6.7/10
2,892
33 user 12 critic

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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.00 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Major Kirby leads The Wildcats squadron into the historic WWII battle of Guadalcanal.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Don Taylor
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Construction workers in World War II in the Pacific are needed to build military sites, but the work is dangerous and they doubt the ability of the Navy to protect them. After a series of ... See full summary »

Director: Edward Ludwig
Stars: John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Dennis O'Keefe
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

During WWII, a submarine's second in command inherits the problem of torpedoes that don't explode. When on shore, he is eager to win back his ex-wife.

Director: George Waggner
Stars: John Wayne, Patricia Neal, Ward Bond
Flying Tigers (1942)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Capt. Jim Gordon's command of the famed American mercenary fighter group in China is complicated by the recruitment of an old friend who is a reckless hotshot.

Director: David Miller
Stars: John Wayne, John Carroll, Anna Lee
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Following Napoleon's Waterloo defeat and the exile of his officers and their families from France, the U.S.Congress, in 1817, granted four townships in the Alabama territory to the exiles. ... See full summary »

Director: George Waggner
Stars: John Wayne, Vera Ralston, Philip Dorn
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A dramatized account of the role of the American PT Boats in the defense of the Philippines in World War II.

Directors: John Ford, Robert Montgomery
Stars: Robert Montgomery, John Wayne, Donna Reed
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A dramatization of the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima.

Director: Allan Dwan
Stars: John Wayne, John Agar, Adele Mara
The Sea Chase (1955)
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

As World War II begins, German freighter captain Karl Ehrlich tries to get his ship back to Germany through a gauntlet of Allied warships.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: John Wayne, Lana Turner, David Farrar
Tycoon (1947)
Romance | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Engineer Johnny Munroe is enlisted to build a railroad tunnel through a mountain to reach mines. His task is complicated, and his ethics are compromised, when he falls in love with his ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Wallace
Stars: John Wayne, Laraine Day, Cedric Hardwicke
3 Godfathers (1948)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When 3 outlaws on the run find a dying woman and her newborn baby in the desert they vow to save the child.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Pedro Armendáriz, Harry Carey Jr.
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

During the 1860s in the South Pacific, Capt. Ralls, skipper of the Red Witch, has a series of adventures involving sunken gold bullion, pearls, natives, an unscrupulous ship owner and a giant octopus.

Director: Edward Ludwig
Stars: John Wayne, Gail Russell, Gig Young
Blood Alley (1955)
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

His ship seized by the Chinese Communists, American Merchant Captain Tom Wilder languishes in prison but Chinese villagers help him escape to sail them to Hong-Kong.

Directors: William A. Wellman, John Wayne
Stars: John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, Paul Fix
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Capt. Andrés Bonifácio
...
...
...
...
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
...
Señor Buenaventura J. Bello
Edit

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:

SEE! Battle of Bataan! March of Death! Guerilla Raids! Fierce bolo fighters in action! (original poster) See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 May 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Invisible Army  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The Bataan of the film's title refers to both the World War II Battle of Bataan and the place Bataan which is a Central Luzon region province on Luzon island in the Philippines which occupies the whole of the Bataan Peninsula on the island. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
At the appropriate moment you shall yell Banzai, with enthusiasm, three times!
29 May 2006 | by (Brooklyn NY USA) – See all my reviews

The film "Back to Battan" starts and ends with the January 30, 1945 US/Filipino raid on the infamous Cabanatuan Japanese prison camp on Luzon Island as the allied troops rout the Japanese defenders, that number some 2,000 to 5,000 men, at the cost of only 4 killed and 21 wounded with not even a single US/Filipino POW being lost in the battle. The movie then goes back some three years to the spring of 1942 during the darkest days of the Japanese advance on Battan. US Col. Madden, John Wayne, and his men are fighting for their lives holding back wave after wave of suicidal Japanese Banzai attacks as the lights slowly go out for the American and Philippine forces. With the US general in command of the Philippines Douglas MacArthur being called back to Australia to regroup the battered and defeated US Army for another shot at the invincible army navy and air force of the Empire of Japan things look very bleak for the American and Filipino troops still left on the islands.

The film almost entirely concentrates on the guerrilla war conducted by Col. Joe Madden and Capt. Andres Bonifacio (Anthony Quinn), the grandson of the late 19th and early 20th century Filipino patriot and freedom fighter Andres Bonifacio the first. The guerrilla war lasted for two and a half years made it possible for the successful allied invasion of Latye in the fall of 1944. There's also Anders' girlfriend pretty Filipino radio personality Dolici Dalgado, Fely Franquelli, who's the Tokyo Rose of Minlia. Dolici is mouthing off on the radio Japanese propaganda to the Philippine people but in reality is working for US, which her boyfriend Andres who's totally unaware of it. Dolici puts secret code words into her commentaries to alert the US and allied, Philippine, troops where the Japanese Army is making it's next move.

One of the better WWII Hollywood war movies with John Wayne needing help from the locals and also being berated and pushed around by who I at first thought was the leader of the allied troops on the Islands,she sure as hell acted like she was, history teacher Bertha Barnes, Beulah Bondi. There's also a number of really exciting battle sequences between the US/Filipino troops and Japanese forces that didn't come across phony and overly one-sided, like in the battles of Battan and the Island fortress of Corrigidor,where the "Japs" actually won, like in most WWII movies coming out of Hollywood at that time.

There were two scenes in the movie "Back to Battan" that really moved me and that had very little to do with any fighting. The first when high school Principle J. Bello, Vladimir Sokoloff, refuses to pull down the American flag on the orders of Japanese officer Captain Abner Biberman and then was hanged in it's place. The second scene was when 15 year-old Philippine high-school student Maximo Cuerca, Duckie Louie, was forced to betray, after being tortured by the Japanese, his fellow freedom fighters and American allies. Maximo gave up his life taking the lives of his Japanese tormentors with him by forcing the truck he was on, by grabbing the steering wheel, to go off an embankment killing everyone on board in order to warn Col. Madden's men that they were soon to be ambushed.

The real heavy fighting was saved for last with the return to the Philippines of the American forces under the leadership of "I Shall Return" General Douglas MacArthur in the invasion and battle of Latye Gulf in October 1944. The invasion that culminated, in the movie, with the liberation of the Cabantuan POW Prison Camp in late January of 1945. We see, as the movie ends, a number of actual US POW's not actors in the film from some half dozen different states, Texas Alabama Kansas Tennessee Illinois and even Brooklyn New York. All these POW's who were just liberated are seen ecstatically marching to the trumping and heart-lifting tune of "California Here I Come".


11 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?