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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>
Not one to see a lot of war films, I have to say I enjoyed "American Guerilla in the Philippines," starring Tyrone Power and directed by Fritz Lang. Power plays a real-life navy man, Chuck Parsons, who helped organize guerrilla forces in the Philippines after MacArthur promised to return. There are some exciting and tense scenes, and also, the film is a tribute to the courage of the Filipinos. There are obvious non-actors in small roles, which is a little distracting, but I suppose this was done for the sake of realism. Power is rugged and handsome as Parsons, and Tom Ewell gives an excellent performance as a wisecracking soldier. Micheline Presle is the de rigeur love interest - it's Tyrone Power who's starring, after all, and their love scenes are great, as are their scenes where she subtly fights her attraction to him. Of course, I'd have caved right in.
Power did not get to meet the real Chuck Parsons until a few months after filming, when Parsons appeared, unannounced, in Power's dressing room when the actor was performing "Mr. Roberts" in London. One must assume Parsons was pleased to have been portrayed by a matinée idol.
Fritz Lang did a wonderful job of directing, but of course, this film is a far cry from Metropolis. It was a hard shoot for Power, as his wife, Linda Christian, miscarried while visiting him on location.
Despite other reviews on this page, Amrican Guerrilla is very watchable. You have to take it for what it is - propaganda to get the U.S. ready for the Korean war.
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