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Bataan (1943)

 -  War  -  24 April 1944 (Sweden)
7.1
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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 »

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Title: Bataan (1943)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Lee Bowman ...
...
Leonard Purckett
...
Felix Ramirez
...
F.X.Matowski
Phillip Terry ...
Matthew Hardy
Roque Espiritu ...
Corp. Juan Katigbak
Kenneth Spencer ...
Wesley Eeps
Alex Havier ...
Yankee Salazar (as J. Alex Havier)
Tom Dugan ...
Sam Malloy
...
Lieutenant
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Storyline

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 <khunt@eng.morgan.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

AS BIG AS ITS NAME ! See more »

Genres:

War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

24 April 1944 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

A Patrulha de Bataan  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Featured in MGM: When the Lion Roars (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

St. Louis Blues
(1914) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by W.C. Handy
Sung a cappella and hummed often by Kenneth Spencer
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the 1940s best war movies.
16 March 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

World War II and it's the Bataan peninsula. 13 members of the US armed forces, with Filipino volunteers, have been hastily assembled to blow up a bridge and delay Japanese attempts to rebuild it for as long as possible. As the Japanese close in from the surrounding jungle, the men must also battle with their own wills to have any hope of survival.

Lets get the complaints of others out the way first. Yes this is a studio shot production, yes there is model work involved, and yes this is unashamedly a flag waving, chest thumping, rally call of heroism. Based around actual events, this is a fictionalised telling that also has no shame in being disparaging towards the Japanese in the film. Now are these things really a problem? This is after all 1943, a time when the US was struggling in the Pacific conflict. A loose copy of John Ford's 1934 film The Lost Patrol, Bataan served as a moral booster for the public back home. The message is clear, this may be tantamount to a suicide mission, because, well, war is indeed hell, but sacrifices are necessary to achieve the bigger freedom objective.

Nicely directed by Tay Garnett {The Postman Always Rings Twice} and tightly scripted by Robert Hardy Andrews {The Cross of Lorraine}, the film stars Robert Taylor, George Murphy, Thomas Mitchell, Robert Walker, Desi Arnaz & Lloyd Nolan. Violent and brutal for its time {the hand to hand bayonet sequences are brilliantly realised}, Bataan is also notable for portraying a racially integrated fighting force having to come together for the greater good. This group of men are a mixed bunch, different backgrounds, different races and different classes. But they are in the same boat as the Japanese start to pick them off one by one, and not only that, but Malaria is in the camp as well. The tension is racked up, the atmosphere stifling, we the viewers are witness to a unique show of heroism as we live with these men during their last soul sapping days.

The cast do really well when one considers they are in fact playing disposable characters. Taylor in particular is effective as the tough Sergeant forced into command of the group. While some scenes such as a moodily staged camouflaged Japanese approach are truly memorable and linger long in the memory. The end also is terrific, one which puts one in mind of Sam Peckinpah watching and nodding approvingly. High on suspense and beating a real brave heart, Bataan is up with the best that the war genre of film has to offer. Belyng its budget restrictions it achieves its aims and then some. 8.5/10


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