D: Terence Young

MGM / One Way Productions / News World Communications (Mitsuharu Ishii)

US/South Korea 🇺🇸🇰🇷 1981 [released 1982]

105 mins [director’s cut 140 mins]


W: Laird Koenig & Robin Moore

DP: Bruce Surtees

Ed: John W. Holmes, Peter Taylor, Dallas Sunday Puett & Michael Sheridan

Mus: Jerry Goldsmith

Laurence Olivier (Gen. Douglas MacArthur), Jacqueline Bisset (Barbara Hallsworth), Ben Gazzara (Maj. Frank Hallsworth), Toshiro Mifune (Saito), Richard Roundtree (Sgt. Augustus Henderson), David Janssen (David Field)

When looking back on Laurence Olivier’s illustrious career, it’s for the best that this one is omitted from proceedings.

This Korean-financed war film, following the campaign of Gen. Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War may have cost a hefty $46m at the time of production, but it’s genuinely difficult to see where that money ended up on screen.

The direction is no better than TV movie standard, though this isn’t helped by the scatty editing and an ensemble of acting performances from a group of usually-consummate professionals who look like they’d rather be anywhere else than the set of this particular film.

The film was a major flop upon release and went on to be voted the Worst Film of 1982 at the Golden Raspberry Awards, who even named Laurence Olivier as the worst actor of the year. It almost feels like sacrilege, but this truly is the worst work of the fine actor’s career.  Personally, I felt it was a better performance in the actual movie than Ben Gazzara & Jacqueline Bisset, who are both truly abysmal.