Hell Is for Heroes

Hell Is for Heroes

4.0 1
Director: Don Siegel, Steve McQueen, Bobby Darin, Nick Adams

Cast: Don Siegel, Steve McQueen, Bobby Darin, Nick Adams

     
 

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Don Siegel's only war film and unfortunately his only teaming with Steve McQueen, an actor whose rebellious persona jibed well with the director's vision, it puts the star in the familiar role of antihero. His character, Reese, is an embittered G.I. who has just been sent back to join his war-weary unit holding down a position opposite a pillbox on the Siegfried Line

Overview

Don Siegel's only war film and unfortunately his only teaming with Steve McQueen, an actor whose rebellious persona jibed well with the director's vision, it puts the star in the familiar role of antihero. His character, Reese, is an embittered G.I. who has just been sent back to join his war-weary unit holding down a position opposite a pillbox on the Siegfried Line in Belgium. Recently demoted back to private from staff sergeant for drinking, he chafes under all authority, and is a pariah to fellow grunts, despite their awareness of his extraordinary courage in battle. A natural leader, he persuades his sergeant (Harry Guardino) to implement a plan he's formulated to keep the Germans at bay by making them believe that the small outfit is larger than it is. While this is temporarily effective, Reese knows that it's only a matter of time before the enemy discovers the truth, and takes it on his own authority to lead an attack on the well-defended pillbox, although his unit has been assigned only to hold their ground.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Despite an obviously limited budget which gives one the feeling that these are the only Americans fighting the war, this is a small, solid film, with a thoroughly convincing performance by a glowering McQueen. While viewers have become accustomed to a more gung ho treatment of WWII, Siegel characteristically opts to emphasize the more existential, absurdist aspects of warfare. Not only is the protagonist a surly reprobate, but the entire unit is composed of colorfully offbeat characters, including Vegas imports Bobby Darin and Bob Newhart, whose classic telephone routine seems more than slightly out of place in a film where one of his buddies gets turned into a human torch. In the character of Reese, Siegel suggests, as he has in his cop films, that those who do best adapted to violent professions are semi-pathological characters with a taste for violence. Although many in the cast, which also includes James Coburn, Nick Adams, and Harry Guardino, were doubtful enough about the fate of the picture to try to persuade Siegel to kill of their characters as quickly as possible, they do a fine job.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/21/2013
UPC:
0883929311552
Original Release:
1962
Rating:
NR
Source:
Paramount Catalog
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:29:00
Sales rank:
12,203

Special Features

Closed Caption; ; Theatrical Trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Steve McQueen Reese
Bobby Darin Pvt. Corby
Nick Adams Homer
Fess Parker Sgt. Pike
Harry Guardino Sgt. Larkin
James Coburn Cpl. Henshaw
Mike Kellin Pvt. Kolinsky
Joseph Hoover Capt. Loomis
Bill Mullikin Pvt. Comberly
L.Q. Jones Sgt. Frazer
Michele Montau Monique
Don Haggerty Capt. Mace
Bob Newhart Pvt. Driscoll

Technical Credits
Don Siegel Director
Robert R. Benton Set Decoration/Design
Henry Blanke Producer
Richard Carr Screenwriter
Sam Comer Set Decoration/Design
Wally Harton Costumes/Costume Designer
Bob Hickman Makeup
Harold Lipstein Cinematographer
William McGarry Asst. Director
Philip Mitchell Sound/Sound Designer
William Morley Makeup
Hal Pereira Art Director
Robert Pirosh Screenwriter
Howard Richmond Art Director
Leonard Rosenman Score Composer
Howard A. Smith Editor
Dick Webb Special Effects
Wally Westmore Makeup
John K. Wilkinson Sound/Sound Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Hell Is for Heroes
1. Chapter 1 [5:24]
2. Chapter 2 [4:59]
3. Chapter 3 [5:47]
4. Chapter 4 [4:58]
5. Chapter 5 [5:09]
6. Chapter 6 [6:25]
7. Chapter 7 [5:55]
8. Chapter 8 [10:32]
9. Chapter 9 [6:21]
10. Chapter 10 [5:18]
11. Chapter 11 [6:04]
12. Chapter 12 [6:06]
13. Chapter 13 [6:13]
14. Chapter 14 [:39]
15. Chapter 15 [8:58]
16. Chapter 16 [:53]
17. Chapter 17 [:00]

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Hell Is for Heroes 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
LanceT More than 1 year ago
McQueen is a soldier who's seen too much action and just wants to be left alone when he joins an infantry outfit going back on the line. This is a grim, realistic view of front-line warfare with an emphasis on the stress and relentlessness of combat. Small cast is strong and believable, combat scenes are well-staged, and effects are effective. McQueen dominates the film, but supporting actors are just as good--Fess Parker nicely understated, Harry Guardino gives a nuanced performance, Bobby Darin shows his dramatic chops, James Coburn is convincing as a motorpool master, and Bob Newhart provides believable comic relief. Can't prove it, but seems like this was the prototype for the long-running TV series COMBAT.