War Hunt (1962)

War Hunt (1962)

“Better get some rest; this war is going on for awhile.”

A new soldier (Robert Redford) sent to the frontlines of the Korean War is disturbed by the behavior of a rule-breaking private (John Saxon) who heads out at night to gather information, and spends much of his time with an orphaned boy (Tommy Matsuda).

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • John Saxon Films
  • Korean War
  • Orphans
  • Robert Redford Films
  • Soldiers

This low-budget Korean war-time flick by brothers Denis and Terry Sanders is primarily notable these days as Robert Redford’s big screen debut as an earnest soldier puzzled by what he sees going on in his platoon:

… particularly with Saxon, who puts on blackface for night-time excursions, fails to follow strict military protocol, and basically seems one step away from a mental breakdown.

There isn’t much to the storyline other than waiting to see what will happen with Saxon (especially once a ceasefire is called), and we’re not sure what to make of the role of the young orphan, whose well-being Saxon is obsessively concerned with.

However, it’s all finely filmed by DP Ted McCord, the low budget is put to good use, and the ensemble cast works well together.

Note: Watch for Tom Skerritt in his film debut as a young sergeant.

Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:

  • Robert Redford as Private Roy Loomis
  • John Saxon as Private Raymond Endore
  • Ted D. McCord’s cinematography

Must See?
No, though it’s worth a one time look. Listed as a Sleeper in the back of Peary’s book.


One thought on “War Hunt (1962)

  1. First viewing (5/12/22). Not must-see.

    Somewhat interesting / somewhat engaging character study which is notable for its realistic and sometimes atmospheric mood. However, it’s also a little slow and the viewer may feel that a few central ‘questions’ go oddly unanswered.

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