A Hill in Korea

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A Hill in Korea
Original American film poster
Directed byJulian Amyes
Produced byAnthony Squire
Written byMax Catto (book)
Anthony Squire
Ian Dalrymple
StarringGeorge Baker
Harry Andrews
Stanley Baker
Music byMalcolm Arnold
CinematographyFreddie Francis
Edited byPeter R. Hunt
Distributed byBritish Lion Films
Distributors Corporation of America (US)
Release date
18 September 1956 (London)
Running time
81 min.

A Hill in Korea is a 1956 British war film based on Max Catto's 1953 novel of the same name. The original name was Hell in Korea, but was changed for distribution reasons, except in the U.S. It was directed by Julian Amyes and the producer was Anthony Squire. Incidental music was written by Malcolm Arnold.

It was the first major feature film to portray British troops in action during the Korean War and introduces Michael Caine (himself a veteran of the Korean War) in his first credited film role.


During the retreat of 1951, a small force of British soldiers is in danger of being cut off by the advancing Chinese army. The plot emphasizes the plight of the National Service men who, as they say, were "old enough to fight, but too young to vote."

The film also depicts a "friendly-fire" incident, in which the British are bombed by the Americans.

The film opens in Korea with a British Army patrol, led by Lt. Butler. In the patrol is tough veteran Sergeant Payne, a slightly psychotic Corporal Ryker, and the cowardly signaller Wyatt. As they search a small village, one of the party falls victim to a bomb planted in a small shack. With the death of one of his men, Butler moves the patrol out of the village. Out in the open plain, Butler and Payne discover a large force of Chinese soldiers heading directly for them. Sending Payne and the patrol back towards their own lines, Butler and three of his men stay behind to cover the withdrawal. After fending off two attacks, Butler discovers Lance Corporal Hodge is dead. Payne returns with the patrol, informing Butler that they were cut off by other enemy forces.

The patrol heads through the village and up a winding path towards an isolated temple located on a hill, with only a steep cliff to its rear. On the way, Wyatt throws away the only radio because he cannot be bothered to carry it up the hill. Then they run into an enemy patrol on the path. They ambush the Chinese, and continue up to the temple. With the Chinese knowing now exactly where they are, Butler must keep his troops together, and fend off the enemy attacks.



  • Time Out Film Guide, published by Penguin - ISBN 0-14-029395-7
  • Lentz, Robert J. (2003). Korean War Filmography. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. p. 148. ISBN 978-0-7864-1046-0. OCLC 50630520.

External links[edit]