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They Were Expendable (1945)

Approved  |   |  Drama, War  |  20 December 1945 (USA)
7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 5,329 users  
Reviews: 78 user | 26 critic

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

Directors:

(as John Ford Captain U.S.N.R.) , (uncredited)

Writers:

(book), (screenplay) (as Frank Wead Comdr. U.S.N. {Ret}) , 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lt. John Brickley (as Robert Montgomery Comdr. U.S.N.R.)
...
Lt. (J.G.) 'Rusty' Ryan
...
...
...
...
Ens. 'Snake' Gardner
...
Ens. 'Andy' Andrews
...
Major James Morton
Arthur Walsh ...
Seaman Jones
...
Lt. (J.G.) 'Shorty' Long / Radio Announcer
...
Ens. George Cross
Jeff York ...
Ens. Tony Aiken
Murray Alper ...
'Slug' Mahan T.M. 1c
Harry Tenbrook ...
'Squarehead' Larsen SC 2c
Jack Pennick ...
'Doc'
Edit

Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Spine-Tingling Thundering Saga Of The Sea! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 December 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fuimos los sacrificados  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

At the funeral service for two of his servicemen who died in battle, John Wayne's character Lt. Ryan reads "Requiem," a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson. See more »

Goofs

During the aircraft strafing scenes when LTjg Ryan is injured, the planes are attacking from astern of the boats. The bullet strikes on the boat start from the starboard bow and go across the boat to the port side, indicating a frontal attack. See more »

Quotes

Lt. John Brickley: Oh, Snuffy... how about getting some torpedoes from you?
Submarine commander: For those cracker boxes of yours? No telling when we'll see a mother ship again.
Lt. John Brickley: How long have you been on patrol?
Submarine commander: Since the day the war started.
Lt. 'Rusty' Ryan: What did you get?
Submarine commander: Two small freighters. We had hard luck.
Lt. John Brickley: Well, while you've been cruising around the Pacific, those 'cracker boxes' have sunk two converted cruisers, an auxiliary aircraft carrier, a 10,000-ton tanker, a large freighter, a flock of barges and numerous sons of Nippon!
Lt. 'Rusty' Ryan: And also in...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: Manila Bay In the Year of Our Lord Nineteen hundred and Forty-one See more »

Connections

Featured in John Ford (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Anchors Aweigh
(uncredited)
Written by Charles A. Zimmerman (music) & Alfred Hart Miles (lyrics)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
perhaps the best of the American war flicks made during the war
26 January 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This movie is so exceptionally well-written, acted and directed. Although I am a big fan of some of John Wayne's other war pictures such as The Flying Tigers and The Fighting Sea Bees, these films are not exactly realistic and make it look like Wayne and his friends could have almost single-handedly beaten the Japanese! But, with They Were Expendible, the over-the-top heroism and exploits are instead replaced with grim determination against the odds and a quiet dignity. Because of that, to me, the impact of this film was much more lasting and heart-felt. Realism is key to this picture.

Oh, and by the way, Robert Montgomery gets top billing because when the film was made he was the bigger star--Wayne's rise to the top in Hollywood was still to come. I really see this more as Wayne's film as his part seemed BIGGER and he seemed to get at least as much screen time as Montgomery.

This would be an excellent film for teens, as it focuses on glory and heroism without glorifying death or trivializing our sacrifices.


27 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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