Back to Bataan (1945)

Approved  |   |  Drama, War  |  31 May 1945 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 2,600 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 12 critic

In 1942, after the fall of the Philippines to the Japanese, U.S. Army Col. Joseph Madden stays behind to organize the local resistance against the Japanese invaders.



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Complete credited cast:
Capt. Andrés Bonifácio
Fely Franquelli ...
Richard Loo ...
Philip Ahn ...
Col. Coroki
Alex Havier ...
Sgt. Bernessa (as J. Alex Havier)
'Ducky' Louie ...
Maximo Cuenca
Lt. Cmdr. Waite
Leonard Strong ...
Gen. Homma
Bindle Jackson
Abner Biberman ...
Japanese Captain
Vladimir Sokoloff ...
Señor Buenaventura J. Bello


The US Army's defense of its Philippines colony and the allied Malay countries/colonies behind it counted on its island fortress of Corregidor on Luzon -and a few others- but loses it in the 6 May 1942 Japanese combined forces attack. Colonel Joseph Madden is among the escaping survivors who are ordered by general Douglas McArthur to organize a guerrilla. As he finds many native Filipinos inclined to resist the occupier's vision of returning to the South Asian fold under a paternalistic empire which doesn't hesitate to 'spank the unruly', but is mainly civilian, unprepared, inept in military matters, Madden appeals to the legendary anti-US freedom fighter Andres Bonifácio's homonymous grandson Captain Andrés Bonifácio, who is luckily rescued from a POW dead march, to inspire the resistance -once his own fighting spirit is rekindled- with him in a still very unsure war, retaliated by bloody, ten to one repression. When the Japanese realize the people side against them, they stage fake ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Story of the "Invisible Army of the Philippines" (original poster) See more »


Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

31 May 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Invisible Army  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This is one of a handful of movies that featured the story of the World War II Battle of Bataan. They include Bataan (1943), So Proudly We Hail! (1943); They Were Expendable (1945). See more »


Imperial General Headquarters regarded Homma as not aggressive enough in war (resulting in the high cost and long delay in securing the American and Filipino forces' surrender), and too lenient with the Filipino people in peace, and he was subsequently removed from his post on June 9th 1942 and returned to Japan.In the movie when they are discussing the possibility of Filipino independence with Dolici Dalgado, Homma. Homma would have been in Japan at this point in time. See more »


Maj. Hasko: I send out 100 men, they find nothing. I send out ten men, they don't come back.
See more »

Crazy Credits

8 minutes into the film: "Americans had been freed- hundreds of them. This was a promise of what was to come. Soon the whole world would be free. But behind the rescue of these men, behind the triumphs yet to come, there is another story- the story of the resistance of the Filipino people. This is the story of that resistance. It begins in one of the darkest hours in our history on the island fortress of Corregidor." See more »


Featured in The John Wayne Anthology (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

Gripping WWII movie
9 June 2001 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Skip "Pearl Harbor" and rent this movie instead. This is a no-holds barred view of the Imperial Japanese and their brutality toward the Filipinos in the opening stages of World War II. John Wayne, Anthony Quinn (who recently died), Beulah Bondi, et al are splendid in their roles. The hanging episode at the school is particularly moving and horrifying. That outrage encapsulates what happened to thousands of brave Filipinos who suffered under the heel of the Japanese. See this film.

21 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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