Set right near the 38th Parallel, the dividing line between North and South Korea, this conventional wartime story focuses on the relationships of some GI's caught without reinforcements in an old farmhouse. Although the house offers some protection, the men are outnumbered and little by little, casualties mount. Sergeant Towler (Sidney Poitier) automatically assumes command after the lieutenant dies. This causes friction among the white soldiers underneath him. Knowing that racial tension can do much more damage than normal under these siege conditions, Sergeant Towler finally defuses the situation when his nemesis, Kincaid (Alan Ladd) is wounded. Kincaid gets a life-saving transfusion from the Sergeant which also shows up the stupidity of racial hatred - but meanwhile, the enemy is still attacking and reinforcements are still needed.
-During the Korean War, up in the snowy mountains, a marine platoon is attacked and their lieutenant is killed. But just before he dies he places the platoon sergeant, Eddie Towler, in charge. Towler is black and has to get his men to safety amidst racial tension and constant in fighting.
All The Young Men is a Saturday afternoon time filler of a movie. Not brilliant, but certainly not bad. Sidney Poitier takes the lead role as Towler and gives it his usual guts and emotional thunder. Alongside Poitier is Alan Ladd, who at 47 was coming to the end of his career. Now if one can cast aside that Ladd was a bit old to be bombing around the snow laden mountains, then his interplay with Poitier is actually very good. It certainly gives the character's edge, and thus keeps the picture being the character driven piece it's meant to be.
This is no stock war film with blitzkrieg battles and dirty dozen like shenanigans, this is men holed up in a mountain station forced to win the battles amongst themselves in order to win the war. Nicely shot in stark black and white on location at the Glacier National Park, Montana, All The Young Men is very much a mood piece. Odd then that the makers shoehorn in some light relief courtesy of Mort Sahl's Corporal Crane. It's not Sahl's fault of course, but it doesn't sit right in context with the story. It's as if someone said to director and writer Hall Bartlett, you can't make an overtly bleak mood piece, put some fun in there!.
Still this was one i had a real good time with, partly because of its two lead actors and partly because of the locale. It's recommended on proviso that you expect character over action, oh yes sir. 7/10
Directed by Hall Bartlett
Writing credits Hall Bartlett written by
Alan Ladd ... Sgt. Kincaid
Sidney Poitier ... Sgt. Eddie Towler
James Darren ... Pvt. Cotton
Glenn Corbett ... Pvt. Wade, Medic
Mort Sahl ... Cpl. Crane
Ana María Lynch ... Maya (as Ana St. Clair)
Paul Richards ... Pvt. Bracken
Richard Davalos ... Pvt. Casey (as Dick Davalos)
Lee Kinsolving ... Pvt. Dean
JJoseph Gallison ... Pvt. Jackson (as Joe Gallison)
Paul Baxley ... Pvt. Lazitech
Charles Quinlivan ... Lt. Earl D. Toland
Michael Davis ... Cho
Mario Alcalde ... Hunter
Marie Tsien ... Korean Woman
Release Date:26 August 1960 (USA)
Also Known As:...und der Herr sei uns gnädig
Filming Locations:Glacier National Park, Montana, USA
Sound Mix:Mono (RCA Sound Recording)
Color:Black and White