War Is Hell (film)

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War is Hell
War Is Hell (movie poster).jpg
Directed by Burt Topper
Produced by Burt Topper
Written by Burt Topper
Starring Baynes Barron
Michael Bell
Narrated by Audie Murphy
Music by Ronald Stein
Cinematography Jacques Marquette
Edited by Ace Herman
Distributed by Allied Artists Pictures Corporation
Release date
  • October 23, 1963 (1963-10-23)
Running time
81 min.
Country US
Language English

War is Hell is a 1963 American war film written, produced and directed by Burt Topper. The film stars Baynes Barron and Michael Bell and is narrated by Audie Murphy. A featured cast member is Judy Dan, who had been third runner-up in the Miss Universe 1952 beauty pageant.

Plot summary[edit]

Set during the Korean War, the film depicts the atrocities of battle. Sgt. Garth (Barron), an egomaniacal, blood thirsty leader, neglects to tell his soldiers that there has been a cease fire. The Sergeant sends his unit into an enemy bunker, where they are fiercely attacked by the enemy. The few who survive secure the bunker, and Garth attempts to take credit for their actions. Further chaos ensues, resulting in the deaths of many in the platoon, as well as the mortal wound to the Sergeant himself.


  • Baynes Barron as Sgt. Garth
  • Michael Bell as Seldon
  • Bobby Byles as Gresler
  • Wally Campo as Laney
  • Kei Thin Chung as Korean Lieutenant (as Kei Chung)
  • J.J. Dahner as Koller
  • Judy Dan as Yung Chi Thomas
  • Robert Howard as Connors
  • Audie Murphy as Narrator
  • Russ Prescott as Bender
  • Tony Rich as Miller
  • Tony Russel as Sgt. Keefer
  • Paul Sheriff as Thurston
  • Burt Topper as Lt. Hallen


United Artists released the second James Bond film From Russia with Love, with War Is Hell as the second feature of a double bill in the United States on May 27, 1964.[1]

In popular culture[edit]

War Is Hell was the second of two features (along with Cry of Battle) playing at the Texas Theatre in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. After fatally shooting President John F. Kennedy and Dallas patrolman J.D. Tippit that day, Lee Harvey Oswald sneaked into this theater without paying. After box office cashier Julie Postal received a tip on Oswald from nearby shoe store employee John Brewer, she called Dallas Police. Despite attempting to shoot the arresting officer, Oswald was arrested before the movie ended.[2] (Coincidentally, lead actor Baynes Barron was born on May 29, 1917—the same day as the fallen president.) Oswald was fatally shot two days later while being transferred to another jail by club owner Jack Ruby.[3]


  1. ^ Barnes, Alan; Hearn, Marcus (1997). Kiss Kiss Bang! Bang!: The Unofficial James Bond 007 Film Companion. Batsford. p. 27. ISBN 0-7134-8182-X. 
  2. ^ Johnson, Donald (February 21, 1964). "'Lee was the leader of our playground'". Life. Time, Inc. 56 (8): 80. ISSN 0024-3019. 
  3. ^ Flowers, R. Barri; Flowers, H. Loraine (2004). Murders in the United States: Crimes, Killers and Victims of the Twentieth Century. McFarland. p. 84. ISBN 0-7864-2075-8. 

External links[edit]