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Retreat, Hell! (1952)

The saga of a battalion of U.S. Marines during the Korean War, starting with their training, landing at Inchon in 1950, advance into North Korea and their subsequent retreat back to the 38th parallel.


Joseph H. Lewis


Milton Sperling (screenplay), Ted Sherdeman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Credited cast:
Frank Lovejoy ... Lt. Col. Steve L. Corbett
Richard Carlson ... Capt. Paul Hansen
Anita Louise ... Ruth Hansen
Russ Tamblyn ... Jimmy W. McDermid (as Rusty Tamblyn)
Nedrick Young ... Sgt. Novak (as Ned Young)
Lamont Johnson Lamont Johnson ... Capt. 'Tink' O'Grady
Robert Ellis ... Shorty Devine
Paul Smith ... Andy Smith
Peter Ortiz Peter Ortiz ... Maj. Knox
Dorothy Patrick ... Eve O'Grady
Morton C. Thompson Morton C. Thompson ... Capt. Kyser
Joseph Keane Joseph Keane ... Lt. Ortiz
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rudy Albachten Rudy Albachten ... Man on Supply Truck


During the Korean War, a U.S. Marine battalion must fight its way out of a frozen mountain pass despite diminishing supplies, freezing temperatures and constant attacks by overwhelming numbers of Chinese soldiers. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Warner's thundering drama See more »


Drama | War


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Parents Guide:

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English | Korean

Release Date:

6 October 1952 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Feuerschutz für Stoßtrupp Berta See more »

Filming Locations:

Oceanside, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

United States Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


When asked if they were retreating, Frank Lovejoy's character, Lt. Col Steve Corbett, says, "Retreat, hell! We're not retreating, we're just advancing in a different direction." This was actually said by Maj. Gen. O.P. Smith, who was Commanding General of the 1st Marine Division at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. See more »


At battalion headquarters at Camp Pendleton, the executive officer announces the arrival of Captain Hansen to Lt Colonel Corbett, the battalion commander. But the exec addresses Corbett as 'general' instead of 'colonel.' See more »


Lt. Col. Steve L. Corbett: Retreat hell! We're not retreating, we're just advancing in a different direction.
See more »

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User Reviews

Ooh, I stumbled on another Korean War movie.
30 May 2009 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

We are in the Korean War, and a U.S. Marine battalion are desperately trying to get thru a snow laden mountain pass before the better equipped enemy kill them all. With their own supplies running out and many of the Marine's losing their belief systems, it's likely that death or glory are the only options.

Film's set during the Korean War are few and far between, it's almost as if it's an overlooked cinema topic in many ways. Pork Chop Hill and MASH aside, you would be hard pressed to name half a dozen films set in and around what has become the forgotten war. Now Retreat, Hell! is nothing to greatly shout about, and certainly it isn't fit to lace up the shiny boots of Gregory Peck's pork chop sizzler (sorry for that). It's however one of those films that you can stumble on with no expectation and enjoy purely on an interesting scale. Riddled with clichés and serving only to achieve its aim of bravado flag waving heroics, it carries a little emotional weight (soldiers insecurities and fears) and molds nicely the mounting tension (the wait for attack is itchy) with its competently handled gun fire. Directed by Joseph H. Lewis (7th Cavalry & The Big Combo) and starring Frank Lovejoy (In a Lonely Place & House of Wax) Richard Carlson (The Ghost Breakers & King Solomon's Mines) and a young and bouncy Russ Tamblyn (Tom Thumb & West Side Story). Retreat, Hell! wont have you hankering for another visit some time in the future, but hopefully, just like me, you will be glad that you at least gave it the time of day. 6/10

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