7.3/10
6,170
82 user 28 critic

They Were Expendable (1945)

Approved | | Drama, War | 31 December 1945 (USA)
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})
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
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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
...
'Slug' Mahan T.M. 1c
...
'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:

M-G-M Presents one of the Greatest Pictures of all Time See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 December 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Schnellboote vor Bataan  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Brickley and Rusty (John Wayne) are receiving orders about the evacuation of Army and Navy personal, Rusty's "Fly" is unzipped. At Military burials, you do not have "Firing squads" you have an "Honor Guard" Rusty uses the phrase "firing squad" when burying two sailors from his Boat. See more »

Quotes

Ens. 'Snake' Gardner: [tasting liquid from a tureen] Holy smokes, Cookie, you call that soup?
'Squarehead' Larsen SC 2c: No, sir. That's dishwater.
Ens. 'Snake' Gardner: [stunned, places the ladle back in the pot] Well, uh... right, carry on.
[exits]
'Doc': Yes, sir.
'Squarehead' Larsen SC 2c: Ensigns!
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 Directed by John Ford (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Red River Valley
(uncredited)
Traditional
Instrumental version heard when Dad is left alone to meet the oncoming Japanese.
See more »

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User Reviews

A film about following orders no matter how painful
31 January 2002 | by (Hartlepool England) – See all my reviews

One reveiwer critices this film about lack of action he misses the point,all the characters are well developed which makes the ending so painfull. The acting is first rate every part is played with a great belief,,there are so many great scenes that touch the heart.The men are bonded together by their actions and when the bonds are broken through death or orders it hurts us all. Donna Reed is gorgeous to look at ,only a small role but well acted. At the end of the film you feel a lump in your throat and a tear forms in your eye,I love this movie.9/10


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