Battle Hymn (1956)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Biopic [feature], War Drama  |   Release Date - Feb 14, 1957 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 108 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Richard Gilliam

Battle Hymn was a change of pace for director Douglas Sirk, who took a respite from his usual glossy soap operas to produce this sensitive, cross-cultural biographical study of a World War II veteran who re-dedicates his life to helping Korean orphans. The film argues that the disputes of governments matter very little to ordinary people who suffer from the everyday horror and destruction of war, a message unusual in the Cold War 1950s. Sirk lends the film his distinctive visual style, aided by the solid work of cinematographer Russell Metty. Rock Hudson's performance is among the best of his career, and he is ably supported by such familiar supporting cast members as Dan Duryea, Martha Hyer, and Jock Mahoney. Battle Hymn was further evidence of producer Ross Hunter's knack for bringing together just the right elements for a Sirk film, even when the project's subject matter was a departure from the director's standard melodramas.