Battle Hymn 03/16/21

KL Studio Classics

This dubious mix of war combat and faith-based inspiration is as well directed as any of Douglas Sirk’s films, even if literally every scene seems to be saying the wrong thing. Combat pilot Col. Dean Hess helped found and publicize a major orphanage in South Korea, but as personified by a pious Rock Hudson, his story comes off as a public relations gambit. A fine cast empowers the grandstanding bid for sainthood, where ‘Killer Hess’ channels his guilt into good works. The aerial footage is outstanding — Sirk really loved his airplanes. With Dan Duryea, Anna Kashfi, James Edwards, Martha Hyer, Philip Ahn, James Hong, Don DeFore and Jock Mahoney; on Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics.