MovieChat Forums > Pork Chop Hill (1959) Discussion > Where was Pork Chop Hill filmed?...

Where was Pork Chop Hill filmed?...


I'm guessing that like many war movies of the '40s, '50s, and '60s that it was filmed in Southern California. Does anyone know if Camp Pendleton was used for some of its shooting?

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I read that it was definitely filmed in So.Cal-I believe the LA area. The location was carefully chosen, and when the real-life (Lt.) Joe Clemons saw it he said "That's it!" (meaning that the hill chosen for filming very much resembled the real Pork Chop Hill in Korea). An LA area location would explain the background smoke in some scenes-done, one would assume, to mask neighboring vistas of metro LA.

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I went through infantry training at Camp Pendleton in 1967. Upon visiting South Korea in years later as a tourist in summer, I could see similarity in the landscapes between Cal and ROK. Many war movies were shot in SoCal from the '60s TV series "Combat!" (didn't look like France to me) to "Baa Baa Black Sheep."

"Pork Chop Hill" would have had more bite dialogue-wise if 1950s morality on movie profanity wasn't so restrictive. Having been a Marine infantryman in Vietnam, PCH did catch much of the disgruntled attitude of soldiers in the field. (Not heralding Oliver Stone, but his "Platoon" caught the mood and attitude of infantrymen at war probably the best of any war movies that I've seen. The field ratio etiquette in "Platoon" was far more on target than the casual-speak seen in other war movies.)

"Ready when you are, Mister DeMille."

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Thanks for the info. My father and I used to watch "Combat!" every week in the early/mid 60's when I was a kid. My father was a WWII combat vet (George Co., 47th Regiment, 9th Division-veteran of combat in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany's Rhineland-took part in the action in the St.Lo area in'44-his worst wound-a slight arm burn from German WP).
I can't agree with your opinion of 50's morality. Your desire for more bite in the dialogue calls for a departure from the more pleasant things of what make a movie a movie; sure a combat soldier's typical vulgar dialogue would be more realistic, but it would only further limilt what was already the film's limited audience, and would take the viewer a little too close to war's harsh realiites and extremely unpleasant facts. What makes a war movie more enjoyable is that it can be viewed from somewhat of a distance without getting too close to the horrors. Try "Pride of the Marines" (1942)-it takes you as close as you want to be without any vulgar dialogue and like Pork Chop Hill is an absolutely great movie. Platoon was in many ways america and american-hating trash and garbage.
What did you think of my posting "Loudspeaker Music After Ultimatum" ?

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Oddly enough, I took issue with Spielberg's script in "Saving Private Ryan" in which street-talk terms like "c-sucker" were heard during the beach landing scenes.

Movies like Pork Chop Hill don't have to have excessive use of the F-word or use it at all to give the dialogue some moment and period edge. I am also not into Sam Peckinpah-like gore in war movies and other stories with violent moments.

Touching on '50s morality again, In the Jack Palance movie "Attack!" I found the ending rather absurd where the lieutenant turns himself in for shooting the company commander, Eddie Albert. Of all the incidents of intention fratricide in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and elsewhere involving U.S. troops, I would find it hard to believe that anyone turned himself in for killing someone in his unit.

"Platoon" portrayed infantrymen in conflict with each other more than I experienced with a Marine rifle platoon in Vietnam in '68. And, yet, the elements of bitterness and rage among members of the platoon that Oliver Stone rolled out did not seem alien or far fetched to me. We once had a moment where knocking off an acrimonious alky staff sergeant was considered, and we often view new guys with suspicion as being possible CID agent plants. Drug use in VN appears to be more common in the Army than the Marines, however, and more some with rear echelon support personnel.

"Ready when you are, Mister DeMille."

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But check out this detail, left out BAND OF BROTHERS.
To initiate the attack, artillery fire was adjusted back towards American lines before moving forward in increments. Speirs ordered his platoon to hold position until the fire was completed to prevent serious casualties and fratricide. One of his squad leaders ignored the orders due to fatigue and disorientation. After his order was ignored a second time, Speirs shot the sergeant between the eyes, then promptly reported the incident to the company commander, Captain Jerre S. Gross. Gross was killed in combat the next day and the incident was not pursued.[8]

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This is incorrect. The incident occurred as follows, as related in 101st Airborne Division in WWII historian and author Mark Bando's book Avenging Eagles - Forbidden Tales of the 101st Airborne Division in World War 2 :

The sergeant Spiers killed had been drinking Calvados, and was thoroughly drunk and belligerent in the field, lying on the ground. He argued with Spiers, telling him he wanted to go attack the Germans when Spiers relayed orders that the company was to hold their position. The drunken sergeant had stashed several bottles of Calvados in his jump jacket, and began to call Spiers a "yellow bastard" and told Spiers to "go *beep* yourself" when Spiers gave him a direct order to stay in place. The sergeant started to reach for his weapon, and Spiers told him "Don't pick up that weapon unless you intend to use it!" The sergeant grabbed his tommy gun and began to turn toward Lt. Spiers. Spiers own tommy gun roared "like a jackhammer," driving .45 caliber slugs into the sergeant's chest. Witnesses nearby could hear the bottles of Calvados breaking inside the sergeant's jacket as the slugs tore into the drunken sergeant, killing him.

Spiers explained the incident to his D Company commander, Captain Gross, who told Spiers "Sounds like a clear case of self-defense to me, Lieutenant. Resume command of your platoon!" As stated, Gross was KIA several days later, and nothing more was said about the unusual shooting.

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"Try "Pride of the Marines" (1942)-it takes you as close as you want to be without any vulgar dialogue and like Pork Chop Hill is an absolutely great movie"

I have to say about 'Pride of the Marines', the first time I saw it, I found the battle scene VERY unsettling for a 1944 made movie; the mist, the thick jungle set & the catcalls by the actors playing the Japanese soldiers made my hair stand on end...I had always read about the IJs on the 'Canal' trying to psych out the Marines, but that was the first time I had seen it portrayed. It reminded me of a horror movie set piece in some ways.

NM

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