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In the spring of 1942, following the blockade-run that took General Douglas MacArthur and his staff from the Philippines to the safety of Australia, the survivors of a bombed-and-sunk PT Boat make their way to shore. The skipper tells his men they have top priority passes if they can make their way to Del Monte airfield 200 miles away, and advises them to split up into pairs. Ensign Chuck Palmer and crewman Jim Mitchell finally reach Tacloban on the island of Leyte. In an American mission school, Palmer meets Jeanne Martinez, who is urgently trying to see the officer in charge with a request for help for a relative, and he also learns that the Japanese have captured the airfield. Palmer tries to make Australia by a boat that sinks in a tropical storm and has to swim for shore. All through 1942, Palmer and the other survivors dodge enemy patrols while living off of the land. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
This movie was filmed just prior to the outbreak of the Korean War in June of 1950, and used American warships to portray Japanese ships. One such ship, the USS Orleck (DD 886) survives to this day after serving in the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and being sold for a time to the Turkish Navy, and is permanently docked in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where it serves as a museum. See more »
When setting the sail early in the movie, Power's character refers to a halyard as a sheet. No real sailor would make such an error. See more »
The writers of this screenplay didn't research rank very well.
As an ex-military person, the discrepancy of rank in this movie is very glaring to me. Chuck Palmer is an Ensign (the lowest navy officer rank), but wears silver clusters (the rank of a Lt. Commander). At one point he is talking to an army Major and mentions that, although he is in the navy, they are of the same rank (the navy equivalent of an army major is a Lieutenant). It's an interesting movie to watch when you're up at 2 am and can't sleep. But, overall, I think this is a very sanitized version of the guerrilla fight in the Philippines during World War 2. If you've just tuned into the film at some parts, you'd think you were watching a documentary. An interesting trivia note: Jack Elam is the narrator in this film, but he also has a cameo in which he plays a con artist who bilks the locals of money in order to "buy guns and ammunition to fight the Japanese".
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