Synopsis by Aubry Anne D'Arminio
To filmmaker and war veteran Samuel Fuller, war is about survival. You either kill or be killed. His combat films are not about politics, adventure, or home. They are about killing and staying alive. Fixed Bayonets, Fuller's second study of the Korean War, focuses on a neophyte corporal, Denno (Richard Basehart), who is afraid to take a life. When his division is forced down Korea's snowbound mountains, Denno's unit stays behind to cover its retreat. Entrenched in an icy cave, Denno watches his superiors get picked off one by one until he must take command. He soon learns of what he is truly capable and what he will do to survive: Denno learns to kill. Filmed and released during the Korean War, Fixed Bayonets offered audiences no respite from the harrowing, difficult combat. It also introduced a new arena into modern American combat films -- freezing, icy terrain. The actors were so unaccustomed to the ice (that Fuller had actually frozen onto the set), that several men injured themselves within the first week of shooting. Many of the wounded in the film are simply ailing performers who Fuller kept on set so they could still receive their paychecks!
cave, mountains, snowbound, troops, war