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 »
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 rebuilding it. Written by
Brian Locke, in his article "Strange Fruit: White, Black, and Asian in the World War II Combat Film 'Bataan' " published in the "Journal of Popular Film and Television", states the film "successfully made white viewers aware . . . of the inherent sadism in the American lynching ritual" and in this film there was a shifting of "the respective relations of the black and the Asian to the white norm, as the film adjusted to a wartime context." See more »
Although the American soldier was clearly a great coconut tree climber, it is near to impossible to sit atop a coconut tree. Many Filipinos to this day fall when attempting this. See more »
Taylor shines in gritty war film...Robert Walker's debut...
BATAAN is one of the better war films to come out during the war years of World War II. Robert Taylor holds the whole gritty film together with his realistic depiction of a sergeant leading a small troop of men in an effort to hold back the Japanese attack by blowing up a crucial bridge. Taylor, Robert Walker as a gum-chewing homesick sailor, Lloyd Nolan, Dezi Arnaz (surprisingly effective in a dramatic role) and others make splendid contributions. Special mention should be made of Philip Terry's medic--an under-appreciated actor who is shown as committed to his job in a selfless way but finally going berserk under the pressures of war. (He had other good roles in Olivia de Havilland's TO EACH HIS OWN and Ray Milland's THE LOST WEEKEND).
The jungle setting (although filmed on the studio lot) is impressive with its exotic foliage and adds to the realism. The hand to hand combat scenes are well staged, as are the final moments of the film.
All in all, a gripping war film that more than holds its own with contemporary stories like SAVING PRIVATE RYAN.
Has to be appreciated in the context of its time--when flag-waving patriotism was at its peak and lines like "Those dirty Japs" were not considered politically incorrect.
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