Top 10 War Movies

Gene Evans and Richard Loo in The Steel Helmet

The Steel Helmet (1951, Samuel Fuller) — Korean conflict
The forgotten American stalemate, which was to U.S. foreign adventures what Pluto is to planets, the Korean conflict didn't even get the respect of being called a war; officially, it was a United Nations "police action." Yet more American soldiers went MIA in that 2½-year siege than in the 3½ years of World War II. Sam Fuller, a WW II veteran who later apotheosized his own regiment in 1980's The Big Red One, made this first-ever Korean War film on the cheap: in 10 days, shooting in Los Angeles' Griffith Park, using 25 extras whom he choreographed to look like swarming hundreds. Peppering his script with wisecracks about identifying the enemy ("He's South Korean when he's running with you. He's North Korean when he's running after you") and bitter jokes about a late officer ("He's fertilizing a rice paddy with the rest of the patrol"), Fuller took official flak for a scene in which a U.S. officer kills an unarmed prisoner; he was denounced as a communist and investigated by the FBI. That's a heavy price to pay for a $100,000 movie with million-dollar battle scenes and a cynical worldview that's ... priceless.

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