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The Hook (1963)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | 9 June 1963 (UK)
In the final days of the Korean War, an enemy airman is captured by three American soldiers who cannot bring themselves to follow the order to execute their prisoner.


George Seaton


Vahé Katcha (novel), Henry Denker


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Complete credited cast:
Kirk Douglas ... Sgt. P.J. Briscoe
Robert Walker Jr. ... Pvt. O.A. Dennison (as Robert Walker)
Nick Adams ... Pvt. V.R. Hackett
Pancho Magalona Pancho Magalona ... Kim aka 'The Gook' (as Enrique Magalona)
Nehemiah Persoff ... Capt. Van Ryn
John Bleifer John Bleifer ... Steward
Mark Miller ... Lt. D.D. Troy
John Alderson John Alderson ... Crewman Svenson
Anders Andelius Anders Andelius ... Crewman Andelius
Frank Richards ... Crewman Kaskevitch
William Challee ... Schmidt
Barnaby Hale Barnaby Hale ... Crewman
John Gilgreen John Gilgreen ... Crewman
Ralph Ahn Ralph Ahn ... Major Chun
Dallas Mitchell Dallas Mitchell ... Radio Sergeant


During an evacuation in the waning days of the Korean War, three American soldiers retrieve an enemy airman and take him prisoner aboard the civilian ship returning them to their lines. When an order comes down from their superiors to kill the prisoner, the sergeant in charge, Briscoe, orders his men, Dennison and Hackett, to carry out the execution. But first one and then the other refuse to follow the order. A tense stand-off ensues between the seemingly heartless sergeant and his conscience-stricken men. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


This is a story of men in war not men at war.


Drama | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »





English | Korean

Release Date:

9 June 1963 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hook See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The name of the ship in the movie is the Ahti, a cargo ship of Finnish registry. See more »


The enemy aircraft that strafes the truck and later the ship is a North American B-25, an American light bomber, not Communist. See more »


Sgt. P.J. Briscoe: See enough there to change your mind? Dennison, I'm talking to you.
Pvt. V.R. Hackett: Why don't you get off his back?
Sgt. P.J. Briscoe: Well, so now you're on his side?
Pvt. V.R. Hackett: I'm not on anybody's side. Look, Briscoe, guys like us it don't bother to do a thing like this, but other guys...
Pvt. O.A. Dennison: Other guys just don't like the killing.
Sgt. P.J. Briscoe: You got me all figured out. I like to kill, huh? Let me tell you, I see that body sliding in the water, I'm glad it ain't me. Killing is just a little bit better than getting killed.
Pvt. V.R. Hackett: Alright, that's why it don't ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

[prologue] This is a story of men in war, not men at war. And the two are not the same. Hence, this film is dedicated not to any army, navy, air or other military force, but to those who are the lowest common denominator of all military forces...and the highest...the individual man. For in the brief and quiet intervals between the loud and terrible noises of war, he is capable of great and revealing moments of nobility. This story is about such a moment in the lives of three men and although it could have happened in any time or any war, we have chosen Korea...1953... See more »

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User Reviews

Fair serious drama
14 August 1999 | by Penfold-13See all my reviews

Kirk Douglas runs the gamut of emotion from about A to C, and most of the rest of the performances are similarly limited. In other words, some better actors would have made this a better picture. The most convincing performance comes from Enrique Mangalona as the POW, who, speaking no English, is almost silent throughout.

It's by no means action-packed. The action all takes place on board a neutral ship, on which three US servicemen wrestle with their consciences which get in the way of their murdering a Korean POW.

It's a psychological think-piece, but it's tense and quite involving. It's not in the class of Twelve Angry Men, but it's that sort of genre.

Not worth staying in for, or renting the video, but very likely better than the crud on the other channels, given that it's most likely to be shown as a space filler in the small hours.

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