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Edwin L. Marin
Wallace Beery stars in this patriotic World War II drama about a tough retired Marine who is caught in the middle of the Philippines campaign, experiencing action, heroics, and tragedy. Gruff Sergeant Bailey has never actually been in combat, but when the Japanese invade, the untested leader finally sees battle, ironically as a civilian in charge of organizing the citizens' withdrawal.
Mr. Rap's 2003 review of this movie, its context, and the characterization by Wallace Berry, needs a reply. First, the movie was released in 1943 -- at which time the US was not doing particularly well in the Pacific Theatre. Second, the lead character is a career combat NCO who has never seen combat -- yet his outfit has left for the field leaving him behind. Third, America used the theater as a way of seeing familiar faces (actors/actresses) in roles that many would be unable to fulfill, regardless of patriotism, fervor, or desire. Besides Mr. Rap's comments seemingly being out of context as to what was happening in the film (e.g. drinking and fighting, BUT because he was ashamed at being left behind after 30 years of service), the comments also seem downright petty, juvenile, and mean-spirited ("old," "fat," "pot-bellied" etc.). My assumption is that Mr. Rap has other motivations to examine and overcome, unrelated to the movie, but stimulated by the character of Beery.
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