Target Zero (1955): Korean War Movie, Starring Richard Conte and Peggie Castle

Harmon Jones directed Target Zero, a war movie, written by James Warner Bellah and Sam Rolfe.

Target Zero
Target Zero poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster

The film stars Richard Conte, Peggie Castle, Charles Bronson, Richard Wyler, L. Q. Jones and Chuck Connors.

During the Korean War, United Nations relief worker Ann Galloway (Peggie Castle), is injured and her assistant killed. As the Communist forces take over the region, Ann accompanies a patrol led by Lt. Tom Flagler (Richard Conte), a soldier admired by his men, as they try to rejoin Easy Company and other allied troops.

The British sergeant named Kensemmit (Richard Wyler) bears a grudge against soldiers and is particularly contemptuous of Flagler. He may or may not be interested in Ann romantically.

SFC Vince Gaspari (Charles Bronson) vouches for Tom as a born leader, though like Ann, he thinks Tom cares about nothing else than his military duty.

By contrast the other British tank soldiers, Harry Fontenoy (Terence De Marney) and Cpt. Devon Enoch (John Alderson) get along well with the Americans, and explicitly criticize Sgt. Kensemmit for his unnecessary hostile attitude.

Pvt. Geronimo, a Native American soldier (played by Abel Fernandez) from the Apache reservation says to a southern-accented white American soldier that Native Americans were in this war so that they could get practice fighting for the eventual day when they reconquer the US. Pvt.

Fontenoy (Terence de Marney) says to the southern-accented GI “Don’t worry mate, if they chuck you out, we’ll take you back!” to which the southern GI says “Thanks ole buddy, but the problem with that is I don’t speak the language!”

In the course of the tale, Tom Flagler and Sgt. Kensemmit reconcile their differences, with Kensemmit apologizing, “I just woke up on the wrong side of the world this morning,” to which Flagler replied, “No worries, you’re a handy guy to have around.”

In the end, in victory, Flagler and Kensemmit come to realize that Ann represents what they have been fighting for all along.

Released by Warner on November 15, 1955, the movie was a flop. It opened at the Paramount Theatre in New York, where it only played for eight days, grossing a meager $30,000.

Cast
Richard Conte as Lt. Tom Flagler
Peggie Castle as Ann Galloway
Charles Bronson as SFC Vince Gaspari
Richard Wyler as Sgt. David Kensemmit
L.Q. Jones as Pvt. Felix O’Hara
Chuck Connors as Pvt. Moose
John Alderson as Cpl. Devon Enoch
Terence De Marney as Pvt. Harry Fontenoy
Strother Martin as Pvt. Dan O’Hirons

Note:

TCM showed the movie on Memorial Day, May 31, 2021.