'Brien, C. Mitchell vs Kamikazes

Okinawa (1952)

Can't say this excites me mate.

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: OKINAWA 1952: P O'Brien, C. Mitchell vs Kamikazes

I rate it better than most of the other IMDB reviewers. Not great, but interesting as one of the few films dealing with this particular naval action.

FREEDOM RADIO (AKA "A Voice in the Night") 1941


FREEDOM RADIO (AKA "A Voice in the Night") 1941

This production is an early WW2 British propaganda film set just before the start of the war.

Clive Brook plays a doctor who just happens to be on of Adolf Hitler's personal medical team. Brook is married to a successful stage actress, Diana Wynard. Also in the mix here is Wynard's brother, John Penrose, and Gestapo man, Raymond Huntley.

The Nazi Party has been in control for 6 years and the country is falling deeper under Hitler's grip. Brook and a group of friends from his school days meet for drinks every couple of weeks. It seems that every meeting there are fewer and fewer friends showing up. The men are running afoul of various Government edicts and are ending up in the camps. Brook is growing more annoyed with the direction Germany is going.

Matters come to a head when his priest friend, Morland Graham is killed while being arrested. One of the SS types making the arrest was his wife, Wynard's brother, John Penrose. Brook has had enough and decides to set up a resistance group.

The small group of close friends and like-minded types set up a mobile radio broadcaster. They use this to hit the airwaves spreading the truth on the Nazi machine. The Gestapo types are increasingly hot under the collar over their inability to catch the "Freedom Radio" crew.

The main reason that they can stay ahead of the Nazis, is that their radio is onboard a small motor launch. They are always on the move which prevents the Gestapo from getting a radio position fix. The group pulls a big move and sabotage one of Hitler's speeches. This however results in the death of one of the group.

Brook's wife, Wynard, is flattered by the attentions of the Party and accepts a political appointment. She cannot understand Brook's growing dislike of the regime.

The Gestapo pulls out all the stops and finally corners Brook and Wynard, who has now joined her husband. The two are shot dead and the end of the "Freedom Radio" is announced over the airwaves. The surviving members of the group are however soon back on the air continuing the struggle.

This quite watchable film was put out when the British were still for the most part, on the losing end of the conflict. The acting is acceptable, though Brook is a tad too stiff lipped for me. He always reminded me of the British version of American actor, Richard Dix.

Worth a look if you can find it.

Re: FREEDOM RADIO (AKA "A Voice in the Night") 1941

Freedom Radio (1941)

Thanks Gord

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

A Matter of Resistance (1966)




"I don't mind a little fire in a women,it's a sign of character."

** This review may contain spoilers ***

After getting an E-Mail from a DVD seller about them having a big sale on,I started looking round for interesting titles. With having been impressed by her performance in the excellent 1966 French New Wave film The Creatures,I was delighted to spot Catherine Deneuve's other movie from '66,which led to me getting ready to address this matter of resistance.

The plot-

Nazi-Occupied France:

Living in a château with her stubborn husband Jérôme growing apples as the chaos of war takes place outside their château, Marie discovers that a large number of apples have been disappearing. Looking round the gardens,Marie runs into a mysterious man called Julien resting.Following a line of eaten apples,Marie discover that Julien is a Resistance fighter.

View on the film:

Taking on a subject (the Occupation) rarely discussed in French cinema at the time,co-writer/(along with Alain Cavalier/Claude Sautet & Daniel Boulanger) director Jean-Paul Rappeneau and cinematographer Pierre Lhomme address the issue in a whimsical manner,via the crisp B&W giving the film a breezy atmosphere which allows Rappeneau to dip into slap-stick Comedy and dashing romance. Whilst glossing most of the movie in an easy-going,oddly "British" mood (pip pip!), Rappeneau gives the battle scenes a surprising level of realism,as the Resistance take on the Nazis with not even moonlight helping to guide them.

Giving the movie a light appearance,the screenplay by Rappeneau/ Cavalier/ Sautet & Boulanger find spaces for a delightfully funny sticky satirical filling,by making Jérôme try to keep the Nazis on side in order to keep the land safe,whilst secretly plotting against them. Initially making Jérôme suspicious of any "outsider",the writers superbly unleash Julien's impact on Jérôme in a gradual manner,which leads to Jérôme catching everyone by surprise by becoming the hero.

Catching Marie's attention with his rugged looks, Henri Garcin gives a terrific performance as Julien,whose flirty lines Garcin uses as a cover for Julien's determination to succeed,whilst Philippe Noiret gives a great grumpy old bear performance as Jérôme.Working with Rappeneau a second time on 1975's Le Sauvage,the gorgeous Catherine Deneuve gives a deliciously sassy performance as Marie,who makes it a matter of resistance to not conforming to any expectations.

Re: A Matter of Resistance (1966)

Tick sent.

Re: A Matter of Resistance (1966)

La vie de château (1966)


Thanks for the review doc

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Line of Demarcation (1966)


"It's because of scribblers that we lost the war."

** This review may contain spoilers ***

Looking for details on Jean-Paul Rappeneau's unexpectedly sweet 1966 Occupation Comedy A Matter of Resistance,I stumbled on a title by auteur film maker Claude Chabrol from the same year about the Occupation. Since the stylish bourgeoisie murder-mystery A Double Tour gave me a chance to see a Chabrol movie for the first time a few weeks ago,I decided that it was the perfect time to cross the line of Demarcation.

The plot-

Nazi-Occupied France:1941-

Living by the divided line between Nazi Occupied and free France,the residence of a town try to go about their daily lives,as Nazis are sent in to take over the local government,and a growing black market for people to be taken over to free France starts to build. Freed from Nazi cells on condition that he collaborates with them,WWI vet Pierre is shocked to discover that his wife Mary has secretly become a Resistance fighter.Whilst Pierre learns of Mary's activates, Doctor Jacques Lafaye tries to keep the Nazis from tracking down a British radio operator,as Pierre has to decide which side of Demarcation he is on.

View on the film:

Claiming to have spent the entire shoot drunk,writer/director Claude Chabrol (who was advised to take the project by Anthony Mann) displays a magnificent confidence in the story,with Chabrol and cinematographer Jean Rabier boiling down the French New Wave flashes,for a tense,brooding Film Noir atmosphere.Following a frosty river over the Demarcation line,Chabrol and Rabier pull open the lines of collaboration that the towns people fear,as elegantly held extreme close-ups get up close to the suspicions and paranoia gripping the town.Keeping Pierre Jansen's minimalist score lingering in the background,Chabrol displays a sharp eye for "space",with stilted shots showing the town in its starkest form,surrounded by icy Film Noir shadows and a crushing mood of defeat.

Inspired by French Resistance secret agent Gilbert Renault book,the screenplay by Chabrol places the horrors from WWI against the backdrop of the unfolding WWII,with Pierre wounded memories of WWI leading to a grudging tolerance of Nazi rule.Cutting down the belief at the time that (almost) all the people in Occupied France were Resistance figures,Chabrol strikes a Film Noir vein,by making Mary and Jacques Lafaye's acts of rebellion be exceptions to the complicit nature and acceptance of collaboration occupying the town.

Soon to become a collaborator with Chabrol,the graceful Jean Seberg gives a fiery performance as Mary,whose rebellious streak Seberg lights up,as Mary finds herself alone against the Nazis and the memories of WWI holding Pierre back from fighting in the new war.Joined by a wonderfully considerate Daniel Gélin as Doctor Jacques Lafaye, Maurice Ronet gives an excellent performance as Pierre,thanks to Ronet brilliantly chipping away at Pierre's burnt state,via Pierre being a witness to Mary's brave acts of rebellion,which leads to Pierre deciding that it is time to cross the complacent line of Demarcation.

Re: Line of Demarcation (1966)

On the list it goes, tick applied.

Re: Line of Demarcation (1966)

La ligne de démarcation (1966)

Considering the people involved it's a surprise it's a rare one. Reads as fab, great review to sell it as well.

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: Line of Demarcation (1966)

Thanks Spike,with Arrow & MoC having put out a number of CC box sets,its odd that they have completely skipped over bringing this film out.




This one is a real low budget wartime quickie, put out by bottom end studio, Monogram. This flag waving programmer stars, Ducky Louie, Paul Kelly, Harry Carey, Jim Dodd, Gloria Ann Chew, Hayward Soo Hoo and Richard Loo.

Several pilots with the Flying Tigers, Jimmy Dodd and Paul Kelly rescue a young lad they find after a Japanese air raid. The squadron pilots adopt the boy (Ducky Louie) as sort of a mascot. The men collect funds and send the boy to a mission school ran by American Harry Carey.

The lad, Louie, is not the least bit interested in "book learning'. He just wants to get even with the Japanese for killing his family and friends. He is soon leading his fellow students on raids of the nearby Japanese supply dumps. The kids thieve rifles and ammo which they pass on to the local Chinese underground.

When Harry Carey discovers what is going on he tries to talk the kids out of the dangerous raids. Of course this does not work. The kids led by Louie, become bolder with each raid, stealing ammo as well as using grenades to blow up Japanese fuel dumps. The area is soon plastered with wanted poster for the kids offering a big reward for info.

The raids continue and the Japanese now grab up school teacher Carey. December 7th 1941 has arrived and Japan and the States are now at war. The kids pull a sneak raid on Japanese headquarters and spring Harry Carey. They also rescue a couple of Flying Tiger pilots who have been shot down.

The kids are now armed up and fight a rear guard action while Carey and the Flying Tiger types make good their escape. Ducky Louie and the others are all killed, but they do stop the Japanese long enough for the others to get away.

This is not what one would call a good film, however, taken as the low rent programmer that it is, it supplies plenty of action at a decent pace. This 74 minute time-waster was produced by actor, Grant Withers. Suppling the music is seventeen time nominated, and four time Oscar winner, Dimitri Tiomkin.


China's Little Devils (1945)

Kiddie friendly flag waver!

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

War Tv: THE SILENT SERVICE "The Starfish Came Home" 1957


THE SILENT SERVICE "The Starfish Came Home" 1957

This is the 30th episode of the U.S. war series, "The Silent Service". The series was about the exploits of the U.S. Navy's submarine fleet. Each episode is a stand-alone tale of the actions of a particular submarine. Most of the stories are about actions against the Japanese Navy and merchant fleet in the Pacific. There is also the odd tale from the Korean conflict. The series ran for 78 episodes during 1957 and 1958. The stories were all based on actual events. Some pretty good attention to detail here with the U.S Navy allowing filming on several WW 2 era Gato class subs.

Each episode started and ended with retired Real Admiral Thomas M. Dykers giving a breakdown of the action. Dykers became a writer, producer and technical adviser after leaving the service. He worked on films such as, TORPEDO ALLEY, FLAT TOP, THE FROGMEN, HELL AND HIGH WATER and SUBMARINE COMMAND.

This episode is a fictional take on a real event. The story is about a submarine named, U.S.S. "Starfish". There was no actual submarine by that name. The sub and the people involved have had their names changed because the actual event was still secret at the time of production.

The real submarine involved was the U.S.S. "Crevalle". The submarine had an accidental crash dive caused by a malfunction of the dive planes. The problem here is that the outer and inner conning tower hatches were open. The flow of water through the upper hatch, which was latched open, prevented anyone in the conning tower from closing it.

The "Crevalle" was down 150 feet before the outer hatch was seen to close and lock. An alert machinist's mate, Robert L. Yeager, saved the submarine by backing full without orders. The pump room, control room and conning tower flooded completely, and all electrical equipment was inoperative. Yeager received the Silver Star for his action.

The hatch closing was assumed to have been done by the officer of the watch who was not recovered. The man, Lt Howard James Blind, was given the Navy Cross posthumously. The man had only just been married 2 weeks before his death.

Not sure why they did not use the actual events for the story, but it is still an entertaining episode.

The cast here includes Patrick O'Neal, William Boyett and Richard Jaeckel. Jaeckel is playing the man who saved the ship, officer of the watch, Lt Howard James Blind.

Check out episodes 18 and 19 for the story of the "Crevalle"

Re: War Tv: THE SILENT SERVICE "The Starfish Came Home" 1957

The Silent Service (1957) - The Starfish Came Home (1957)


The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

War TV: STUDIO ONE "The Strike" 1954: Superb Live Television


STUDIO ONE "The Strike" 1954

This is a "live" episode from the long running anthology series, "WESTINGHOUSE: STUDIO ONE". This series ran for 467 episodes between, 1948 and 1958.

The episode is set in North Korea just after the Red Chinese have joined the conflict. The United Nations troops are caught flat-footed and forced to retreat.

James Daly is a Major in charge of the remains of a U.S. regiment. The men are holding a section of the line waiting for orders to pull out. The men are cold, low on ammo and food. They are also overloaded with a large amount of wounded.

Daly is concerned about a 20 man patrol he had sent across the river into Chinese territory. The patrol was to see if the Chinese had moved artillery into the area. They have had no contact with the patrol. Stragglers from various units, including several British Royal Marines join up with Daly's group. Daly has his headquarters in a bombed out house.

The patrol is finally heard from and gives a report telling of a massive Chinese build up. The patrol however is unable to get out of the area. Daly now gets orders that there will be an air strike on the Chinese that night. Needless to say, the exact spot of the strike is where the patrol is hiding. Daly cannot warn the patrol because they only have one way contact.

Daly, a veteran from WW2, has seen his share of death, but not being able to warn the patrol eats at him. His junior officers, Bert Freed and Frank Marth try to talk to Daly. They tell him that the death of the 20 men will save the 500 men left of the regiment. Daly asks to be relieved of command but is told to man up. His is the burden of command.

The wounded are loaded up and sent off while everyone else waits for the orders to retreat. The time comes to order the air strike and the reluctant Daly does just that. He then leads his men off as the Chinese catch holy hell.

This is a pretty intense production that was helmed by future Oscar winner, Franklin J. Schaffner. Schaffner started out on early television in 1949 before getting a shot at big screen work in the 60's. He scored with a string of hits such as, PLANET OF THE APES, PAPILLON, THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL and PATTON.

The episode was written by Rod (Twilight Zone) Serling.

Re: War TV: STUDIO ONE "The Strike" 1954: Superb Live Television

Studio One (1948) - The Strike (1954)

Yep, enjoyed that, Rod and Franklin a safe pairing.

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217




This is one of the best productions to come out Britain during World War Two. It is a neatly done film which uses service personal in the roles.

This one starts with a Sgt at a training barracks, Jack Lambert, telling the new recruits about a battle in North Africa he had been in. It is late 1941, Lambert along with eight others, are crossing the desert in a truck. The vehicle becomes bogged down in the deep sand. The men jump out to push. The truck is set upon by two German fighters who strafe the truck and men. Two of the men are wounded and the truck set alight.

The men manage to pull their weapons, a little ammo and a few canteens of water out of the blazing truck. The officer of the group is among the wounded. The section Sgt, Lambert, takes charge and they set off toward their lines carrying the two wounded.

A vicious sand storm brews up and the group loses their bearings. They however stumble onto a small abandoned building and take shelter inside. The storm blows its self out by the next morning. The officer has died of his wounds during the night and the men bury him outside the building.

As the British prepare to move on, a group of Italians soldiers approach them out of the desert. The British open fire killing several and putting the others to flight. Lambert is not sure just how many Italians there are, and decides to hole up for a bit. The other wounded man has taken a bad turn and needs further rest. The men watch the dunes for any enemy movement. The Italians at the moment are quite happy just sniping at the British.

The Italians try a quick assault just before dark, but are shot to pieces by the British who are firing from cover. They then try to have a go during the night with a light armoured car. The one Brit, Grant Sutherland though is a wiz with the Boys anti-tank rifle they have. He puts a few .55 calibre rounds into the armoured car, disabling same. Lambert sends off one of the men towards the British lines to fetch help. The Brits can see the Italians gathering in ever growing numbers.

Lambert figures the Italians will soon try and swamp them. The Brits are out of water and down to about 15 rounds each. The other wounded man has also succumbed to his wounds. Lambert has two of the men take all the grenades and hide in the dunes outside the building. If the Italians attack, they are to toss all the grenades and scream like they are a dozen men. Hopefully they can bluff the Italians into thinking they are a large group.

That evening, the Italians do come a calling again. The night is soon ablaze with rifle fire, yelling and grenade blasts. The trick works and the Italians pull back. The Brits though are down to 4 or 5 rounds apiece. The Italians attack the building the next morning. In response, Lambert leads his men out for a bayonet charge.

It looks like the end of the British, but the Italians get a rude shock as British reinforcements arrive, along with a pair of tanks. There is a quick dust up with the Italian bunch being knocked back on their heels. Some are killed, others run, but most raise their arms and surrender. The surviving men, led by Lambert, are loaded on a lorry for a trip back to their base.

The rest of the cast includes. Fred Piper, John Varley, Jack Horsman, Bill Blewitt, Eric Miklewood, Richard Wilkinson and a 20 year old Gordon Jackson.

The director of this excellent film was Harry Watt. A former documentary film maker, (TARGET FOR TONIGHT) Watt keeps the pace even and shows a solid hand with the action sequences.

The lead, Jack Lambert had a long film career being of screen from 1931 to 1975.

Re: NINE MEN 1943

Nine Men (1943)

Excellent! One of the other guys called it the British Sahara!

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: NINE MEN 1943

A truly excellent film in my humble opinion.




This low budget film starts out 48 hours before the cease fire that would end the Korean War.

Jack Ging is a NCO with an infantry company facing the Chinese Red Army. Ging is war weary and less that amused with his company commander, John Goddard. Ging has more than enough points to have been rotated out of the front line. Goddard however keeps him in the trenches because he is a hard core veteran.

Ging has on more than one occasion saved the company during Chinese attacks. Ging has had more than enough of combat, and he does not want to die just as the war is ending. Ging grabs the first medics he sees, and forces them at gunpoint to take him to a doc. The doctor calls the MPs and sends Ging back. The Captain, Goddard tells Ging he is stuck with him. It is either 10 years in the stockade, or stay in the lines. Ging decides on the latter choice.

Also in the mix in the company, is the lead Sgt, Douglas Henderson. Henderson is a veteran of WW2 who won a fistful of decorations in that conflict. He now, like, Ging, wants nothing but to live to see the States again. He dives for the nearest foxhole and covers up every time the Reds come a calling. Then there is the new man, Stanley Clements, also a WW2 veteran. Clements also has a beef with the Captain. It seems that Goddard had gotten the man busted in rank when the two had been with another unit.

Goddard orders a night patrol out to see if they can grab up some Chinese prisoners. The patrol goes sideways and several of the men are killed. Goddard of course blames everyone else for the foul-up. He chews out the squad Lt, Gabe Castle, and orders an assault on the Chinese positions. Castle tells him to get stuffed. He will not lead men out to get killed this close to the cease fire.

Goddard, who has annoyed his entire command, is called out to look at a dud Chinese artillery round. The round has landed in an un-cleared minefield. Goddard walks out to look at the round and steps on a mine. Goddard is now stuck out in the minefield unable to move.

The men just sit and watch Goddard standing, hoping that he blows himself to kingdom come. Goddard begs for help, finally, Ging, along with Sgt Henderson, go to have a look. They collect all the flak jackets from the squad first. These they wrap around Goddard's legs and body. Ging tells Goddard that he must throw himself to the ground as fast as he can. Hopefully the blast will be deflected by the flak jackets.

Goddard though is too frightened to move. This forces Ging to make a running tackle pulling Ging and Goddard off the mine. Goddard is unharmed but Ging is wounded picking up a leg full of metal splinters. Ging now has a legitimate reason to be sent to the medics.

The cease fire has arrived and the men all heave a sigh of relief, the war is over.

This is a pretty good little low budget film that says what has to say in just 61 minutes. The film was produced and directed by John A Bushelman. Bushelman was a former film editor who directed the odd film here and there.

Handling the director of photography duties, is long-time b film and TV cinematographer, Kenneth Peach. He worked in the industry between 1929 and 1984.


Sniper's Ridge (1961)

Low budget Pork Chop Hill! Apparently.

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217


I saw Sniper's Ridge in the theater when it first came out, second half of a double bill, I liked it better than the main feature. Excellent cast of very good actors, many of whom deserved better careers than they got. It just goes to show, once again, that it doesn't take a big budget to make a good movie.


I agree, a real little gem of a low budget war film.

War Tv 12 O'CLOCK HIGH "The Climate of Doubt" 1964


12 O'CLOCK HIGH "The Climate of Doubt" 1964

12 O'CLOCK HIGH was a television series about the fictitious 918th Bomber Group of the U.S. Air Force. The Group flew Boeing B-17 bombers and was based out of Archbury Field in England. The series ran for a total of 78 episodes between 1964 and 1967. Regular cast members included, Robert Lansing, Frank Overton, Paul Burke, Chris Robinson and Barney Philips. The series is loosely based on the superb 1949 film of the same name. This episode is the fifth episode of the series.

This episode starts out on the ground in occupied France. The French Resistance has just attacked a German troop train. They are soon hunted down and one of their members captured. The leader of the Underground group, Jacques Roux decides to try and rescue the man. Before he heads in with guns blazing, he tells his wife, Viveca Lindfors, to go to England.

Once in England, Lindfors contacts an old flame, General Crowe (John Larkin) for help. She wants Larkin to order a bomb raid against a target in Normandy. The target is however a low priority for the Allies. It is still a year and a half before the actual D-Day.

Larkin however orders his Group Commander, Robert Lansing to arrange a raid anyways. Lansing protests that he can see no reason for the raid, and will only go under protest. The raid is launched and the Group sustains heavy losses. Lansing's boss, Larkin is called on the carpet to explain the raid. Did he order the raid just to please his former lover?

Lansing is called to give evidence at the hearing. Before the hearing, Miss Lindfors visits Lansing and tells him about her husband and the Underground actions in France. Lansing now decides to say to the court that he feels the raid really was needed. Larkin is not charged and returns to command.

Not an easy episode to peg as it wanders from the combat arena to a political take. Not great, but by no means is it a waste of time.

Miss Lindfors was still a stunner at age 44. The former wife of director, Don Siegel, arrived in Hollywood from Sweden in 1948 as the new, Ingrid Bergman. She was a decent actress, but no Bergman.

Re: War Tv 12 O'CLOCK HIGH "The Climate of Doubt" 1964

12 O'Clock High (1964) - The Climate of Doubt (1964)

Lovely Lindfors

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: What War Films Have You Seen? May/Jun/Jul/Aug - 2016 Edition.

A Bridge Too Far (1977)

One of the best WWII films ever made but I tend to agree with the anonymous wag who said "A film too long".

"It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations" Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Re: What War Films Have You Seen? May/Jun/Jul/Aug - 2016 Edition.

Saw this one on the big screen back when it came out. Was impressed with the sheer volume of the stories being told. Need to give it a re-watch.

Re: What War Films Have You Seen? May/Jun/Jul/Aug - 2016 Edition.

aren't all epics??

with few exceptions, all-star cast war epics go badly as actual dramas..

A Bridge Too Far (1977)

I haven't seen it yet, but along with The Big Red One (1980) as well, I do own it and plan to watch this year for sure.

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217




This one is a low budget war film put out by the B unit at Columbia Pictures. It stars Bruce Bennett, Erik Rolf, John Abbott, John Wengraf and Robert Williams.

This one starts out with a German U-Boat patrolling off the US coast. The U-Boat is there to pick up a spy who is travelling on board a cargo ship. The man jumps ship with a life raft and waits for the submarine to rescue him. The submarine sinks the cargo ship after the spy has left the ship.

One American sailor, Bruce Bennett, survives the sinking. He swims out to the raft where the Nazi type is waiting for the U-Boat. A quick round of flying fists etc soon has the raft changing ownership. Bennett rifles the dead man's pockets and finds an id card which he pockets. He slips the dead Nazi overboard before the sub shows.

The U-Boat surfaces and pulls Bennett out of the drink. He is greeted by Gestapo agent, John Wengraf. Bennett hands over the dead man's papers and is taken as the now deceased agent. The submarine is full of important scientists whom the Nazi's have lifted from various Allied ships. They are to be transported back to Germany to work for the Reich.

Bennett's not being able to speak German is explained away by him being a US born agent. (Easy plot fix) Bennett is put in with the scientists to see if they are up to any mischief. Bennett lets the scientist types in on who he really is. He tells the men to remain calm while he tries to figure a way off the U-Boat for all of them.

The U-Boat is being trailed by an American destroyer. Said warship races up and gives the Nazi swine a solid shaking with a brace of depth charges. One of the scientist types, John Abbott, loses his head and wants to rat out Bennett to the Gestapo man. Bennett quiets the rat with several knuckle sandwiches.

The American destroyer keeps peppering the area with depth charges, which causes damage to the submarine. The German Captain, Rolf, fire some debris out the torpedo tubes hoping to fool the Americans into believing the submarine has been sunk. When this fails to work, he adds one of his own men to the debris. More depth charges are soon raining down as the Americans are not duped by the ploy.

The U-Boat is now heavily damaged and settles on the bottom. Most of the ship's crew are drowned (including the contemptible swine of a Gestapo man) except for the prisoners and several Germans all in the torpedo room. The buoy with a phone cable is released. The buoy is spotted by the destroyer and answered.

Bennett tells the Americans the situation on board the submarine. The men are going to use the torpedo tubes to escape. The problem here is that one of the nine men will need to stay. Someone needs to fire off the air in the tubes. Lots are drawn and Bennett loses. Bennett of course manages a last minute bit of luck and makes it to the surface as well.

This one is loosely based on the book "U-Boat Prisoner" by American sailor, Archie Gibbs. The direction of this low end programmer was handled by B-film veteran, Lew Landers, with some unbilled help from Budd Boetticher. Landers was involved in the production of over 200 different films and television episodes. In 1944 alone, he helmed 9 different features.

The cinematographer was 2 time Oscar winner, Burnett Guffey. His work includes, BONNIE AND CLYDE, FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, ALL THE KING'S MEN, NIGHTFALL, THE HARDER THEY FALL and SCANDAL SHEET.

If you take it for the low budget quickie that it is, it should pass the time well enough. The 66 minute run-time of course helps.


U-Boat Prisoner (1944)

Hit and miss low budgeter. Guffey a plus.

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

War Tv: THE SILENT SERVICE "The Sealion Story" 1957


THE SILENT SERVICE "The Sealion Story" 1957

This is the 31st episode of the U.S. war series, "The Silent Service". The series was about the exploits of the U.S. Navy's submarine fleet. Each episode is a stand-alone tale of the actions of a particular submarine. Most of the stories are about actions against the Japanese Navy and merchant fleet in the Pacific. There is also the odd tale from the Korean conflict. The series ran for 78 episodes during 1957 and 1958. The stories were all based on actual events. Some pretty good attention to detail here with the U.S Navy allowing filming on several WW 2 era Gato class subs.

Each episode started and ended with retired Real Admiral Thomas M. Dykers giving a breakdown of the action. Dykers became a writer, producer and technical adviser after leaving the service. He worked on films such as, TORPEDO ALLEY, FLAT TOP, THE FROGMEN, HELL AND HIGH WATER and SUBMARINE COMMAND.

This episode is about the third patrol of the U.S.S. "Sealion". This ship was named for a submarine that had been sunk on Dec 8th 1941 during the Japanese attack on the Philippines.

The "Sealion' takes a new piece of equipment along on their third patrol, a tape recorder. They are going to tape any actions they get into. The first few days of the patrol off the China coast are full of machinery problems. A torpedo gets launched without the outer doors being opened during a test. This will prevent the sub from diving deep if needed. There are several other glitches making the crew's life a mess.

Their luck changes when they come up at night on a large Japanese task force. The recorder goes on and the "Sealion" moves into firing range. They fire off 6 torpedoes and then hightail it out of the area. They report back to Pearl Harbor that they believe they sank a Japanese battleship. It takes a while, but the Navy intelligence section announces that the "Sealion" did indeed sink a battleship, The KONGO.

This was the first Battleship victory by a US Navy submarine.

The cast includes, Phil Pine, Sid Melton, Arvid Nelson and William Henry.

The "Sealion" was credited with at least 7 Japanese ships sunk and several more damaged. The "Sealion" was converted to a transport submarine during the 1950's. She served until 1969 before being decommissioned. She was finally used as a live target and sunk in 1978.

Re: War Tv: THE SILENT SERVICE "The Sealion Story" 1957

The Silent Service (1957) - The Sealion Story (1957)

Target practice!!

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

THE REAL GLORY 1939 Gary Cooper vs the Moros



This Samuel Goldwyn Production is about a series of battles during the Moro war in the Philippines. This armed conflict took place from 1903 to 1913. The film stars, Gary Cooper, David Niven, Broderick Crawford, Andrea Leeds, Reginald Owen, Russell Hicks and Vladimir Sokoloff.

The film is set on the Philippines island of Mindanao. The US Army is pulling out and leaving the local militia and Police force in charge. The locals are sure that once the US Army leaves, the Moro guerrillas will swoop in and kill all the men, then sell the women and children into slavery. The Army leaves several men to help train the locals to defend themselves. (Cooper, Niven, Crawford, Owen, Hicks)

The Moro leader, Tetsu Komai, tries to draw the American led militia out into the jungle where they plan on slaughtering them. When this does not work, Komai, with help from his inside man, Vladimir Sokoloff, send in several suicide types to kill the American commanding officer. This they succeed in doing, but this also fails to bring out the Constabulary.

Now the Moro types dam up the river and stop the flow of fresh water to the village. There is soon a cholera problem and people start to die. The Army doctor, Gary Cooper does what he can. The man in charge now, Reginald Owen, is afraid to do anything about the problem. He is going blind from an old wound. Needless to say he is keeping this info from Cooper and the rest.

Owen finally orders one of the men, Broderick Crawford, to take a detachment of militia and destroy the dam. The problem here is that the Moro leader is kept up to date on the intelligence front by inside man, Sokoloff. Broderick and his men are massacred with only a single survivor. The situation now is desperate in the village from lack of fresh water, as well as the disease problem.

Now Sokoloff steps up and offers to lead another detachment up a secret trail to the dam. Owen falls for the ploy and leads off most of the militia garrison. They also take along a healthy amount of dynamite. Cooper, left in command of the village, now discover Sokoloff's duplicity. He puts David Niven in charge, grabs up a shotgun and takes off to warn Owen.

While Owen is being led up and down various jungle paths, the Moros have massed for an attack on the now depleted garrison. Cooper manages to reach Owen and fill him in on Sokoloff. After disposing of the swine Sokoloff, Cooper and the rest destroy the dam, build some rafts, and return to the village.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, er, I mean the village, there is a full-fledged battle going on. The Moros, using freshly captured rifles, are getting the upper hand. Inside the barricades, Niven and the remaining militia are putting up a stubborn bit of resistance, but they are outnumbered and losing ground.

Just as it looks like the Moro bunch will be victorious, Cooper and the boys arrive. They take the Moros in the flank and soon have them on the run with heavy casualties. The Moro leader, Komai, is killed by one of the Philippine Militia officers, Rudy Robles. The threat to the village and its people is ended.

There is a side plot where Reginald Owen's daughter, Andrea Leeds, falls for the dashing doctor, Cooper.

This one comes off like a version of Gunga Din with plenty of action and derring do. The director was Henry Hathaway, who had worked with Cooper on, THE LIVES OF A BENGAL LANCER. Hathaway cranked out more than a few decent films during his career. These include, SOULS AT SEA, SPAWN OF THE NORTH, WING AND PRAYER, THE BLACK ROSE, RAWHIDE, KISS OF DEATH, NIAGARA, THE SONS OF KATIE ELDER and TRUE GRIT.

Helping out behind the camera was Rudolph Mate. The 5 time Oscar nominated cinematographer (Gilda, Sahara) would become a director himself. He would crank out a series of well-respected westerns and film noir like, DOA, UNION STATION, BRANDED, THE VIOLENT MEN, SIEGE AT RED RIVER, THE FAR HORIZONS, and THE RAWHIDE YEARS.

Re: THE REAL GLORY 1939 Gary Cooper vs the Moros

The Real Glory (1939)

Looks a cracker. Some different run times I believe?

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: THE REAL GLORY 1939 Gary Cooper vs the Moros

The one I watched was off TCM. Good film.

SUBMARINE PATROL 1938 John Ford directs



This 20th Century Fox production is a lesser known film from director, John Ford. The film is set during World War One and stars, Richard Greene, Preston Foster, George Bancroft, Nancy Kelly, Slim Summerville, Ward Bond and John Carradine.

Wealthy playboy type, Richard Greene, decides to join the Navy on a lark. His father has lots of pull in Washington and gets Greene in without doing boot camp. Greene hits the Brooklyn Navy Yard and is assigned to a boat of the "splinter fleet". These are wooden hulled sub chasers and considered by most to be a bottom of the barrel assignment.

The ship he is sent to is in a mess with no officer in charge. The men just spend their time sitting on their duff or working jobs off base. Greene does not take the assignment seriously at all, and soon takes the crew out for a night of beer on him. He meets pretty Nancy Kelly and falls for the girl. Kelly works on a freighter owned by her father, George Bancroft. They make regular trips to Allied ports in Europe delivering ammunition.

Now enters long time Navy man, Preston Foster. Foster has just been busted down in rank because of grounding the destroyer he was commanding. Foster intends to use this command to get back in the good books. He comes down hard on the crew and their lay about ways. Greene has been put in charge of the sub chaser's engine room. He does not like being ridden hard, and complains to the Yard commandant. The man gives Greene a dressing down and sends him back to the ship.

Foster, with the help of several old Navy types, J Farrell MacDonald and Jack Pennick, soon has the ship in top shape. The ship is loaded with fuel and ammo and sent to escort a convoy. In this convoy of course is Miss Kelly and her father, George Bancroft.

The sub chaser has a run in with a less than friendly German submarine. The Germans try to pop Miss Kelly's ship, but are given a trip to Davy Jones' locker by Foster's sub chaser. The convoy makes it safely to a port in Italy where the cargo ships are unloaded.

Greene of course uses his shore leave pursuing Miss Kelly, Her father, Bancroft, does not like Navy types and the two have several dust ups. These end with Greene getting the worst of the knuckle exchanges. Kelly has likewise fallen for Greene and is peeved at her father for interfering.

Foster now gets secret orders to take his ship on a dangerous mission. Navy intelligence has discovered a base where a particularly successful German submarine operates from. Foster is to work his way through the mine infested sea to destroy the submarine. Foster asks for volunteers and the entire crew steps up.

The sub chaser heads out into the nighttime fog to make their raid. Also on board, through a mistake, is George Bancroft. Bancroft joins with helping out in the engine room beside Greene. Once at the enemy base, the sub chaser slowly makes its way through the minefield.

Dawn arrives just as the ship emerges from the fog. They take the Germans by surprise and are soon slamming rounds into the U-boat. The Germans though, quickly respond, hitting the sub chaser repeatedly. The U-Boat takes too much damage and is finally destroyed. The sub chaser, though battered and badly damaged, manages to return to their base.

Needless to say Bancroft's opinion of Greene and the Navy has changed. He gives Greene and Kelly his blessing.

For a John Ford film, it is somewhat of a strange bird. It is entertaining enough, with the first third being played mostly for laughs before becoming deadly serious. Ford's next film would be the impressive western, STAGECOACH.

Several of Ford's stock company are present here with Ward Bond, John Carradine and Jack Pennick. Pennick would appear in over 30 Ford films. Also in the cast are Elisha Cook Jr, Robert Lowery, Lon Chaney Jr, Maxie Rosenbloom, Douglas Fowley and George E Stone.

The 7 time nominated, and 3 time Oscar winner, Arthur C. Miller was the cinematographer. One of his Oscar wins was for shooting director Ford's, HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY.

This was the film Ford made before the impressive, STAGECOACH. This was the second film in a row with director Ford for British actor, Greene. He seemed to be on the road to big time star status. World War Two interrupted and he returned to the UK to serve. Today, he is best recalled for the 1955-60 television series, THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD.

Re: SUBMARINE PATROL 1938 John Ford directs

Submarine Patrol (1938)

Good work Gord. Directed by legend Pappy Ford and featuring a cast that's not to be sniffed at!

Stage bound it seems?

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217