Warkill (May 1, 1968)
Released on May 1, 1968: At the end of World War Two, a reporter follows a Colonel and his men searching for small groups of enemy soldiers hiding in the jungle.
Produced by Ferde Grofe Jr.
Directed by Ferde Grofé Jr.
Written by Ferde Grofé Jr.
The Actors: George Montgomery (Colonel John Henry Hannegan), Tom Drake (Phil Sutton, author), Conrad Parham (Pedring, guerilla with eyepatch), Eddie Infante (Willie), Henry Duval (unknown), Joaquin Fajardo (Max), Paul Edwards Jr. (Mike Harris), Claude Wilson (U.S.soldier at ending), Ken Loring (Major Fernandez, doctor), Bert Lafortesa (Doctor Namura), Bruno Punzalan (Major Hashiri), David Michael (Sergeant Johnson)
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Was Hannigan a Great Man, a No-Good Bastard, . . . Or Both?
May I be honest? I did not enjoy this movie. I almost turned it off about half-way in and put it back on the shelf. It sickened me. But that is just me. I realize that there are patriotic, God-fearing men and women who would live this story, and defend the plot, claiming that God would sanction their uncivilized actions – it is War, and real war is rarely gentle or kind. When the starving rats were eating the flesh of the enemy soldiers, I was ready to call it a day, but I am glad that I did not.
Although I have strayed far from my Mennonite heritage with its strong beliefs that forbid taking another person’s life for any reason, I find that I still hold those thoughts in my heart. Sure, I will allow you to call me names when I hesitate to squash an ant on the sidewalk, but that is who I am.
Instead of turning this movie off, I let it run, and I began to change my attitude. No, I will still hesitate to squash that ant scurrying across the sunny sidewalk, but I also realize that war and graphic death is still as much a part of our life as the sun and moon. I realize that the values that I cling to are not the only correct values. I understand that even though I cannot be part of the wholesale destruction of other men and women, sometimes I guess it still needs to happen.
Whether all of the killing in this war movie is right and justified is something that you need to decide for yourself. If you love brutal and graphic killing and destruction, without the constraints of the Hays Office rules of engagement, you will love this story. Although it is supposed to be happening during the final days of World War Two, it was filmed in 1968 when American boys were fighting just like this in the jungles of Viet Nam.
Watch it, enjoy it or not, but let it bring out a conversation inside you about who you are. There is no right and wrong answer that everyone must agree on. I did not enjoy this movie, but it did provide many thoughts and questions about war that need to be thought about. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and think about war.
Claude Wilson and Ken Loring
Conrad Parham and Tom Drake