Take the High Ground! war movie
Take the High Ground! war movie

Take the High Ground! (1953, United States)

Categories: infantry moviesmilitary base movies

Running time: 100 minutes

Language: English

May 1953, the Korean War is almost over, new group of recruits arrive to Army base at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. Two drill sergeants are assigned to take them over - Sgt. Laverne Holt and Sgt. Thorne Ryan. During next 16 weeks they have to turn the civilians into soldiers prepared to join the fights almost straight after finishing the training. But the two sergeants have completely different approaches to the task - while Holt is more distanced and tries to get to the recruits in calm way, Ryan prefers the "old school", which means being as tough and uncompromising as he can be. He believes that only this approach can turn them into a fighting unit. But during the training Ryan becomes more and more detached from his people (one of them even thinks about killing him), but also from his friend Holt. Everythign gets even more complicated when a woman gets involved.

One of the war movies made in cooperation with the army, which added the realism to the whole story, but as usual created the mixture of the story itself and mindless propaganda. In many ways Take the High Ground! is similiar to such titles as Away All Boats, The Caine Mutiny, The Way Ahead and few more - it concentrated on philosophy behind the training of recruits in United States and the burden every officer is carrying - the responsibility for his men. This time the drill sergeants are shown with difficult task of turning completely green recruits in soldiers that would be able to survive in the battlefield.

Authentic army base was used for filming, elements of real training were incorporated into the script, but overall (even despite usually great performances from Malden and Widmark) the film is rather dry and easy to forget.

Our rating


Film value

5 / 10

Realism factor

4 / 5

Adventure factor

2 / 5

Historical accuracy

1 / 5

Take the High Ground! full movie

full movie Take the High Ground! on DVD

Creators of Take the High Ground!

Richard Brooks movies

Millard Kaufman movies

Millard Kaufman


Cast of Take the High Ground!

Richard Widmark movies

Richard Widmark

as Sgt. Thorne Ryan

Karl Malden movies karl-malden

Karl Malden

as Sgt. Laverne Holt

Elaine Stewart movies elaine-stewart

Elaine Stewart

as Julie Mollison

Carleton Carpenter movies carleton-carpenter

Carleton Carpenter

as Merton Tolliver

Russ Tamblyn movies russ-tamblyn

Russ Tamblyn

as Paul Jamison

Jerome Courtland movies jerome-courtland

Jerome Courtland

as Elvin C. Carey

Steve Forrest movies steve-forrest

Steve Forrest

as Lobo Naglaski

Robert Arthur movies robert-arthur

Robert Arthur

as Donald Quentin Dover IV

William Hairston movies william-hairston

William Hairston

as Daniel Hazard

Maurice Jara movies maurice-jara

Maurice Jara

as Franklin D. No Bear

Bert Freed movies bert-freed

Bert Freed

as Sgt. Vince Opperman

Chris Warfield movies chris-warfield

Chris Warfield

as Soldier

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