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In 1906 the American army pulls out of Mindanao leaving a handful of officers to try and get the Philippines Constabulary into shape to protect the native population from ruthless invaders. By reputation and by their exploits the fearless zealots initially strike terror into the local militia but the doctor on the post starts to finds ways to combat this. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
This is a very enjoyable adventure that clearly influenced Raiders of the Lost Ark and the other Indiana Jones films. It is expertly directed by the unfairly forgotten Henry Hathaway and Gary Cooper is excellent in the lead role as a doctor assigned to help train Phillipine natives against the dangerous Moro tribesman who regularly invade their villages.
I must point out that another user comment, by one "skt171," attempts to make an analogy between this film and our current situation in Iraq. The analogy is correct, but not in the way the poster intended. This film is now widely considered both "historically and politically dubious," a fact pointed out by the well-respected Time Out Film Guide.
For this reason, it is hard for me to take the poster's assertions seriously, particularly when he tries to point out how our media would have "ruined" our successful intervention in Phillipine affairs as it (presumably) is ruining our involvement in Iraq. Except for one problem...our involvement in the Philippines was neither as noble nor as successful as this film depicts.
One other interesting point: this film is being shown repeatedly on the Fox Movie Channel prior to an important election in which Iraq is perhaps the most pressing issue. In fact, they are "celebrating" the legacy of studio-system "product" (their term, not mine) Henry Hathaway all month. Hathaway, of course, made MANY pro-war films during his career...which basically consisted of him taking whatever job the studio gave him. I can just see the Fox executives thinking to themselves, "if only movies were still like this...those Democrats wouldn't have a leg to stand on! Lets show nothing but Hathaway films until after the election." Im sure the reason for this is to prompt others to liken this inaccurate film to Iraq...it seems to have worked for skt171 (although he saw the film on VHS), thats for sure! Bottom line: enjoy this film as an adventure story. It works beautifully in this way. But look elsewhere for accurate history. And please, do not use this film as a basis for supporting our presence in Iraq, but rather as a blueprint for what a pro-Iraq War film would be like if we still lived in an era when movies were allowed to function as a propaganda arm of the US Government's military policy.
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