Hell Is for Heroes (1962)

  • Drama, USA, 1962
  • Produced by: Henry Blanke
  • Directed by: Don Siegel
  • Screenplay by: Robert Pirosh and Richard Carr
  • Story by: Robert Pirosh
  • Studio: Paramount


  • Steve McQueen: Reese
  • Bobby Darin: Corby
  • Fess Parker: Sergeant Pike
  • Harry Guardino: Sergeant Larkin
  • James Corburn: Henshaw
  • Mike Kellin: Kolinski
  • Joesph Hoover: Captain Loomis
  • Bill Mullikin: Cumberly
  • L.Q. Jones: Sergeant Frazier
  • Michele Montau: Monique
  • Don Haggerty: Captain Mace
  • Nick Adams: Homer
  • Bob Newhart: Driscoll

Pictures of Hell Is for Heroes

Synopsis of Hell Is for Hereos

In the autumn of 1944, a squad of war weary American infantrymen in reserve near Germany's formidable Siegfreid Line, and expecting to be sent home on furlough are told by Sergeant Pike (Fess Parker) that instead they are to move up on a hazardous mission as replacements.

Among those in the outfit are Corby (Bobby Darin), a happy-go-lucky collector and salesman of liberated loot, Kolinski (Mike Kellin), mentor and translator for Homer (Nick Adams), likeable, pathetic young polish refugee who has attached himself to the group in the hope that he can persuade the company commander, Captain Loomis (Joseph Hoover), to get him shipped to the U.S., Larkin (Harry Guardino), who has replaced Reese (Steve McQueen) as staff sergeant. The surly, unpleasant Reese has been returned to the outfit following a court martial after a drunken escapade. He resents having to take orders from Larkin. In previous action Reese's courage had earned him a DSC and consideration for a commission. Pike respects him as a fighting man but knows he must keep an eye on him.

When the bitterly disappointed men move up to the front line, Homer begs to be allowed to fight with them but Captain Loomis orders him to remain behind. The squad marches to a postion below the crest of a hill. They are just inside the edge of the Siegfried Line and right in line with "Pillbox Charlie," a German machine gun nest covering a thinly-wooded area which the squad will have to defend alone until reinforcements arrive.

Pinned down by "Pillbox Charlie's" burst of fire whenever anyone raises himself above a crouch, the squad manages to stave off attack by a series of ruses designed to convince the enemy that there is a large American force facing them. When a lost headquarters man, PFC Driscoll (Bob Newhart) comes up the road in a jeep, Pike and Larkin commandeer his vehicle and use it to make the enemy believe that many vehicles, perhaps even tanks, are in the area. Via a telephone hook-up they give the Germans the impression that they are well prepared for attack. The squad is augmented when Homer, unable to stay away from his beloved pals, joins the group and becomes a fighting soldier. The squad knows it cannot continue to fool the enemy for long.

Reese suggests that they knock off the pillbox and keep the Germans too busy to start an attack. Pike is away and Larkin, next in command, opposes the move. When he discovers that Reese intends to usurp authority they have a row which comes to a terrible end when Larkin is blown to bits by a German shell. Now free to put his plan into action, Reese leads two of the men to a tragic death. Captain Loomis furiously denounces him for daring to give orders instead of taking them, and only the necessity for attacking the enemy at dawn saves Reese from immediate court martial.

Reese, lonely and bitter with guilt, knows what he must do when the enemy continues to blast away from "Pillbox Charlie." He unleashes a frenized one man assault against the pillbox, blowing himself up along with the Germans, thus enabling the Americans to breach the hithero impregnable Seigfried Line.

Bobby and Director Don Siegel

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