|Directed by||Denis Sanders|
|Produced by||Terry Sanders|
|Screenplay by||Stanford Whitmore|
|Music by||Bud Shank|
|Edited by||John Hoffman|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
War Hunt is a 1962 war film directed by Denis Sanders and starring John Saxon, Robert Redford and Charles Aidman. Produced by Terry Sanders for T-D Enterprises, and released by United Artists, the film features the film debuts of Sydney Pollack and Tom Skerritt and the first major role for Redford. Redford and Pollack met on the set of the film as actors.
The National Board of Review named the film as one of the ten best films of 1962. It won the Silver Sail best feature film award at the 1962 Locarno International Film Festival and was nominated for a UN BAFTA award in 1964.
Near the end of the Korean War, a replacement, Private Loomis, is assigned to an infantry company on the front line. One night, Loomis notices a soldier, in dark clothing and face paint, leaving camp. He learns that this is Private Endore, who routinely infiltrates enemy lines. The company's commander, Captain Pratt, allows Endore to act independently because, after many of these nighttime excursions, the soldier has returned with useful information. However, Endore is also knifing to death enemy soldiers and, as Loomis himself witnesses during a night patrol, conducts an odd circle-ritual around each of his murdered victims. The other men in the company steer clear of Endore and warn Loomis, who is prone to asking probing questions, to not "mess with that guy".
Endore's only friend is a Korean orphan, nicknamed Charlie, with whom Loomis tries to cultivate a friendship. He suggests to Endore that the boy should be placed in an orphanage where he will at least have other children around and some kind of basic lifestyle. This brings Loomis into conflict with a demonstrably psychotic Endore, who plans to remain in Korea after the war ends, and to keep Charlie with him.
The tension comes to a head when the armistice occurs. The resolution suggests that Charlie, having been influenced and given lessons in killing by Endore, will grow into the same kind of man.
The film was shot in 15 days for US$250,000. Francis Ford Coppola drove a truck in the film and associate producer Noel Black worked as an electrician. The Sanders brothers, who started in Hollywood as second unit directors of the river sequences in The Night of the Hunter, shot most of the film at night to hide their low budget.
Producer Terry Sanders sent the script to the Pentagon in the chance that the military might provide assistance. The Army replied that it objected to many portions of the script such as a private soldier being an independent professional killer with his commanding officer's approval, a scene of the captain calling a sergeant an "idiot", and scenes the Army thought "too gruesome to be in good taste".