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 ...
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The story of men at war and that of the esteemed Pulitzer prize winning war correspondent Ernie Pyle. Soon after the U.S. entry into World War II, Pyle joined C Company, 18th Infantry in ... See full summary »
William A. Wellman
An American tanker is sunk by a German U-boat and the survivors spend eleven days at sea on a raft. They're next assigned to the liberty ship "Sea Witch" bound for Murmansk through the sub-stalked North Atlantic.
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 »
Hand grenades are anti-personnel weapons. The have a kill radius of about 15 yards against soft targets (men, tents, etc.). And could never bring down a bridge. Even when several a thrown. See more »
Opening credits prologue: When Japan struck, our desperate need was time - - - time to marshal our new armies. Ninety-six priceless days were bought for us - - with their lives - - by the defenders of Bataan, the Philippine army which formed the bulk of MacArthur's infantry fighting shoulder to shoulder with Americans. To those immortal dead, who heroically stayed the wave of barbaric conquest, this picture is reverently dedicated. See more »
For a war movie, this was a bit unusual in that almost the whole film took part in one place. You could almost make a play out of this. A group of men stay in one area trying to sabotage a bridge so the Japanese can't use it to transport supplies. Meanwhile, they have to fend off attacks by the enemy. The closing scenes feature that attack and some are quite brutal.
At least half of the story is not action but melodramatic looks at the soldiers, particularly of the squad's sergeant leader Robert Taylor and one of his men who has an attitude problem: Lloyd Nolan. We also get some shorter profiles of combat men played by Robert Walker, Thomas Mitchell and Desi Arnez (yes, Lucy's husband).
The special effects are more than passable considering they weren't too advanced in the film industry compared to today's technology. However, credibility was a little thin as those Japanese soldiers died awfully fast in those combat scenes at the end. I swear I saw several of them drop over before anyone hit them!
Taylor was the best in this movie "army" and Walker was the annoying character, playing an extremely young and generally stupid Navy guy (don't ask) who never stopped talking in this irritating voice. Other than his character, this was a tough, no-nonsense war movie.
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