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 ... See full summary »
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 »
After Custer and the 7th Cavalry are wiped out by Indians, everyone expects the worst. Capt. Nathan Brittles is ordered out on patrol but he's also required to take along Abby Allshard, ... See full summary »
Aboard the freighter Glencairn, the lives of the crew are lived out in fear, loneliness, suspicion and cameraderie. The men smuggle drink and women aboard, fight with each other, spy on ... See full summary »
Rio Grande takes place after the Civil War when the Union turned their attention towards the Apaches. Union officer Kirby Yorke is in charge of an outpost on the Rio Grande in which he is ... See full summary »
Shortly after Pearl Harbor, a squadron of PT-boat crews in the Philipines must battle the Navy brass between skirmishes with the Japanese. The title says it all about the Navy's attitude towards the PT-boats and their crews. Written by
PT boats were torpedo-armed fast attack craft used by the US Navy in World War II. "PT" is the US hull classification symbol for "Patrol Torpedo". The PT boat squadrons were nicknamed "the mosquito fleet" because of their small size, high speed and maneuverability. They were made of mahogany plywood and powered by three 12-cylinder gasoline-fueled aircraft engines. They were capable of speeds of up to 40 knots (46 mph). They carried four Mark 8 torpedoes, two twin M2 .50-cal. machine guns and, in some cases, a 20mm Oerlikon cannon. See more »
The same scene with a PT boat running under some air burst shells and dodging some water explosions is shown twice, reusing the footage to extend the fighting scene. See more »
Very few, if any, WW2 films are better than this. I first saw it several years ago on a wet miserable Saturday afternoon in winter and subsequently taped it at the next showing. I have seen it several times since then.
Despite not living through this difficult time I can imagine it capturing how the US forces felt in the early days of the Pacific war. As the film states, these are the men who laid down the initial sacrifice that others built on. They were no doubt aware of this, and that escape before the Japanese arrived was their only real chance of survival.
John Ford created a basically solemn film in keeping with the times. Action is pretty minimal but this does not detract from the film at all. Solid performances from all the caste and one of John Wayne's best performances. Some of the action sequences could have been better (but it was made over 50 years ago), a bit too much of men jumping on and off MTB's, and the dinner scene between Wayne and Donna Reed did nothing for me. A downbeat ending with some crew going off to help plan for later battles and others marching off to almost certain death, but it is in keeping with what the US forces faced at the time.
Recent good WW2 films such as Saving Private Ryan and Thin Red Line show what can be achieved now with a big budget and huge technical advances, but it doesn't make them any better than this film.
I only hope it comes out in DVD in the UK. 9 out of 10.
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