The Reluctant Heroes

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The Reluctant Heroes
Directed by Robert Day
Produced by Robert Mirisch
Aaron Spelling (executive producer)
Shelley Hull (associate producer)
Written by Ernie Frankel
Herman Hoffman
Screenplay by Herman Hoffman
Starring Ken Berry
Jim Hutton
Trini López
Don Marshall
Ralph Meeker
Cameron Mitchell
Warren Oates
Music by Frank De Vol
Cinematography Archie R. Dalzell
Edited by Art Seid
Distributed by
Release date
  • November 23, 1971 (1971-11-23) (United States)
Running time
73 min
Country United States
Language English

The Reluctant Heroes is a made-for-TV movie and war film set in the period of the Korean War. It was directed by Robert Day and starred Ken Berry, Jim Hutton, Trini López, Don Marshall, Ralph Meeker, Cameron Mitchell and Warren Oates.[1]


A tired platoon is about to be sent home, but is picked to hold an observation point.[2] They are led by the inexperienced Lt. Parnell Murphy (Ken Berry), who is a military historian with no combat experience. In order to defend Hill 656, which has strategic importance, he uses military tactics of Napoleon and Alexander the Great,[3] which he draws from his own studies in history.[4][5]

About the film[edit]

The original title of the film was The Egghead on Hill 656. It was announced in the April 24, 1971, issue of Billboard as The Egghead on Hill 656.[6] It first aired on ABC on November 23, 1971.[7] It was filmed on a Paramount Studios back lot.[8]

One of the issues addressed in the film is racism.[8][9] Even though the film was lacking in some areas, its emphasis was correct on the strategic importance of bridges.[8]

The original run time of the film was 73 minutes.[10]



The Reluctant Heroes was shown on ABC on November 23, 1971. The film was released on VHS.[13]


  1. ^ "The Reluctant Heroes". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  2. ^ The Evening News November 23, 1971 5B TV Highlights, MOVIE OF THE WEEK - "The Reluctant Heroes
  3. ^ The Milwaukee Sentinel Tuesday, November 23, 1971 Page 14, Part 1 ABC MOVIE OF THE WEEK: "The Reluctant Heroes"
  4. ^ Letterboxd The Reluctant Heroes 1971
  5. ^ Turner Classic Movies Reluctant Heroes, The(1971), Also Known As: Egghead on Hill 656, The, Overview, Brief Synopsis
  6. ^ Billboard April 24, 1971 Page 28 Talent, Music from the Capitals of the World, DOMESTIC
  7. ^ A Guide to Films on the Korean War By Paul M. Edwards Page 92 59, The Reluctant Heroes (1971)
  8. ^ a b c Lentz 2003, pp. 293-95.
  9. ^ Lentz 2003, pp. 444.
  10. ^ WorldCat The reluctant heroes
  11. ^ Letterboxd The Reluctant Heroes 1971
  12. ^ Turner Classic Movies Reluctant Heroes, The(1971), Also Known As: Egghead on Hill 656, The, Overview, Cast & Crew
  13. ^ "The Reluctant Heroes". Worldvision Enterprises. CBS Television Distribution. ASIN B00008T245. Retrieved November 6, 2016.


External links[edit]