MovieChat Forums > Pork Chop HillĀ (1959) Discussion > Many actors too old to portray infantrym...

Many actors too old to portray infantrymen...


I was an infantryman with the Marines in Vietnam in 1968. I tend not to nitpick while watching a movie but after its over I will mull over its nuances.
In Pork Chop Hill too many of the infantrymen looked 35ish if not 40ish. George Peppard, a Detroit native like me, looked the age part but many didn't.
Like Gregory Peck and he looked younger than his 42 years in Pork when it was shot, but too old to be a 1st Lt. Willie Stroud also looked more like an Army lifer sergeant than the junior enlisted man he protrayed.
By 1953 when the battle of Pork Chop Hill took place the US Army was filled with young draftees.
If you enjoyed the movie, read the S.L.A. Marshall book.

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[deleted]

It may have been hard to associate gravitas with a first lieutenant, but this 1st Lt had been through several campaigns in the precedeing months. He was awarded either a silver or bronz star for a battle a month or two before Pork Chop Hill. So he was a seasoned veteran though he graduated from West Point in 1951.


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Thats typical of MANY Hollywood war films until maybe the most recent generation of filmmakers. Not until the late 70s early 80s were major war films headlined by comparitively unknown younger actors. Star power in the studio system of that era wasnt very likely, with a few exceptions, to have a young unknown leading man.

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alexis:

Well, now there was Robert Blake....HE looked like he was barely out of puberty so there's something to be said about using 'older looking' actors;


nickm

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...in Pork Chop Hill. But how does his confirmed kill tally in movies compare to his real life confirmed kills? (omg)

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alexis:

He fragged a couple of Chicom 'Joes'(AND Manning a Genuine DPM Lmg to boot!) but I DO remember him on Carson back in Middle 1970s when he was starring on 'Barretta'---he came across as genuinely streetsmart--he spoke about using junk, dealing junk--and he obviously didn't give a hoot about 'authority' or 'the suits'---it occurred to me that he wasn't the kind of guy to cross...

nickm

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I hear he is a tough dinner date. He also doesn't do valet parking. (double wink)

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alexis:

Well...at least he's smart enought to 'sub-contract' his duties out!

nickm

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...Hyman Roth? Or was it the butler?

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alexis:

I was just curious was to why he didn't spot her as a 'grifter'....anyhow, whomever did it WAS smart enough to NOT get caught...

nickm

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...Hamburger Helper Hill? I thought the dinner was better than the movie.

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alexis:

we're getting a wee bit off the topic here...:o)


nickm

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...or was he a freelance hitman?

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It's not nit picking, war movies should show that the people that are dying are mostly 18 year old kids.

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But Korea also had an a$$-load of reservists & retreads who served too....

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Yes, my wife's uncle fought through Europe in WWII, and was called up for service in Korea five years later.

BOHICA America!

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The average age of combat soldiers in WW2 was a lot higher than in Vietnam. Korea had a lot of recalled reservists (many of them veterans of WW2.

Having guys aged mid to late 20s in an infantry company in Korea seems right. The older actors tended to also be cast as NCOs - so it didn't seem like a geriatric ward to me.

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I recall average WW2 G.I. age as 26 and the average Vietnam G.I. age as 19. Still younger than most actor's real ages.

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Well Martin Landau, Harry Guardino & Norman Fell were in their early thirties when this movie was made, so if they were 'retreads', that might be the right age.



Why can't you wretched prey creatures understand that the Universe doesn't owe you anything!?

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The cover art on the box I just watched shows Peck wearing the gold bar of a second lieutenant on his helmet, making him really overage in grade.

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