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 »
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Charming Andre Cassil woos physician Jane Alexander and the two impulsively get married. The honeymoon ends very quickly when Jane voices her progressive views on marriage which include the... See full summary »
William A. Seiter
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 makes the 1943 WWII drama,"Cry,Havoc", offbeat is that it deals with a subject of the war that was rarely talked about then or now. The subject is the struggles and noble sacrifices of army nurses. "Cry,Havoc" was based on a fairly successful stage play, which explains why the film is set primarily in the confines of an underground bomb shelter. However,this doesn't make the film any the less powerful or intriguing. Lieutenant Mary "Smitty" Smith(Margaret Sullavan) desperately needs more experienced nurses at an army hospital in Bataan. Later,several volunteers arrive at Bataan and are willing to do their part for the war effort. Smitty is somewhat disappointed when see learns they aren't experienced. Although, the nurses are willing to work, they aren't fully aware of the hardships and destruction they'll have to face. The nurses' predicament becomes worse when two hospital buildings are hit and bombed by Japanese planes. Their chance of survival becomes extremely slim. This film paints an unglamorous and intense picture of war. Except for a few male extras,the majority of the cast is female. MGM put an ensemble cast of accomplished actresses in the leads. The cast includes: Margaret Sullavan, Ann Sothern, Joan Blondell, Fay Bainter, Marsha Hunt,and Heather Angel. Sothern stands out among the cast. Although, she was a gifted comedienne,Sothern had an immense talent in dramatic areas as well. Here she plays Pat Conlin, a tough, headstrong nurse,who thinks she knows the severity of war. She learns the hard way that isn't that easy and becomes a more sympathetic person because of it. Sullavan gives a fine,realistic performance as Lieutenant Smitty. She's a courageous character that is slowly dying of malignant Malaria. The rest of the cast give unique performances as well. This is one of Richard Thrope's better directorial efforts. He had directed the unsatisfying spy thriller,"Above Suspicion" and the dull sequel to the award-winning classic,"Mrs. Miniver". If you want to see a similarly-themed film,watch Paramount's "So,Proudly We Hail",also made in 1943. It is actually superior to "Cry,Havoc". It goes more in-depth about army nurses' sacrifices and is set in many different areas. "Cry,Havoc" is still very good and makes a compelling viewing experience. I give it an 8 out of 10.
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