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This is the story of the crew of a downed bomber, captured after a run over Tokyo, early in the war. Relates the hardships the men endure while in captivity, and their final humiliation: being tried and convicted as war criminals. Written by
Buxx Banner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The trial, as depicted in the film, was held at Police Headquarters in Shanghai, China on 14 October 1942. The eight men were condemned to death. Hallmark, Farrow, and Spatz were executed by a firing squad of the Imperial Japanese Army at sunset the next day. The remainder were given an Imperial commutation to life in prison. In 1943, Meder died of mistreatment and various diseases. The remaining four survived until they were freed upon Japan's surrender in August, 1945. See more »
There should be a solid red circle inside the white star on the insignia on the fuselage of the B-25 "Mrs. Murphy". The insignia shown was not adopted until June, 1942, two months after the Doolittle Raid. See more »
Captain Harvey Ross:
No your excellency. It's true we Americans don't know very much about you Japanese. And we never did. And now I realize you know even less about us. You can kill us. All of us, or part of us. But if you think that's going to put the fear of god into the United States of America, and stop them from sending other flyers to bomb you, you're wrong. Dead wrong. They'll come by night, they'll come by day. Thousands of them. They'll blacken your skies and burn your cities to the ground and make you ...
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This movie is essentially the third in a trilogy of films that deals with the actual bombing of Japan by the Doolittle raid, very early in World War Two. The first is "Destination Tokyo," a presentation about the submarine which went ashore to mark targets for the American raiders. The second is "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo," which is the story of the Doolittle raid, including the launching of the B-52's from the U.S.S. Hornet and the raid itself. "The Purple Heart" completes the cycle with the war trial of a captured American crew which took part in the attack.
One wonders how so many good things can be put into a movie which lasts only an hour and a half. There is a trial, action, good acting, few technical flaws, very precise and accurate dialogue, questions of honor and decency, patriotism on all sides, questions as to the role of the media, and the ever present suspense of the final resolution. Lewis Milestone deserves commendation for excellent direction, as each scene is composed to blend well with the major ideas in the movie. There is little in the film which is distracting or ill-fitting. And the characters are portrayed with confidence and continuity. In fact, it is difficult to find any character, major of minor, American or Japanese, which is less than complete. It seems some award is in order for the total effort of making this movie.
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