Monday, September 20, 2010


The great British actor SIR MICHAEL CAINE was an infantryman in the British Army during the Korean War. He is still haunted by his experiences in the Korean War - insisting his life totally changed on the day he narrowly escaped death on the battlefield.

Michael Caine was called up for national service in the British Army when he was aged 18 and was deployed to South Korea to help in the aftermath of the North Korean invasion.

I once heard Caine relating to a flashback to Korea, as how he could smell his fear in the form of the stench of the Chinese hoards of infantry they could smell coming during an attack . . .

Michael Caine on his service in Korea:

"Whenever I killed someone there was no guilt, no remorse - it didn't feel real. It was during the Korean War and I was just trying to stay alive. It was self-defense. It was always done at night and we never had any idea who we had killed. I didn't even think about it - we had machine guns and we just did it. I never did anything close up or hand-to-hand. It didn't give me nightmares, because the Army brutalizes you. It was like the World War I trenches - half a mile apart - and we were just firing backwards and forwards, so we never knew who any of our victims were as individuals. You never saw the whites of a man's eyes when you killed him."

Caine served in the Royal Fusiliers, admits he came close to losing his life during the conflict.

"I was nearly killed. There were four of us on patrol in a valley in the middle of the rice paddies. The Chinese were closing in on us and the officer said, 'Let's run towards their line - they won't expect it because they'll be expecting us to run away towards our lines.' So we did that and we ended up going right around them. They couldn't find us because they were looking in the wrong place and we got away. But we'd faced that moment that we thought was the end.

"That night we went back to our bunkers and celebrated with a beer. We were just happy to be alive . . . I faced a moment when I knew I was going to die and I didn't run, I wasn't a coward, and it affected me deeply. I was at peace with myself and that's guided my life, not just in terms of whether someone's going to kill me, but in everything."

How about those truly heroic Michael Caine films? This first one is what earned him his knighthood:

The fantastic Kipling tale - "Man Who Would Be King" -

Then there was Michael Caine's brilliant interpretation of Jack Higgins' anti-hero Fallschirmjäger commander, Lieutenant Colonel Kurt Steiner in the World War II adventure film The Eagle has Landed:

. . . and how can anyone forget Caine's piece de resistance "Blame it on Rio":

Synopsis: LOTS of gratuitous nudity - including a topless teenage Demi Moore . . . Michael proves once more he's a real stud this time by making it with his buddy's daughter Michelle Johnson - a bird about a third his age -(she's WAY hotter than the young Demi).

"I have no problem being called "Fascist". No red blooded woman EVER has had a fantasy about being ravished by a man dressed as a "Liberal". It's the uniform every time!" - P. J. O'Rourke



  1. So many great performances. Love He and Robert Duval in, Second Hand Loin.

  2. Great Post Check out "Harry Brown" a gritty realistic "noir" film the Brits do best. After reading this post you can see how he draws on real life to act. Awesome

  3. Your black and white photo of Michael Caine is from "Get Carter", which is possibly the finest British gangster film noir.

    The Roy Budd soundtrack alone is worth watching the film for.

    Every British gangster film since has paid homage to this film.

    What a shame Sly Stallone had to make a complete arse of a re-make of this film....why....?

  4. It was in 'the Whistleblower' when, during a scene at the Cenotaph - his character (a Korea veteran) wore Pte. Micklewhite's own gongs.

    The now Michael Caine has recounted that he'd hailed from a part of London which one would have expected to be Communist-inclined. He retained a sense of social egalitarianism, but having seen wave after wave of Chinese and Koreans flung against his positions armed with little more than milk bottles and pea-shooters his immense respect for then had been matched by an equal and opposite loathing for their leaders.

  5. peashooters and bottles rubbish they had aoutumatic weapons which war was he in a war film.i was there with the 1.k.s.l.i.does he also rememberwhat he said about english soldiers there that they were shooting thier selves in the foot to get sent home.rubbish.from john hodges.regular soldier k.s.l.i.

  6. Hi My Dad served with Michael in the war.