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 'Hollywood Reporter' reported on 29 September 1943 that actor Richard Loo had tested for the part of Tojo but in the final film he actually ended up playing General Ito Mitsubi. 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 »
General Ito Mitsubi:
We will win this war because we are willing to sacrifice ten million lives. How many lives is the white man willing to sacrifice?
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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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