Sniper’s Ridge

A fighting man (Jack Ging) in the worst company in the worst battalion in Korea has saved the remnant of his platoon from disaster after disaster, he’s passed over for rotation.

It’s days before the cease-fire, he points his rifle at two medics and demands to be evacuated. He’s sent back to the front digging latrines all day and defending against raids at night by a captain (John Goddard) who is a coward. A GI (Stanley Clements) from “the big bad war” transfers in and knows the captain as a paper-pushing four-flusher.

The second theme is sounded by a medal-heavy master sergeant (Douglas Henderson) also from the European war but no longer seized with energy for combat, William Conrad takes it up in First to Fight.

A terse and complicated black-and-white CinemaScope masterpiece at slightly more than one hour in length, its point was made by Eugene Archer’s complete incomprehension in the New York Times ending with an appeal to Errol Flynn.

The conclusion pays homage to Fuller’s Fixed Bayonets!.




The Broken Land

A classic Western, beautifully filmed in color and CinemaScope.

An offshoot of the Corman school, unsigned by the master. A U.S. Marshal late of the Union Army as occupation force deals rather harshly with his small town out West and gets his comeuppance.

The remarkable opening sequence has a lovestruck mooncalf of a store clerk knock empty milk cans onto the street, the noise comes near to spilling a dusty cowpoke from his horse. the admired lady has just started a week-long job across the street at Doucette’s Restaurant for travel money, she takes the cowpoke’s breakfast order (everything on the menu) and spills water on him, the argument brings in the marshal, who brusquely sends the cowpoke out of town.

Before long, mooncalf and cowpoke are both in jail, along with a regular offender whose only crime is that he’s the son of a dead outlaw. Evil and the law are exclusive preoccupations of the marshal’s, the lady made his acquaintance down South.

The title comes from an anecdote by the proprietor of the general store, he remembers the Prussian soldiers marching back and forth in the old country, sometimes trampling the wheat and starving as a result.

Richard LaSalle’s score is a very pleasant element of the composition. The screenplay by Edward Lakso is under the sign of René Char’s “insurgent order”.