The DVDs and videos described here readily available for rent or purchase. A significant number of descriptions for the films have been written by a distributor, as a film synopsis or a critic. The names of the writer appear at the end of each description when applicable.
Battle Circus (1953), Director: Richard Brooks, Running Time: 90 Minutes.
A deadly barrage of "incoming mail" draws nearer. The frontlines are moving, so Mobile Army Surgical Hospital 8666 must also move, and quickly. The wounded are evacuated. Tents are struck and loaded. And if there's no time to strike it, burn it. Then, like circus wagons rolling through hell, the medical convoy risks ambush as it bumps and rumbles to its next encampment.
Humphrey Bogart and June Allyson star and Richard Brooks (Elmer Gantry, In Cold Blood) scripts and directs this stark tale of love and war that matches M*A*S*H in setting but not in tone. Allyson plays a wide-eyed nurse who arrives in Korea oblivious to the dangers. Bogey plays a careworn surgeon who numbs his feelings with booze and romantic dalliance. "Three world wars in one lifetime," he says. "Maybe whiskey's as much a part of our life as war."
Battle Hymn (1956), Director: Douglas Sirk, Running Time: 108 Minutes.
Dean Hess, who entered the ministry to atone for bombing a German orphanage, decides he's a failure at preaching. Rejoined to train pilots early in the Korean War, he finds Korean orphans raiding the airbase garbage. With a pretty Korean teacher, he sets up an orphanage for them and others. But he finds that to protect his charges, he has to kill. (Summary written by Rod Crawford for www.imdb.com)
Battle Taxi (1955), Director:Herbert Strock, Running Time: 82 Minutes.
In the Korean war, the commander of an Air Rescue helicopter team must show a hot-shot former jet pilot how important helicopter rescue work is and turn him into a team player. (Summary written by Jim Beaver for www.imdb.com)
The Bridges at Toko-ri (1954), Director: Mark Robson, Running Time: 103 Minutes.
The Bridges at Toko-ri is a masterful story of a war-weary World War II veteran who must leave his family to fight again, this time in the Korean War. Starring: William Holden, Grace Kelly, Fredric March, Mickey Rooney, Robert Strauss, Charles McGraw, and Keiko Awaji.
Combat Squad (1953), Director: Cy Roth, Running Time: 72 Minutes.
A small platoon of American infantry, led by Sergeant Fletcher (John Ireland), captures a cave and smashes a roadblock and then heads back for some "R n' R" with some U.S.O hostesses. Then they clean some snipers out of a thicket, accomplished with the aid of a raw recruit, Martin (Lon McCallister.) (Summary written by Les Adams for www.imdb.com)
For the Boys (1991), Director: Mark Rydel, Running Time: 138 Minutes.
USO entertainers Dixie Leonard and Eddie Sparks travel and perform together through World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The story of their adventures together, filled with love, laughter and tears, is related in flashbacks by Dixie on the eve of being awarded a medal by the President. (Summary written by Dan Larsen for www.imdb.com)
Fixed Bayonets (1951), Director: Samuel Fuller, Running Time: 92 Minutes.
A platoon is cut off from their patrol in the Korean War, and as officers drop like flies, an unwilling corporal must take command. With Fuller at the helm, this is no typical combat movie; as the soldiers are pinned down under fire, the film grows more and more claustrophobic until someone reaches a breaking point.
The Glory Brigade (1953), Director: Robert D. Webb, Running Time: 82 Minutes.
During the Korean War Lt. Sam Pryor volunteers his platoon to escort Greek troops to perform a reconnaissance mission behind Communist lines. Due to his Greek heritage Pryor is initially proud to accompany the Greek contingent, but his feelings change to scorn and mistrust when what he believes is cowardice shown by the Greek soldiers and their leaders results in the near annihilation of his own platoon. An uneasy alliance is maintained between the US and Greek troops as the enemy's true objective is learned. Starring: Victor Mature, Alexander Scourby, Lee Marvin, Richard Egan, Nick Dennis, and Roy Roberts.
Inchon (1981), Director: Terence Young, Running Time: 140 Minutes.
A noisy re-telling of the great 1950 invasion of Inchon during the Korean War which was masterminded by General Douglas MacArthur.
Jet Attack (1958), Director: Edward L. Cahn, Running Time: 68 Minutes.
American commandos go after a captured scientist behind North Korean lines.
M*A*S*H (1970), Director: Robert Altman, Running Time: 117 Minutes.
Highlights the outrageous antics of three skilled young surgeons drafted from civilian life and assigned to a unit of the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) during the Korean War.
MacArthur (1977), Director: Joseph Sargent, Running Time: 130 Minutes.
The story of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Allied Commander during World War II and United Nations Commander for the Korean War. "MacArthur" begins in 1942, following the fall of Phillipines, and covers the remarkable career of this military legend up through and including the Korean War and into MacArthur's days of forced retirement after being dismissed from his post by President Truman.
The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Director: John Frankenheimer, Running Time: 126 Minutes.
In Korea in 1952, a US Army patrol is ambushed by Communist soldiers. A year later the squad, having escaped, returns to the US, where Staff Sergeant Raymond Shaw is to receive the Medal of Honor for single-handedly saving the lives of the squad. Shaw is the son of Eleanor Iselin, wife of US Senator John Yerkes Iselin, and Mrs. Iselin turns the return of Raymond into a political rally that brings out building hostility between son and mother over the ambitions of Johnny Iselin. But there is more involved, for the actions of Raymond Shaw are not what everyone believes they are, and the nightmares of a US Army officer, Bennett Marco, leads to investigation of Raymond that unlocks a stunning political conspiracy that sweeps up Johnny and Elanor Iselin, and which only Bennett Marco can possibly stop. (Summary written by Michael Daly for www.imbd.com)
Men of the Flying Lady (1954), Director: Andrew Marton, Running Time: 81 Minutes.
Chronicle of the exploits and heroic actions of US Navy pilots during the Korean War. Men of the Fighting Lady was based on two literary works: The Case of the Blinded Pilot by Cmdr. Harry A. Burns, and The Forgotten Heroes of Korea by James A. Michener
Pork Chop Hill (1959), Director: Lewis Milestone, Running Time: 97 Minutes.
A stark screen re-enactment of the U.S. Army King Company's valiant, high-casualty offensive to capture and hold strategically important Pork Chop Hill during the Korean War. Starring: Gregory Peck, Harry Guardino, Rip Torn, George Peppard, James Edwards, Bob Steele, Woody Strode, George Shibata.
Retreat Hell (1952), Director: Joseph H. Lewis.
A film about the United States Marine Corps' withdrawal from the Changjin Reservoir.
Sabre Jet (1953), Director: Louis King, Running Time: 90 Minutes.
The story of jet pilots flying over Korea by day, from their Itazuke Air Base in Japan, and of their wives, on station with them, who have dinner ready when they return. Jane Carter (Coleen Gray), a reporter for a large newspaper syndicate arrives and she is also the estranged wife of the assistant squadron commander, Colonel Gil Manton (Robert Stack.) At first, she goes at her assignment of getting a story on the pilots’ wives with the same ruthlessness and persistence that broke up her marriage but a mirror isn't needed to peek around the corner to where this one is headed. (Summary written by Les Adams for www.imdb.com)
The Steel Helmet (1950), Director: Samuel Fuller, Running Time: 85 Minutes.
Set in the early days of the Korean War, Evans plays a POW survivor who teams up with an orphaned Korean boy to find US troops and make it back home. Confronted with the horrors of war that have felled lesser men, Evans’ determined individualistic streak is the only thing that saves him—acting as a metaphor for notorious renegade Fuller. Starring Gene Evans and Robert Hutton.