The Army nurses on Bataan need help badly, but when it arrives, it sure isn't what they expected. A motley crew, including a Southern belle, a waitress, and a stripper, show up. Many ... See full summary »
The Army nurses on Bataan need help badly, but when it arrives, it sure isn't what they expected. A motley crew, including a Southern belle, a waitress, and a stripper, show up. Many conflicts arise among these women who are thrown together in what is a desperate and ultimately hopeless situation. Written by
What a great chance to see a collection of great actresses
As a patriotic exercise in morale rising this film does a good job even though it is downbeat but as an opportunity to see an amazing group of actresses gathered together it can't be beat.
With its almost totally female cast, a very young Robert Mitchum just starting out is in and out of the picture in about a minute, this is a rare bird indeed. It's closest match would be The Women but unlike that high comedy cat fest this is a grim examination of the bravery of a group of dedicated nurses and volunteers during the seize of Bataan.
All the women are terrific but a few stand out. The great Margaret Sullavan in her second to last feature is fantastic as the outwardly tough nurse Smitty who is hiding many secrets. Ann Sothern and Joan Blondell are wisecracking experts and even under these tough conditions manage to brighten their scenes with plenty of snap. Two of the best character actresses the movies ever had, Fay Bainter and Connie Gilchrist, don't have much too do but inject their special touch into their scenes.
Each actress gets some type of spotlight moment and that makes this a memorable exercise. While surely actual field hospitals are much tougher than the one shown here the film still doesn't scrimp and try to make this seem glamorous in any way. These women are going through hell and the ending leaves little doubt that their struggles are far from over but that their courage helped to win the war. A fine piece of entertainment.
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