When a large forest fire breaks out in the mountains of Montana, a squad of 'Smoke Jumpers', the paratroop-corps of fire-fighters in the U. S. Forest Service, is flown to the scene from ... See full summary »
Joseph M. Newman
If you're looking for an action-packed, aerial-combat war movie, then "Jungle Patrol" won't fit your bill. But if you enjoy war flicks that delve into the characters so you can get to know the men in combat, this is a perfect fit. While this movie is bereft of any scenes of combat, it does give the feel of action in wartime. Two other reviewers have noted how it does this through radio relays between the pilots and the base. So, sans any props or scenes of a runway, planes, ground support, or actual combat, "Jungle Patrol" quite effectively gives the viewer a sense of the reality of being at war.
It is in that absence of all the usual settings and action in war films, that this movie excels. It has the time to do what most other films don't do. It gives us a good look at the individual characters. And it does that with ease banter between the pilots, and talks between them and the USO entertainer who dropped in for a stay.
The acting is very good by the entire cast. Others have commented on the high scores of Japanese planes shot down by the group without a single American pilot loss. Some seem to think their somberness over boasting about that was due to superstition. But, we have seen such serious moments in any number of other films regarding celebration of victories over losses. Those were most often due to realization of the losses that already occurred as well as those that may happen in the future. That, and a sense of respect for the enemy in not celebrating the deaths of enemy pilots. It seems to me that the somberness in "Jungle Patrol" was along those lines especially the realization that the next time out one or more of them may not be coming back. Anyway, that's another little plus about this film.
I obtained this film on a double feature DVD. The other movie is "The Silent Raiders." See my comments on it as well. But I want to note the Bonus feature that came with those two movies. "Combat Bulletin" was an 88-minute collage of actual combat footage filmed by the Army Pictorial Unit. It has narration and short film segments on 20 different battles of WW II in Europe and the Pacific. I had not seen this material in any of my historical documentary films before, so this is a real plus.
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