Directed by Lewis Milestone
USA 1950

 

  'Halls of Montezuma' sports a great ensemble cast. Alongside Richard Widmark are Jack Palance, Robert Wagner, Karl Malden, Richard Boone and Jack Webb (the last two most well known through their TV incarnations as Paladin and Sgt Friday).

It's a strong cast of utterly believable actors. Their believability comes from a strong script by Michael Blankfort and seamless direction by Lewis Milestone, which portrays genuine heroism, of the sort where courage subordinates very real, omnipresent fear.

For its time, the action footage is compellingly real -- there is a lot of genuine Second World War footage used, I believe. The overall effect is grim and harrowing -- this is no easy ride to glory; this is a campaign where every participant knows he is living on borrowed time; fighting till finally there will be no tomorrow.

The apotheosis at the movie's end is couched in religious terms, in a sort of appeal to patriotism mixed with Christianity. And although I am wary of both patriotism and Christianity, the effect cannot be dismissed -- these are very real values being espoused here, and you find themselves totally respecting them, even if you can't uncommitedly share them (Australians are brought up with very low levels of both patriotism and religion!).

This is, in summation, a great movie. I have read that it was not well regarded when first released; it suffered by comparison with some of Lewis Milestone's earlier works. But time has served the film well. And in many ways, viewing this movie after September 11 and in the light of the campaign in Afghanistan, it comes over as being remarkably modern -- grimly modern!

Excerpt from Anthony Clarke at DVDFuture.com located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 1950

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DVD Review: 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC

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Also part of the Heroes of War Collection - Frontline Combat which includes Halls of Montezuma, Decision Before Dawn, D-Day the Sixth of June and Guadalcanal Diary
Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:53:04 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.67 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Mono), DUB: French (Mono)   
Subtitles English, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Theatrical Trailer
• Fox Flix trailers

• 'Support Our Troops' ribbon fridge magnet
 

DVD Release Date: September, 2001
Keep Case
Chapters: 26

 

 

Comments:

Although originally released in 2001, this DVD is now part of the Heroes of War Collection - Frontline Combat Collection. Nothing has been added or improved and the VOB files on the disc still sport the 2001 date. The transfer is good, but not great. there are instances of dirt and speckles, plus a fair degree of digital noise. It is dual layered, and progressive and the colors look fairly impressive. Detail is perhaps a notch lower than one might expect. The optional subtitles and the original audio are strong. As with other DVDs from Fox it is lean on extras with only a trailer (and other trailers of other Fox entries). Still a worthy purchase and inclusion in this new boxset.

The film is very entertaining, if perhaps somewhat dated with one dimensional performances. It shares splashes of brilliance that Milestone is noted for in All Quiet On the Western Front and for those keen on war drama, this would be considered on the of the mainstays of its time.

Gary W. Tooze

 





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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Also part of the Heroes of War Collection - Frontline Combat which includes Halls of Montezuma, Decision Before Dawn, D-Day the Sixth of June and Guadalcanal Diary
Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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   CANADA

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