DVD Review “Battle Circus”

Director:   Richard Brooks
Cast:   Humphrey Bogart, June Allyson, Keenan Wynn, Robert Keith
Distributed by: Warner Archive
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 90 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Humphrey Bogart carries such a presence and always delivers such a great performance.  He is one of the Hollywood legends and this film is no different.  Humphrey Bogart and June Allyson together in the film just work so well. This really represents the classic 50’s MGM productions.  Thanks to Warner Archive, this film is released on DVD for the first time and is also newly remastered.

The film is presented in 4 X 3 full frame and its original aspect ratio of 1.37:1. The audio included is a mono track like most released from Warner Archive. The B&W film looks awesome for a film that was released in 1953 that has has never been on DVD. The only extra that comes on this release though is a trailer.  But nonetheless, all fans of Bogart’s classic films will definitely want to check out this release.

Synopsis: Long before M*A*S*H, there was Battle Circus. Made during the Korean War, this tribute to the indomitable human spirit takes an authentic, almost documentary-like look at the nurses and doctors who operated in the battlefront Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals. Major Jed Webbe (Humphrey Bogart) is a brilliant, hard-bitten Army surgeon with a weakness for women and strong liquor. Fresh from the states arrives Lt. Ruth McCara (June Allyson), a naïve young nurse ready to save the world. The story of their love and heroism, told against the grimly realistic background of pounding artillery and deadly ambushes, forms the core of the film. The title Battle Circus comes from the way the mobile field units can strike their tents, move to a new battle area, then set them up again like circus roustabouts in nothing flat. And, like circus daredevils, these heroes risk life and death on a daily basis.

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