The Hook

1963

Drama / War

2
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 44%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 44% · 50 ratings
IMDb Rating 6.5/10 10 783 783

Director

Top cast

Ralph Ahn as Major Chun
Kirk Douglas as Sgt. P.J. Briscoe
Mark Miller as Lt. D.D. Troy
Nick Adams as Pvt. V.R. Hackett
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
863.21 MB
1280*536
English 2.0
NR
25 fps
1 hr 33 min
Seeds 9
1.56 GB
1918*804
English 2.0
NR
25 fps
1 hr 33 min
Seeds 16

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bkoganbing 7 / 10

"Any Day A War Ends Is A Nice Day"

It's 1953 in the wee small hours of the Korean War winding down. While the peace talks proceed slowly at Panmunjom, the UN forces are evacuating their positions as the truce lines come into being. But the fighting still goes on. Another Korean War film, Pork Chop Hill, also dealt with this time of the war which President Truman called a police action.

A Korean pilot in a MIG Jet attacks some US soldiers who are loading supplies on a freighter and only three of them survive, Kirk Douglas, Robert Walker, Jr., and Nick Adams. Later on the pilot of the MIG is shot down and he's picked up by the freighter that the three soldiers are on with the supplies which includes a lot of barrels of oil.

Radioing for instructions, Kirk Douglas is told by a South Korean major to kill the North Korean pilot. He's certainly up for it, he's a veteran from this war and World War II. Walker doesn't want to and Adams is kind of on the fence because he's personally loyal to Douglas who got him out of a jam once.

The majority of The Hook is spent on the conflict between the three GIs. It's a rather unreal story because these three would be up for war crimes charges, Walker realizes this best. But two wars against oriental people have given Douglas some pronounced views on the subject. The holes in the script are covered up by the performances of the cast.

Nehemiah Persoff turns in a fine performance as the ship's captain who on his ship is the one in charge. But the best acting is done by Filipino player Enrique Magalona as the confused and frightened North Korean prisoner.

Pork Chop Hill is a better film, but The Hook is not a bad one. The ending is ironic to say the least.

Reviewed by jacobs-greenwood 6 / 10

Intense Korean War drama featuring Kirk Douglas, from director George Seaton

Directed by George Seaton, with a screenplay by Henry Denker that was based on a novel by Vahé Katcha, this intense Korean War drama appropriately features Kirk Douglas as Sergeant P.J. Briscoe, who's tasked with executing a North Korean pilot prisoner he refers to as 'the gook' (Enrique Magalona, in one of only three films in which he appeared). The prisoner, who had just killed Lieutenant Troy (Mark Miller) in a bombing raid before crash landing himself, is humanly rescued by Private O.A. Dennison (Robert Walker Jr., son of his same named actor father and actress Jennifer Jones, in his film debut), who's more intelligent than your 'average joe'. Nick Adams plays Pvt. V.R. Hackett, the only other member of this group, who's beholden to Briscoe for reasons to be revealed. The military personnel were collecting a stash of fuel which has to be transported to where it's needed by a civilian charter vessel, run by Finnish Captain Van Ryn (Nehemiah Persoff). When Briscoe calls into HQ, he learns that a school and a hospital were just bombed by the enemy and is ordered, by the South Korean officer now in charge, to dispose of his prisoner of war, who Van Ryn had made bunkmate of the others. So, the film is an emotional and psychological thriller as the three discuss the required act and the fate of their prisoner.

Briscoe has but a short time left to serve before he can retire at 40 with a full pension, even though he has no one to go home to, as Dennison discovers. He's a hard man whose father and military experience has convinced him that weakness means death. Briscoe has taken Dennison under his wing, but rides him while trying to instill these same values. At the same time, Briscoe has 'control' of Hackett, who used to be a Corporal but was bucked down to Private by the Sergeant who was 'protecting' him after a drunken brawl with another officer; this, however, turns out to have been a self serving act. At different times, each of the men tries to kill the prisoner, but each finds killing another man face-to-face more difficult than expected. Dennison is the humanist whose words 'work' on the other two and the two Privates actually try to free their prisoner. The ship's captain and crew doesn't get involvement per their neutrality in the conflict. Later, when Briscoe is about to report their combined insubordination to their superiors, they learn that a cease-fire had been called, effectively letting them off 'the hook' for not following orders. But they'd left their prisoner alone; knowing his fate, he escapes and then tries to sabotage the ship full of oil barrels. The language barrier not only prevents the Americans from telling the North Korean about the armistice, but it leads to his own tragic ending.

Reviewed by racliff 7 / 10

Unexpectedly Compelling

I enjoy watching movies and will most often make a selection because of the actors, then maybe because of the theme, or occasionally because of a recommendation. "The Hook" is a movie that I had never heard of, so seeing Kirk Douglas on the cover is what hooked me for this war movie. Also Robert Walker Jr is someone that I first saw in TV's _"Star Trek" (1966) {Charlie X (#1.2)}_ (qv) playing a 17yr boy, so what would he be like in a movie produced 3 years earlier.

The opening of this movie includes "This is a story of men in war, not men at war. And the two are not the same." To understand my view, I am a baby-boomer who has never served in the military, but I have known many who have served. Most of these men don't really talk about their experiences, so I often wonder if my views on war movies would be very different of those people who have served. My preference would be that countries would not be at war, but regardless of this I believe we need to support those who chose to serve in the roles in which they are assigned.

"The Hook" is a title that showed no relevance before I watched the movie, and I never did catch. Is this an anti-war movie, or a personal interaction story, or war conflict drama, and this question repeats itself for 90 minutes. Regardless the movie itself is compelling. We are engaged with three surviving servicemen vacating a military post upon a 'neutral' merchant vessel, plus an enemy retrieved after he has bailed from his failing aircraft. Your journey is to imagine your response to their scenarios. Would you have rescued the enemy at all? How would you treat him on this merchant ship? Just imagine how you would respond to engaging an enemy on the battlefield; how is it different or the same, across an eating table? Kirk Douglas, Robert Walked, and Nick Adams are the enlisted men facing these scenarios.

I enjoyed this movie, in spite of moments of "I wouldn't do that!". The movie is a must for Kirk Douglas fans, and highly recommended for anyone interested in war movies. I don't know if actual enlisted people would behave this way, but "The Hook" is wonderfully acted and does not need the tonnage of special effects that are today's production norms.

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