What Happened to American POWs Kept Behind After the Korean War

The Korean War inspired a number of movies, most in the “film noir” style, about US prisoners-of-war. Most involved the themes of communist indoctrination, “brainwashing” and collaboration. Most famous is The Manchurian Candidate. While fictional, these movies sometimes include realistic elements and snapshots of the era that will be of interest to those concerned with the fate of America’s real missing POWs from the Korean War.

One of our favorite films of this type is Time Limit, a tough-minded 1957 melodrama with an interesting plot twist. Richard Widmark plays an Army officer investigating the well-documented collaboration of Richard Basehart, who seems determined to take the fall. But Widmark begins to believe it's not an open-and-shut case, despite pressure from the brass. Among the cast is Hollywood's favorite Asian communist, Khigh Dhiegh, who went on to play the wise-cracking CHICOM heavy in The Manchurian Candidate, as well as "Wo Fat" in a number ofHawaii Five-O episodes. Ironically, IMDB reports the actor was not Asian, but of "Anglo-Egyptian-Sudanese" descent.

See more of these movies at our sister site here. For real movies of US POWs in enemy captivity, and to help identify them, see the rest of this site, including here.