The Glory Brigade

The Glory Brigade is a 1953 American war film directed by Robert D. Webb. It stars Victor Mature and Alexander Scourby.

The Glory Brigade
Original film poster
Directed byRobert D. Webb
Produced byWilliam Bloom
Written byFranklin Coen
StarringVictor Mature
Music byLionel Newman
CinematographyLucien Ballard
Edited byMario Morra
20th Century Fox
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
May 20, 1953
Running time
82 minutes
CountryUnited States


US Army Engineer Lt. Pryor's (Victor Mature) detachment is assigned to work with Greek troops during the Korean War. He himself is of Greek heritage. The Greek forces are led by Captain Charos (John Verros) and Lieutenant Niklas (Alexander Scourby).



The film was shot at the US Army Engineer training post Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Holocaust survivor Dario Gabbai also acted in the film.[3] Franklin Coen wrote the script.[4] William Bloom produced the feature while Mario Mora was the editor. Robert D. Webb directed the film with assistance from Eli Dunn.[5]

An alternate title for the film was Baptism Of Fire.[6] Victor Mature was meant to star in Split Second for RKO but did this film instead. Filming started 15 September 1952.[7]

It was the only film in which Lee Marvin wore glasses in all of his scenes.[8] While filming of one of the scenes at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, a demolition charge exploded underneath a boat, killing the boatman and injuring two other people.[9] This was the first time Mature played a combat soldier in a film.[10] Real soldiers were cast as extras.[11] All Greek characters were portrayed by actors of Greek parentage. However, in the screen credits none of them were listed.[12]


The film is based on the exploits of the Greek Expeditionary Force. While the Greek government had intended to send a full brigade to Korea, the UN victories in the autumn of 1950 led the expeditionary force to be downgraded to a battalion, consisting of just under 900 men. They were named "The Spartan Brigade". It was placed under the overall command of the US 1st Cavalry Division and later under the overall command of US 3rd Infantry Division. Though small in number they played a crucial role in a handful of ultimately important operations. This led to the unit being awarded the US Presidential Unit Citation by President Harry Truman, and led one U.S. commander to say "Other than the Brits and the Aussies, nobody else was with us as much as the Greeks".[13] For these reasons, and the press these events generated in the United States, it was deemed a good idea to make a movie about the Spartan Brigade and its work with the United States military.[14]


Lillian Blackstone of St. Petersburg Times called the film a "realistic chapter of Korean War".[12] Film critic Leonard Maltin termed it "passable".[1] In his review for DVD Talk, Paul Mavis called it "[Disposable] entertainment posing as something important".[11] In his review for The New York Times, critic Howard Thompson called Webb's direction "sensible" but noted that the film "[felt] short in general impact and conviction".[4] Robert J. Lentz wrote that it was a "routine war film with an agreeable premise". However, he praised Mature's performance.[5][8] Richard Egan won the Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer – Male in 1953.[15] A DVD was released by 20th Century-Fox's Cinema Archives.[11]


  1. "The Glory Brigade (1953)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  2. Solomon, Aubrey (2002). Twentieth Century-Fox: A Corporate and Financial History. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 248. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1.
  3. Friedman, Gabe (December 16, 2015). "11 Famous Hollywood Holocaust Survivors Share Experiences". Haaretz. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  4. "The Screen In Review : Glory Brigade' at Palace Combines Good Fighting Scenes of Korean War With Plea for Harmony". The New York Times. August 15, 1953. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  5. Lentz 2006, p. 28.
  6. METRO BARS LANZA FROM RADIO SHOWS: Studio Advises N. B. C. Tenor May Not Do Program Because of Contract Difficulties By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 22 Aug 1952: 12
  7. HUSTON WILL FILM NOVEL BY CONRAD: Director-Producer Buys Rights to 'Matador,' Best Seller -- Author to Work on Script By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 21 Aug 1952: 16.
  8. Lentz 2006, p. 29.
  9. Lentz 2003, p. 137.
  10. McKay 2012, p. 17.
  11. Mavis, Paul (January 23, 2014). "The Glory Brigade (Fox Cinema Archives)". DVD Talk. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  12. Blackstone, Lillian (June 30, 1953). "'Glory Brigade' Realistic Chapter Of Korean War". St. Petersburg Times. p. 41. Retrieved January 6, 2016 via Google News Archive.
  13. Sandler, Stanley (1995). The Korean War: An Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0-8240-4445-2, pg. 136-138
  14. Korean War Filmography: 91 English Language Features through 2000 By Robert J. Lentz, pg. 134
  15. Boggs, Johnny D. (2011). Jesse James and the Movies. McFarland. p. 125. ISBN 978-0-7864-8496-6.


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