Battle Circus

Overview

In his only MGM film, Humphrey Bogart plays the commanding officer of a M*A*S*H unit during the Korean War. Bogart runs his operation by the book, though he can take time out now and again for compassion. When nurse June Allyson shows up, Bogie is irritated by her foolhardiness and misplaced idealism. Need we tell you that the two "opposites" eventually fall in love? Keenan Wynn steals the show as the camp's wheeler-dealer, a sort of ancestor for such future insouciant M*A*S*H characters as Hawkeye, Trapper John ...
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Overview

In his only MGM film, Humphrey Bogart plays the commanding officer of a M*A*S*H unit during the Korean War. Bogart runs his operation by the book, though he can take time out now and again for compassion. When nurse June Allyson shows up, Bogie is irritated by her foolhardiness and misplaced idealism. Need we tell you that the two "opposites" eventually fall in love? Keenan Wynn steals the show as the camp's wheeler-dealer, a sort of ancestor for such future insouciant M*A*S*H characters as Hawkeye, Trapper John and B.J. Hunnicutt. According to Hollywood scuttlebutt, Humphrey Bogart liked writer/director Richard Brooks because he could walk all over him. Brooks doesn't appear too servile in his disciplined handling of the film, though one can detect a slight lack of enthusiasm on his part.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Those who watch Battle Circus anticipating another M*A*S*H ' whether the film or the TV series ' will be disappointed. Circus shares its setting with the latter cultural touchstone, but that's about it. Circus is lacking in wit, bite and insight ' not just compared to M*A*S*H (a comparison that, while unfair, is also inevitable) but to other films in general. Instead of taking advantage of its unique setting and the potentially rich story and characters that could be developed therein, Circus settles for being a fairly routine war story
omance. Indeed, it's the romance part of the film which comes to dominate and accounts for much of its weaknesses. There's simply nothing original at the center of this tale of two opposites learning to attract. It doesn't help matters that half of the central duo ' June Allyson- is miscast and in over her head here, or that the other half Humphrey Bogart is only half trying. It also doesn't help that the chemistry between the two is completely absent. Modern audiences may also be disturbed by the harassing manner in which Bogart treats Allyson. Circus isn't a total loss; Richard Brooks brings appropriate tension to a number of scenes and even manages to make the "grenade in the operating room" sequence bristle with life. But overall, Circus is rather tedious.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/28/2012
  • UPC: 883316616970
  • Original Release: 1953
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: Pan & Scan
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 11,096

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Humphrey Bogart Maj. Jeb Webbe
June Allyson Lt. Ruth McCara
Keenan Wynn Sgt. Orvil Statt
Robert Keith Lt. Col. Hillary Whalters
William Campbell Capt. John Rustford
Perry Sheehan Lt. Lawrence
Patricia Tiernan Lt. Rose Ashland
Adele Longmire Lt. Jane Franklin
Jonathan Cott Adjutant
Ann Morrison Lt. Edith Edwards
Helene Winston Lt. Graciano
Sarah Selby Capt. Dobbs
Danny Chang Korean Child
Philip Ahn Korean Prisoner
Steve Forrest Sergeant
Jeff Richards Lieutenant
Dick Simmons Capt. Norson
Technical Credits
Richard Brooks Director, Screenwriter
John Alton Cinematographer
James Basevi Art Director
Pandro S. Berman Producer
George Boemler Editor
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Arnold A. Gillespie Special Effects
Lennie Hayton Score Composer
Al Jennings Asst. Director
Al Jennings Asst. Director
Laura Kerr Original Story
Alan Rivkin Original Story
Alfred E. Spencer Set Decoration/Design
William J. Tuttle Makeup
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
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