Battle Hymn was inspired by the true story of American minister Dean Hess, played here with rare sensitivity by Rock Hudson. A bomber pilot during World War II, Hess inadvertently releases a bomb which destroys a German orphanage. Tortured by guilt, Hess relocates in Korea after the war to offer his services as a missionary. Combining the best elements of Christianity and Eastern spiritualism, Hess establishes a large home for orphans. The preacher's efforts are threatened when the Korean "police action" breaks out in 1950. Battle Hymn was one of several collaborations between Rock Hudson and director Douglas Sirk--though Sirk felt that Robert Stack would have been better suited to the role of Rev. Hess. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
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This portrayal of an American Christian coming together with a bi-ethnic Buddist to successfully save the lives of hundreds of orphans in a time of war was so inspiring and encouraging. This man successfully put his personal doubts and fears into positive choices. It truly is a wonderful account of a life used by God, even when a heart is deeply troubled and flawed. How the Korean and Americans worked together put alot of what we are consistantly striving to do today in a positive light. Finely done.