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Back to Bataan (1945)

Approved | | Drama, War | 31 May 1945 (USA)
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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Capt. Andrés Bonifácio
...
...
...
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
...
Japanese Captain
Vladimir Sokoloff ...
Señor Buenaventura J. Bello
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

True, timely, terrific...is this story of a Yankee Colonel and his Philippine guerrillas, (original poster) See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 May 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Invisible Army  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Wayne later regretted making this film. He said, "There's a lot of yella bastards in the country who would like to call patriotism old-fashioned. With all that leftist activity, I was quite obviously on the other side. I was invited at first to a coupla cell meetings, and I played the lamb to listen to 'em for a while. The only guy that ever fooled me was the director Edward Dmytryk. I made a picture with him called Back to Bataan. He started talking about the masses, and as soon as he started using that word - which is from their book, not ours - I knew he was a Commie." See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film, when the POW camp is liberated, a soldier throws a grenade against a portion of the fence. It explodes, but it is the adjacent section that ends up being breached. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Trumbo (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An exceptional WWII action film
24 May 2007 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

While this film is a tad heavy from time to time with propaganda elements, in many ways this war film stands well above the usual crowd of jingoistic American war films. Now I am NOT being critical saying the films are "jingoistic", as this was positive propaganda that slightly exaggerated the truth in order to unify the country against the Japanese. After all, we were at war and Japan had conquered most of the Pacific. But films made during the war often sacrificed reality in order to deliver the message--such as in AIR FORCE when a B-17 bomber almost single-handedly wipes out half the Japanese planes!! Fortunately, beneath the occasionally heavy-handed patriotism, the film itself was a very good representation of the war in the Philippines. This, combined with excellent action scenes and better than average acting make this a film worth seeing. In particular, other than IN HARMS WAY, this is John Wayne's best WWII film, as his acting is a little less "bigger than life" and more realistic. Also, if you liked this film, I also strongly recommend BATAAN (starring a surprisingly macho Robert Taylor). This film focuses on the fall of Bataan and BACK TO BATAAN is a great companion piece as it focuses not only on this but its reconquest. Top notch entertainment and a decent history lesson to boot!


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