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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Pretty good, but overshadowed by several similar films
Had BACK TO BATAAN and BACK TO BATAAN not been made, then I assume that American GUERILLA IN THE PHILIPPINES would probably be a better remembered film. That's because it's an excellent movie in just about every way, but the earlier John Wayne and Robert Taylor films about the Philippines during WWII were very outstanding films and tend to overshadow this Tyrone Power flick.
While the plot is not identical to these other two films, there are many similarities. All three document the heroic efforts of the Philippino partisans as well as that of Americans stuck in this land during the war. About the only noticeable difference was that the Power film was in color and I really think for this subject matter, black and white actually worked better--looking more like what you'd expect a WWII film to look like. Plus, the other two films are just a little more exciting and involving--but this isn't to say this Power film is bad--it just isn't quite as involving.
Still, among the many, many WWII films, this one is a bit better than average and well worth a peek. And, yes, I also noticed the line that said a Navy Ensign is equivalent to an Army Major! I'm surprised that Power, with his WWII experience, would have said such a stupid line. An ensign is most closely equivalent to an Army Lieutennant--a much lower rank.
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