Hell is For Heroes
is one of the best movies to ever be released about WWII.
With Steve McQueen as John Reese, the quiet, die-hard soldier,
how can you go wrong. This is one of the first roles where
McQueen played the loner which he made famous in The Sand
Pebbles and Bullitt. A great supporting cast with Harry Guardino,
Fess Parker, Bobby Darin, Bob Newhart, and Nick Adams.
The battle sequences
are incredibly realistic especially the fight in the minefield.
Filmed in black and white the film is very effective in showing
that war is not won by huge armies but squads of men bent
In the fall of 1944,
McQueen is busted from staff sergeant back to private for
drunkenness and is sent back to his former outfit, currently
stationed near the Siegfried Line in Montigny. Reese's bitterness
about his demotion isolates him from the rest of the squad,
although they've observed his courage under fire in previous
combat missions. When the unit is assigned to defend an area
facing a German pillbox, Reese's skills become evident. He
advises squad leader Sgt. Larkin (Harry Guardino) on a ruse
that creates the illusion that their unit is much larger than
it is, temporarily deflecting an attack. The squad has been
ordered to simply hold their ground, but believing it's only
a matter of time before the Germans discover that they've
been deceived, Reese leads an attack on the pillbox.