Fixed Bayonets

Fixed Bayonets

Director: Samuel Fuller

Cast: Richard Basehart, Gene Evans, Michael O'Shea

     
 

To filmmaker and war veteran Samuel Fuller, war is about survival. You either kill or be killed. His combat films are not about politics, adventure, or home. They are about killing and staying alive. Fixed Bayonets, Fuller's second study of the Korean War, focuses on a neophyte corporal, Denno (Richard Basehart), who is afraid to take a life. When his division…  See more details below

Overview

To filmmaker and war veteran Samuel Fuller, war is about survival. You either kill or be killed. His combat films are not about politics, adventure, or home. They are about killing and staying alive. Fixed Bayonets, Fuller's second study of the Korean War, focuses on a neophyte corporal, Denno (Richard Basehart), who is afraid to take a life. When his division is forced down Korea's snowbound mountains, Denno's unit stays behind to cover its retreat. Entrenched in an icy cave, Denno watches his superiors get picked off one by one until he must take command. He soon learns of what he is truly capable and what he will do to survive: Denno learns to kill. Filmed and released during the Korean War, Fixed Bayonets offered audiences no respite from the harrowing, difficult combat. It also introduced a new arena into modern American combat films -- freezing, icy terrain. The actors were so unaccustomed to the ice (that Fuller had actually frozen onto the set), that several men injured themselves within the first week of shooting. Many of the wounded in the film are simply ailing performers who Fuller kept on set so they could still receive their paychecks! ~ Aubry Anne D'Arminio

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Fixed Bayonets is Samuel Fuller's first big-budget feature. 20th Century Fox executive Darryl F. Zanuck was oddly fond of the tough, grisly, raucous little Fuller and practically gave the director free reign on the set. Fuller built a 50-foot snowcapped mountain in the studio, slicked it with ice, and then slid his actors up and down the creation for days. He shook the Fox lot with marches, explosions, and firefights -- pushing every worker to his physical limit. In the end, Zanuck got a film that is every bit as aggressive and fascinating as his beloved director. Fixed Bayonets pulls no punches; it is quick, violent, and exhausts every cinematic apparatus: crane shots dart directly into close-ups of fighting soldiers, long takes track actors across the entire span of the set. Memorable images of Fuller's soldiers marching in puffy white parkas wholly capture the absurdity and strangeness of war. Yet, the film will not stand for sap or pity and quickly parlays every sad moment into a gruff joke. In a time when war movies had become maudlin and pathetic, Fixed Bayonets proved strikingly innovative. Darryl Zanuck made his money, and Samuel Fuller made one of his best films.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/24/2007
UPC:
0024543432838
Original Release:
1951
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:32:00
Sales rank:
20,597

Special Features

Still gallery; Original theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Richard Basehart Corporal Denno
Gene Evans Sgt. Rock
Michael O'Shea Sgt. Lonergan
Richard Hylton Wheeler
Craig Hill Lieutenant Gibbs
Skip Homeier Whitey
Henry Kulky Vogl
Paul Richards Ramirez
Don Orlando Borcellino
Neyle Morrow Medic
Mel Pogue Bulcheck
George Conrad Zablocki
Buddy Thorpe Husky Doggie
Wyott Ordung Fitz
Bill Hickman Actor
Richard Monahan Walowicz
Pat Hogan Jonesy
James Dean GI
John Doucette GI

Technical Credits
Samuel Fuller Director,Screenwriter
Lucien Ballard Cinematographer
Jules Buck Producer
Nick De Maggio Editor
Charles LeMaire Costumes/Costume Designer
Thomas K. Little Set Decoration/Design
Lionel Newman Musical Direction/Supervision
George Patrick Art Director
Fred J. Rode Set Decoration/Design
Fred Sersen Special Effects
Roy Webb Score Composer
Lyle Wheeler Art Director

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Fixed Bayonets!
1. Main Titles/The Guts to Lead [2:25]
2. Retreat Strategy [4:53]
3. The Read Guard [4:40]
4. Baptism [2:36]
5. Taking Fire [2:10]
6. Officer Down [5:31]
7. New Leader [4:43]
8. Numb Feet [3:15]
9. Staying in the Army [1:34]
10. Denno's Doubts [4:55]
11. Collecting the Dead [2:14]
12. Psychological Warfare [2:40]
13. Going After Lonergan [1:07]
14. Walking the Minefield [:46]
15. Decoy Snowmen [6:00]
16. "Go Kill One Man" [5:24]
17. Enemy Attack [1:50]
18. One More Hour [3:53]
19. Ricochet [3:35]
20. Ichiban Boy [2:12]
21. Waiting [5:56]
22. The Main Event [2:16]
23. Head for the River [1:15]
24. Responsibility [:55]

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