|War is Hell|
|Directed by||Burt Topper|
|Produced by||Burt Topper|
|Written by||Burt Topper|
|Narrated by||Audie Murphy|
|Music by||Ronald Stein|
|Edited by||Ace Herman|
|Distributed by||Allied Artists|
|September 6, 1961 (international release)|
War is Hell is a 1961 American war film written, produced and directed by Burt Topper. The film stars Baynes Barron and Michael Bell and is narrated by Audie Murphy. A featured cast member is Judy Dan.
Set during the Korean War, the film depicts the atrocities of battle. Sgt. Garth (Barron), a bloodthirsty egomaniac, neglects to tell his soldiers that there has been a cease fire. The sergeant sends his unit into an enemy bunker, where they are fiercely attacked by the enemy. The few who survive secure the bunker, and Garth attempts to take credit for their actions. Further chaos ensues, resulting in the deaths of many in the platoon, as well as a mortal wound to the sergeant.
- Baynes Barron as Sgt. Garth
- Michael Bell as Seldon
- Bobby Byles as Gresler
- Wally Campo as Laney
- Kei Thin Chung as Korean Lieutenant (as Kei Chung)
- J.J. Dahner as Koller
- Judy Dan as Yung Chi Thomas
- Robert Howard as Connors
- Audie Murphy as Narrator
- Russ Prescott as Bender
- Tony Rich as Miller
- Tony Russel as Sgt. Keefer
- Paul Sheriff as Thurston
- Burt Topper as Lt. Hallen
In popular culture
War Is Hell was the second of two features (along with Cry of Battle) playing at the Texas Theatre in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. After fatally shooting US President John F. Kennedy and Dallas police officer J. D. Tippit earlier that afternoon, Lee Harvey Oswald sneaked into the theater without paying. After box office cashier Julia Postal was informed by shoe store employee John Brewer that a man had entered the theater, she called Dallas police. Despite attempting to shoot the arresting officer, Oswald was arrested. Oswald was fatally shot two days later by club owner Jack Ruby while being transferred to another jail. Coincidentally, lead actor Baynes Barron was born on May 29, 1917—the same day as the fallen president.
United Artists released the second James Bond film, From Russia with Love, with War Is Hell as the second feature of a double bill in the United States on May 27, 1964. It is believed that From Russia with Love was the last film that Kennedy watched.
- Johnson, Donald (February 21, 1964). "'Lee was the leader of our playground'". Life. Time, Inc. 56 (8): 80. ISSN 0024-3019.
- Flowers, R. Barri; Flowers, H. Loraine (2004). Murders in the United States: Crimes, Killers and Victims of the Twentieth Century. McFarland. p. 84. ISBN 0-7864-2075-8.
- Barnes, Alan; Hearn, Marcus (1997). Kiss Kiss Bang! Bang!: The Unofficial James Bond 007 Film Companion. Batsford. p. 27. ISBN 0-7134-8182-X.
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