Target Zero (1955)

91-92 mins | Drama | 10 December 1955

Director:

Harmon Jones

Producer:

David Weisbart

Cinematographer:

Edwin DuPar

Production Designer:

Leo Kuter

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

Before the opening credits, there is a montage, accompanied by a voice-over narration that discusses how the battle lines changed frequently during the Korean War and introduces all the main male characters. The film ends with a written acknowledgment to ”the officers and men of Ft. Carson, Colorado, and the Colorado Air National Guard” for their assistance in making the picture possible. A Jul 1951 HR news item announcing Warner Bros.’ purchase of the property stated that Robert Sisk was originally slated to produce the film. Although the HR review states that the film was shot entirely on location at Ft. Carson, CO, HR news items and the first HR production chart also mention Arizona and Colorado Springs as shooting sites for the film.
       Reviews and the CBCS list the names of characters played by Don Oreck and L. Q. Jones as “Stacey Zorbados” and “Felix Zimbalist” but in the film, the characters are called “Stacey Della Nueva” and “Felix O’Hara,” respectively. Target Zero was the first film in which Jones was billed under that name. Jones had previously appeared onscreen under his real name, Justus E. McQueen, in the 1955 Warner Bros. release Battle Cry (see above). The actor played a character named "L. Q. Jones" in that film, and subsequently assumed his character's name as his stage name.
       According to an Oct 1954 HR news item, powdermen Royal Lowe and Louis Farkas were killed, and truck driver Paul Zook was critically injured, during an explosion at Colorado Springs when, after completing location shooting, explosives blew up while being ... More Less

Before the opening credits, there is a montage, accompanied by a voice-over narration that discusses how the battle lines changed frequently during the Korean War and introduces all the main male characters. The film ends with a written acknowledgment to ”the officers and men of Ft. Carson, Colorado, and the Colorado Air National Guard” for their assistance in making the picture possible. A Jul 1951 HR news item announcing Warner Bros.’ purchase of the property stated that Robert Sisk was originally slated to produce the film. Although the HR review states that the film was shot entirely on location at Ft. Carson, CO, HR news items and the first HR production chart also mention Arizona and Colorado Springs as shooting sites for the film.
       Reviews and the CBCS list the names of characters played by Don Oreck and L. Q. Jones as “Stacey Zorbados” and “Felix Zimbalist” but in the film, the characters are called “Stacey Della Nueva” and “Felix O’Hara,” respectively. Target Zero was the first film in which Jones was billed under that name. Jones had previously appeared onscreen under his real name, Justus E. McQueen, in the 1955 Warner Bros. release Battle Cry (see above). The actor played a character named "L. Q. Jones" in that film, and subsequently assumed his character's name as his stage name.
       According to an Oct 1954 HR news item, powdermen Royal Lowe and Louis Farkas were killed, and truck driver Paul Zook was critically injured, during an explosion at Colorado Springs when, after completing location shooting, explosives blew up while being loaded onto a truck. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
19 Nov 1955.
---
Daily Variety
15 Nov 55
p. 3.
Film Daily
17 Nov 55
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jul 1951.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Sep 1954
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Sep 1954
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Oct 1954
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Oct 1954
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Nov 55
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
19 Nov 55
p. 673.
New York Times
16 Nov 55
p. 43.
Variety
23 Nov 55
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward
SOUND
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Dial supv
Powderman
Powderman
Truck driver
DETAILS
Release Date:
10 December 1955
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 15 November 1955
Production Date:
late September--late October 1954
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
10 December 1955
Copyright Number:
LP7360
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
91-92
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17196
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1952, in Korea, United Nations relief worker Ann Galloway and her assistant Sue are near the front line administering medical care to South Korean refugees. When their jeep is hit by gunfire, Sue is killed and Ann rendered unconscious. Five hours later, Ann awakens and learns from the British tank crewmen who have rescued her that Communists now control the area. Once Ann is safe inside the tank, the three-member crew, led by Sgt. David Kemsemmit, drives south to reunite with their troops. They are soon met by a remnant of an American patrol led by Lt. Tom Flagler, who is trying to rendezvous with his Easy Company at a ridge farther north. David decides to merge his men with Tom’s patrol, despite his unexplained antagonism toward Tom and his reluctance to move farther into enemy territory, because they will be safer together. Ann, who majored in biochemistry, is put in charge of nursing Pvt. Dan O’Hirons, a seriously wounded man in Tom’s patrol. As they travel, Ann watches Tom, intrigued that he knows each man personally, and Tom confides that he must be able to gauge how each man will react under pressure. Later, two mortarmen, survivors of a slaughtered unit, join the group. After a small victory in a skirmish against the North Koreans, Tom resumes the group’s trek to the ridge. Although most of the men doubt that Easy Company is there, they follow him anyway, and Sgt. Vince Gaspari, a professional soldier and family man, explains to Ann that Tom’s instincts are rarely wrong. While crossing a plain, an explosion injures one of the men, alerting them to a mine field. David ... +


In 1952, in Korea, United Nations relief worker Ann Galloway and her assistant Sue are near the front line administering medical care to South Korean refugees. When their jeep is hit by gunfire, Sue is killed and Ann rendered unconscious. Five hours later, Ann awakens and learns from the British tank crewmen who have rescued her that Communists now control the area. Once Ann is safe inside the tank, the three-member crew, led by Sgt. David Kemsemmit, drives south to reunite with their troops. They are soon met by a remnant of an American patrol led by Lt. Tom Flagler, who is trying to rendezvous with his Easy Company at a ridge farther north. David decides to merge his men with Tom’s patrol, despite his unexplained antagonism toward Tom and his reluctance to move farther into enemy territory, because they will be safer together. Ann, who majored in biochemistry, is put in charge of nursing Pvt. Dan O’Hirons, a seriously wounded man in Tom’s patrol. As they travel, Ann watches Tom, intrigued that he knows each man personally, and Tom confides that he must be able to gauge how each man will react under pressure. Later, two mortarmen, survivors of a slaughtered unit, join the group. After a small victory in a skirmish against the North Koreans, Tom resumes the group’s trek to the ridge. Although most of the men doubt that Easy Company is there, they follow him anyway, and Sgt. Vince Gaspari, a professional soldier and family man, explains to Ann that Tom’s instincts are rarely wrong. While crossing a plain, an explosion injures one of the men, alerting them to a mine field. David volunteers to drive the tank across to clear the field, and after the tank sets off the explosives on its path, Ann and the men follow, stepping in the tire tracks. After safely traversing the minefield, the soldiers encounter a shrine, where a South Korean under Tom’s command stops to pray. While the others wait, David tells Ann he admires her and explains that his dislike of American soldiers stems from one mistreating his sister during World War II. When Tom compliments Ann for the way she has conducted herself, he elicits her loyalty, but David jealously points out that Tom only said what she wanted to hear. Later, Ann suggests to Gaspari that Tom thinks of people as tools to manipulate, and Gaspari responds that Tom keeps them alive. In the distance, they see a convoy of North Koreans moving toward them, and Tom organizes an ambush to hijack the trucks and appropriate gas for their tank. When a captured North Korean kills two Americans while attempting to escape, a fight ensues, during which he is crushed by the tank and his comrades shot. That evening, at the base of the mountain where Easy Company was last seen, Ann accuses Tom of valuing people only for the job they do. Admitting that there is nothing beyond that, he aggressively kisses her. Ann stops Tom, and then prevents David from fighting with him by forbidding him to use her as an excuse for his personal contention. While Gaspari cautions Ann that Tom is someone who cannot love anything that loves him back, Tom leads two men to the top of the ridge and discovers that Easy Company has been massacred. Tom’s morale is shattered because his life has been centered around the company, prompting Ann to suggest that he needs someone to love and explain why she is attracted to him. When a phone line is discovered to be working, Tom contacts the colonel of an American command post, who orders that they hold the ridge until the arrival of American troops, who have forced the North Koreans to retreat. As Tom’s men prepare to defend themselves, Ann reports that O’Hirons has died. After comforting Ann and professing that their feelings for each other are lasting and real, Tom moves through the foxholes, talking to each man, and finally making peace with David. In the valley, Air Force planes strafe enemy soldiers heading northward, while a Navy ship, using coordinates telephoned by Tom, fires missiles at North Korean targets. The telephone line goes dead as the shelling gets too close to Tom’s group, but Tom manages to repair the line in time to redirect the missiles. When North Koreans storm the hill, Tom’s men defeat them in hand-to-hand combat. Later, after the North Koreans are routed, David, Gaspari and the rest of the men watch Tom with Ann and comment “a man stays alive so he can find things to live for.”
+

In 1952, in Korea, United Nations relief workers Ann Galloway and her assistant Sue are near the front line after administering medicine to South Korean refugees. When their jeep is hit by gunfire, Sue is killed and Ann rendered unconscious. Five hours later, Ann awakens and learns from rescuing British tank crewmen that Communists now control the area. After taking Ann inside the tank, the three-member crew, led by Sgt. David Kemsemmit, drives south to reunite with their troops. Soon they are met by a remnant of an American patrol led by Lt. Tom Flagler. Tom is trying to rendezvous with his Easy Company at a ridge farther north. David, despite his unexplained antagonism toward Tom and his reluctance to move farther into enemy territory, decides to merge his men with Tom’s patrol, because they will be safer together. Ann, who majored in biochemistry, is put in charge of nursing Pvt. Dan O’Hirons, a seriously wounded man in Tom’s patrol. As they travel, Ann watches Tom, intrigued at how he knows each man personally, and Tom confides to her that he must be able to gauge how each man will react under pressure. Later, two mortarmen, survivors of a slaughtered unit, join the group. After a small victory in a skirmish against North Koreans, Tom resumes the group’s trek to the ridge. Although most of the men doubt that Easy Company is there, they follow him, and Sgt. Vince Gaspari, a professional soldier and family man, explains to Ann that Tom’s instincts are rarely wrong. While crossing a plain, an explosion injuring one of the men alerts them that mines have been planted, so David volunteers to drive the tank across. As the tank sets off the explosives on its path, Ann and the men follow, stepping in the tire tracks. After safely traversing the minefield, the soldiers encounter a shrine, where a South Korean under Tom’s command, stops to pray. While the others wait, David expresses his admiration to Ann and explains that he dislikes American soldiers, because one mistreated his sister during World War II. When Tom compliments Ann for the way she has conducted herself, he elicits her loyalty, but David jealously points out that Tom said what she wanted to hear. Later, Ann suggests to Gaspari that Tom thinks of people as tools to manipulate, but Gaspari responds that Tom keeps them alive. In the distance, a convoy of North Koreans is moving toward them, so Tom organizes an ambush, in which they hijack the trucks to appropriate gas for their tank. When a captured North Korean kills two Americans while attempting to escape, a fight ensues, during which he is crushed by the tank and his comrades shot. That evening, at the base of the mountain where Easy Company was last seen, Ann approaches Tom and accuses him of valuing people only for the job they do. Admitting that there is nothing beyond that, he aggressively kisses her. Ann stops Tom, and then stops David from fighting, forbidding him to use her as an excuse for his personal contention. The British crewmen also urge David to be rid of his bigotry and Gaspari advises Ann that Tom is someone who cannot love anything that loves him back. Meanwhile, Tom leads two men to the top of the ridge and discovers that the Easy Company has been massacred. Because his life has been centered around the company, Tom’s morale is broken, but Ann suggests that he needs someone to love and explains why she is attracted to him. When a working phone line is discovered on the ridge, Tom contacts the colonel of an American command post, who orders that they hold the fort, until American troops, who have forced the Communists to retreat, show up. As Tom’s men prepare to defend themselves, Ann reports that O’Hirons has died. Tom comforts Ann and professes that their feelings for each other are lasting and real. Then, Tom moves through the foxholes, talking to each man, and makes peace with David. In the valley, Air Force planes strafe enemy soldiers heading northward and a Navy ship fifteen miles away sends missiles to coordinates telephoned by Tom. The bombings are getting too close to Tom’s group, when the telephone line goes dead, but Tom manages to repair the line in time to redirect the missiles. North Koreans flee up the hill, but Tom’s men defeat them In hand-to-hand combat. Later, after the area is safe from the North Koreans, David, Gaspari and the rest of the men watch Tom with Ann and comment “a man stays alive so he can find things to live for.”
+

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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