A tribute to the U.S. 442nd Regimental Combat Team, formed in 1943 by Presidential permission with Japanese-American volunteers. We follow the training of a platoon under the rueful command of Lt. Mike Grayson who shares common prejudices of the time. The 442nd serve in Italy, then France, distinguishing themselves in skirmishes and battles; gradually and naturally, Grayson's prejudices evaporate with dawning realization that his men are better soldiers than he is. Not preachy. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is one of a handful of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer productions of the 1950-1951 period whose original copyrights were never renewed and are now apparently in Public Domain; for this reason this title is now offered, often in very inferior copies, at bargain prices, by numerous VHS and DVD distributors who do not normally handle copyrighted or Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer material. See more »
In Italy, Lt Grayson's troops are fired on by two German soldiers positioned behind a broken wall on a high bluff. But rather than crouching behind the wall for maximum cover, they are standing. This makes them easy targets for Grayson's soldiers. Real snipers would have kept as low as possible behind the wall for maximum protection. See more »
Kanakas. The ones from Hawaii. You know what they call us mainlanders? Kotonks. The way they tell it if you rap on our heads it's like hitting a coconut. Hollow heads, you know? Kotonk, kotonk, kotonk.
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Most people know about the imprisonment of many Japanese Americans in camps during World War II, however, relatively few know the history of involvement by Japanese Americans in World War II. The 442nd Regimental Combat Team was sanctioned by Franklin Delano Roosevelt and consisted of Japanese American volunteers. These faithful Americans came to the military for many different reasons, and this film does a wonderful job of illustrating the diversity within the team as well as their courageous dedication to service despite the adverse conditions they and their families faced in an America at war with their ancestral homeland.
This adversity is personified in the character of Lieutenant Grayson (Van Johnson) - a tall, blond, Texan with a bad attitude about working with what he calls "Japs". Though Grayson's story arc is not really very surprising, it is thoroughly believable. The excellent Oscar-nominated Robert Porash script, solid editing and directing, and Johnson's nice performance make his portrayal of the archetypal understated Texan quite excellent. I can say this because I am a Texas-ex - though you never really get the place out of your heart.
For once, the minority is less stereotyped than the Northern European-American males! The Japanese-American actors are all excellent, and are the real stars of this film.
I agree with the vast majority of reviews published here on IMDb about this significant and entertaining film. Go For Broke is a war film which very nicely explores human behavior, American social reality and ethics but also commemorates and celebrates the triumph of humanity in adverse situations.
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