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Battle Circus (1953)

Battle Circus (1953)

aka Battle Circus

"M-G-M's great drama of desire under fire!"

Directed By: 
Details: 90 mins · English


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Small Major Jed Webbe
Small Lt. Ruth McGara
Small Sgt. Orvil Statt


Small Richard Brooks Director
No_movie_poster Allen Rivkin Writer
No_movie_poster Laura Kerr Writer
No_movie_poster Pandro S. Berman Production
Small Richard Brooks Writer


"M-G-M's great drama of desire under fire!"


A young Army nurse, Lieutenant Ruth McGara (June Allyson), is newly assigned to the 66th MASH mobile field hospital, constantly on the move during the Korean War. At first, Ruth is a bumbling addition to the nurse corps, but attracts the attention of the unit's hard-drinking, no-nonsense chief surgeon Dr. and Major Jed Webbe (Humphrey Bogart). Jed cautions that he wants a "no strings" relationship and Ruth is warned by the other nurses of his womanizing ways. She sees that he is beloved by the unit, especially the resourceful Sergeant Orvil Statt (Keenan Wynn).

Three incidents punctuate their time at the front. When a young Korean child needs special care, Ruth entreats the chief surgeon to perform an open-heart operation, despite the reservations of the unit commander, Colonel Hilary Whalters (Robert Keith). Yet Jed is a relentless taskmaster, demanding Captain John Rustford (William Campbell) fly desperately needed blood supplies at night, even in the teeth of a fierce storm. When the helicopter lands safely, Jed goes on a binge, forcing Whalters to make his chief surgeon either straighten up or ship out. When a now more assured Ruth treats some North Korean prisoners, a frightened prisoner with a concealed grenade is calmly disarmed by her soothing words.

After a North Korean advance forces the MASH unit to escape through enemy lines, the lovers are temporarily separated. When the unit commander is wounded in an attack, Jed has to assume leadership to lead the unit out of danger. Traveling cross-country, he sets out on a perilous journey, attempting to meet up with the nurses who have gone on ahead. Eventually the two caravans safely negotiate the battlefield, and Jed and Ruth are reunited.