Yank in Indo-China, A (aka Hidden Secret)

Columbia

Two American fliers (Mulvancy and Marshall) who run their own freight service in Indo-China resist Communist Chinese guerrillas in this low-budget action drama, produced by Sam Katzman, directed by Wallace A Grissell, and scripted by Samuel Newman, which was a follow-up to Katzman's earlier flick, “A Yank in Korea.”

The fliers challenge the Red Chinese by blowing up their supplies, before escaping through the jungle with two young women (one is pregnant). Considering the turbulent and complex politics, the film is nave. At the end, they are saved when the United Nations forces arrive in time to destroy the guerrilla base.

This early picture about Vietnam is a conventional actioner, placing emphasis on basic plot, big chase scenes, the group's capture, and final escape.

In the years before the French abandoned Indo-China, that country seemed an exotic locale for Hollywood to make action pictures. The geographical remoteness allowed for a “fresh” battlefield and “new” enemies for Hollywood: the Communists. One of the men's functions is to destroy cargo that belongs to the “Reds.”

Made in the 1950s, Yank in Indo China would prove influential for later actioners set in Vietnam, such as Sylvster Stallone's fantasy movie series “Rambo,” or a bit more realistic fare like Chuck Norris's “Missing in Action” franchise.

Of Similar Interest

Hollywood made a whole series of films about Yanks, such as Henry King's “A Yank in the RAF” (1941), with Tyrone Power and Betty Grable, and the more similar, Marshall Thompson's “A Yank in Vietnam” (aka “Year of the Tiger,” 1964) a low-budget actioner that was one of the first pictures about Americans (Marine) in Vietnam.