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
The Story of the "Invisible Army of the Philippines" (original poster)
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Did You Know?
As John Wayne
refused to use a stunt-double in the movie, director Edward Dmytryk
and screenwriter Ben Barzman
wrote scenes for Wayne with dangerous stunts so that Wayne would want to use a stuntman. Not even this deterred Wayne who still did the stunts. See more
When the Australian radio officer types the message he's receiving from the Phillippines, he spells the word "organization" using the American spelling, with a "z". An Australian would use the British spelling - "organisation", with an "s" - although it is possible he simply wrote "z" because he was quickly transcribing the Morse Code signal sent by the Americans. See more
[a poor student dying in his teacher's arms after heroic action
Miss Barnes, I'm sorry I never learned how to spell "liberty".
No one ever learned it so well.
Opening credits: "This story was not invented. The events you are about to see are based on actual incidents. The characters are based on real people. January 30, 1945 The Japanese Prison Camp at Cabanatuan" See more
Referenced in Mean Streets