Japan has just invaded the Phillipines and the US Army attempts a desperate defence. Thirteen men are chosen to blow up a bridge on the Bataan peninsula and keep the Japanese from ... See full summary »
In November 1941, Major Caton takes command of the small Marine garrison on Wake Island. His tendency toward spit and polish upsets the men's tropical lassitude, but Pearl Harbor changes everything. Soon the island is attacked and the Marines pull together day by day; but how long can they hold out? Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
According to Hedda Hopper's newspaper column of June 23, 1942, three different endings of this movie were shot. The ending to be used when released in August would depend upon how the war was going by then. See more »
The scene showing a Japanese aircraft doing a recon of the island, has sharply tapered wing tips and fixed landing gear. However, the shadow of the aircraft has rounded wing tips. See more »
While nowadays this may seem quite indistinguishable from the many flagwavers rushed into production in its day, at the time WAKE ISLAND was very well received garnering 4 major Academy Award nominations (Best Film, Best Direction, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor - William Bendix); true, the characters and situations are pretty stereotypical but even so, it is certainly well enough made and well-cast (Brian Donlevy, Macdonald Carey, Albert Dekker, Robert Preston, Walter Abel) to be remembered when WWII films are discussed. Once the Pearl Harbor attack gets underway, it becomes an engrossing and poignant depiction of men-in-war facing insurmountable odds; the downbeat ending was quite fresh at the time and seems to have led to a spate of similarly pessimistic WWII movies like BATAAN (1943), SAHARA (1943), THEY WERE EXPENDABLE (1945), etc.
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