THE STEEL CLAW
(director/writer: George Montgomery; screenwriter: Malvin Wald/Ferde Grofé Jr.; cinematographer: Manuel Rojas; editor: Jack Murray; music: Harry Zimmerman; cast: George Montgomery (Capt. John Larsen), Charito Luna (Lolita Smith), Mario Barri (Santana), Paul Sorensen (Sgt. Frank Powers), Carmen Austin (Rosa), Ben Perez (Dolph Rodríguez); Runtime: 95; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: George Montgomery; Live Home Video (Warner Bros.); 1961)
“The routine adventure story is easily forgettable.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The WW II actioner was shot on location in the Philippines. George Montgomery(“Satan’s Harvest”/”Samar”) co-writes it with Malvin Wald and Ferde Grofé Jr., directs, stars and produces it. The routine adventure story is easily forgettable. George Montgomery plays the American marine captain John Larsen who fastens a steel prosthetic hook, the “steel claw” of the title, to the hand lost in a drunken accident in the Philippines before the Japanese attack. He was then honorably discharged. When the Japanese attack he organizes a gung-ho team of guerrilla fighters to fight the invaders. His mission is to rescue a marine general held for ransom by the Filipino guerrillas. The Captain and his pal Santana (Mario Barri) and a few guerrillas, carry out their mission behind enemy lines. Their raid of the enemy camp allows them to rescue the captive. But on the way back they discover the general died and the one they rescued is the cowardly sergeant Powers (Paul Sorensen), who assumed the officer’s identity in order to get better treatment from his captors. As they continue their escape through the jungle, Powers is killed during a Japanese raid. Eventually the group find safety with a naval rescue vessel. Charito Luna plays the native girl love interest of Montgomery.
REVIEWED ON 6/26/2016 GRADE: B-