6.0/10
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29 user 8 critic

Battle Circus (1953)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, War | 6 March 1953 (USA)
Set in Korea and made during the war, this is the love story of a hard-bitten Army surgeon, and a new nurse ready to save the world.

Director:

Richard Brooks

Writers:

Allen Rivkin (story), Laura Kerr (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Humphrey Bogart ... Maj. Jed Webbe
June Allyson ... Lt. Ruth McGara
Keenan Wynn ... Sgt. Orvil Statt
Robert Keith ... Lt. Col. Hilary Walters
William Campbell ... Capt. John 'Rusty' Rustford
Perry Sheehan Perry Sheehan ... Lt. Laurence
Patricia Tiernan ... Lt. Rose Ashland
Adele Longmire ... Lt. Jane Franklin
Jonathan Cott ... Adjutant
Ann Morrison Ann Morrison ... Lt. Edith Edwards
Helen Winston Helen Winston ... Lt. Graciano
Sarah Selby ... Capt. Dobbs
Danny Chang Danny Chang ... Korean Child
Philip Ahn ... Korean Prisoner
Steve Forrest ... Sergeant
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Storyline

Nurse Lt. Ruth McGara is assigned to a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) unit near the front lines of the Korean War. There she meets and is roughly romanced by Major Jed Webbe, one of the unit's surgeons. Webbe is pushy and seems to care only for momentary pleasures, but McGara falls for him just the same. Their romance blossoms in the midst of overwhelming numbers of casualties, threats from the enemy and from the weather, and emergency evacuations that test the mettle of even a unit whose very name suggests quick mobility. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

M-G-M's great drama of desire under fire!

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 March 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

MASH 66 See more »

Filming Locations:

Calabasas, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,201,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening scene in the TV series pays homage to the one in Battle Circus complete with helicopter landing at camp. See more »

Goofs

Major Webbe and many others in his unit are seen carrying and using firearms. Medical personnel of the U.S. Armed Forces are forbidden to carry and use firearms. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Col. Hilary Walters: Nobody in this man's army can get himself in so much trouble as you in so short a time.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Third rate Bogart and Brooks would be fifth rate with anyone else
25 November 2005 | by JimB-4See all my reviews

It's hard to believe that Richard Brooks (he of "In Cold Blood" and "The Professionals") directed this. Having coincidentally seen another Korean War film, "One Minute to Zero," immediately before this one, I can vouch for the fact that "Battle Circus" is a major improvement. However, that in itself is no great recommendation. Humphrey Bogart is his usual excellent self, professional and expert in his handling of the role of a MASH unit doctor. And June Allyson is endearing and fine in her role as the nurse who loves him. But despite the fact that plenty of screen romances have survived a greater age difference between couples than the 18 years that separates Bogart and Allyson, Bogart just comes off as uncomfortably old to be pulling the kind of shenanigans he tries with Allyson here. Never mind that in real life Bogart's fairy-tale romance with Lauren Bacall was between two people 25 years apart in age -- this is the movies, and at 53, Bogart seems slightly creepy, forcing his attentions on a young nurse and getting somewhat pissy when she dares to ask if he has a wife. Nonetheless the performances are good and occasionally overcome a difficult script (difficult not in complexity but in mediocrity). Robert Keith, who seems to have managed a long Hollywood career without ever varying his performances one whit, does what he always does as Bogart's commanding officer. Keenan Wynn is substantial and believable as the tough sergeant who keeps things running. But outside of a couple of intense moments (such as the one where a terrified North Korean soldier -- Philip Ahn -- threatens to blow up the operating room), the movie hovers like a helicopter over the no-man's land between drama and soap opera, unable quite to make up its mind where to set down.


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