Ski Troop Attack


1h 3m 1960

Film Details

Release Date
May 1960
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
The Filmgroup, Inc.
Distribution Company
The Filmgroup, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Black Hills, South Dakota, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 3m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White

Synopsis

High in the snow-covered Hürtgen Forest, four American Allied soldiers lead by Lt. Factor are skiing on a reconnaissance mission behind German lines during World War II. Despite Factor's strict orders not to have any contact with the enemy, hard-bitten Sgt. Potter, anxious to kill, attacks a German patrol unit, much to the chagrin of Factor, who reprimands Potter. The next morning, upon Factor's orders, some of the men distract a German patrol, while Factor and Potter attack from behind and kill four soldiers. Reuniting with the other men, the group then proceeds until they see a large German unit with tanks proceeding along an uncharted road. While radioing back the information to headquarters, Factor learns that the Allied camp is under attack and subsequently decides he and his men must continue trailing the enemy and reporting their position to aid in the fight. Several days later, unaware that a German ski patrol is following closely behind them, the group is suddenly confronted by the enemy. While one soldier draws the Germans' fire, Factor and the others kill several soldiers, losing only one of their own men in the battle. Having run out of rations, the group finds a cabin, where they order young German Ilse to cook for them, having slaughtered all of her chickens for their meal. After Ilse announces her confidence in Hitler's inevitable victory, she tries to poison the men's coffee, but Factor stops her. Soon after she cooks their meal, Ilse pulls out a gun to kill one of the soldiers who is harassing her, forcing another of the soldiers to kill her. Fearing they will be found at the highly visible cabin, Factor orders the men to make camp at a nearby cave, where they celebrate a meager Christmas. Hoping finally to return to the Allied headquarters, the men are disappointed to learn that Factor has decided to continue advancing into the next sector to blow up a railroad trestle vital to the Germans. The next day, the men hide their skis and slowly make their way up a steep mountain cliff hoping to avoid enemy forces on the roads. When the Germans spot them and begin shooting, the overeager Potter throws a grenade to blow up their path, after which Factor wearily reminds him that he has also cut off their own retreat. Undeterred, the Germans use ropes to continue their pursuit. The next day, Factor orders Herman to hold off the Germans, who are fast approaching, while he, Potter and Jocko set the charges. As each man climbs a tall bridge piling to plant the explosives, Potter slips and hangs from the ledge for his life. After Factor rescues him from certain death, Potter finally gives his allegiance to his superior. Jocko is sent to set the last charge on the tracks high above them, but as the train approaches, the charge slips, forcing Jocko to return and reset it. Factor and Potter detonate the explosives to stop the train, knowing they are also killing Jocko. Factor, Potter and Herman then race down the mountain to retrieve their skis and escape, but Herman is soon wounded and dies holding back the German forces that are following them. The few remaining Germans stop Factor and Potter and a fistfight ensues. After the two kill the Germans, Factor asks Potter if he has finally had enough fighting, to which Potter defeatedly replies "yes."

Film Details

Release Date
May 1960
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
The Filmgroup, Inc.
Distribution Company
The Filmgroup, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Black Hills, South Dakota, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 3m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White

Quotes

Trivia

Roger Corman had his actors positioned for a ski run down a mountain of virgin snow. When he called for action on his bullhorn, however, the sound waves started an avalanche. No one was hurt, but Corman was frustrated by this unplanned event. There was only one thing he could do. Corman raised the bullhorn to his mouth and ordered his crew to "Stop that snow!"

Notes

During World War II, the Hürtgen Forest, the site of the battles depicted in the film, was one of the first German territories captured by Allied forces. According to reviews, the film was shot on location in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Ski Troop Attack was most likely shot at the same time as Beast from Haunted Cave, with which it shared the same location and many of the cast and crew. As noted in reviews, a considerable amount of footage of the "German patrols" in the film was taken from stock footage of World War II.