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 »
The first grave is suspiciously deep and square, within a few minutes of the commencement of digging. See more »
Robert Taylor gives a gritty performance as the leader of a thrown together unit fighting a delaying action during the fall of the Philipines. Lloyd Nolan does a good job as a professional soldier with a past, Thomas Mitchell is good as the older career soldier, perhaps a bit out of shape from years of peace time duty. Robert Walkers portrayal of a young homesick sailor is a good start on his career. This 1943 movie features some of the best hand to hand combat scenes to come out of any war movie, regardless of era. The exhaustion afterwards is strikingly realistic. This movie, dialogue included, is patriotic. At the time of Bataan, there wasn't much good news as the US had suffered some devastating defeats. The characters, regardless of race or creed, are treated equally which is a real plus for that time. I first saw this movie in a theatre when I was 9, (and yes, after the movie was over, the house lights came on and the ushers passed thru the audience selling War Stamps). I liked the movie then, and like it even more now. I give it a 9.
NOTE: A previous persons comment stated that they were not even wearing American helmets. In fact, the helmets worn in the movie ARE correct for the American Army in the early 1940's.
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